- Review is based upon articles published as of 6/30/2004
- This information on the scientific basis of hydrazine sulfate therapy is based on the Detailed Scientific Review and the NCI Review of Hydrazine Sulfate
Hydrazine sulfate is a drug that has been proposed primarily as a treatment for cancer-associated cachexia (extensive loss of body weight and muscle mass).
As a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, hydrazine sulfate is incompatible with tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol and other central nervous system depressants. It is also incompatible with foods that are high in tyramine, such as aged cheeses and fermented products.
Some clinical studies have suggested that hydrazine sulfate may improve appetite, reduce weight loss, and improve survival. Although small randomized clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported some benefits, three larger NCI randomized clinical trials did not find any evidence of anti-cancer activity and reported that some symptoms of appetite and weight loss were worse for patients in the hydrazine sulfate groups. The negative results of one trial were questioned because of the inclusion of patients who were taking tranquilizers, but the number of such patients was small and conclusions were not changed.
Doses given in clinical trials have varied, but should only be given in consultation with a physician who will monitor for potentially serious side effects.
How it is taken
The drug has been taken orally with meals or by injection as a 0.4% solution. It is not approved for use by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration unless it is within an approved clinical trial and no clinical trials exist or are being planned at this time.
Hydrazine sulfate is a known antagonist of Vitamin B6 so it can produce central nervous system problems of numbness, tingling, itching, dizziness and impaired motor function. Other transient side effects may include nausea and vomiting.
Hydrazine sulfate has been shown to increase the incidence of lung, liver and breast tumors in laboratory animals. It has been classified as a potential carcinogen (cancer causing substance) by the National Toxicology Program of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
One person has died of liver/kidney failure after taking hydrazine sulfate based upon a recommended dose schedule found on the Internet and without physician consultation.
To avoid potential interactions, be sure to let your health care provider know if you use this or any other type of complementary therapy.