Hydrazine sulfate is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor and a common industrial chemical proposed to treat cancer-associated cachexia (the extensive loss of body weight and muscle mass experienced by some patients with advanced malignant diseases). It secondarily acts to stabilize tumors. Clinical studies have suggested that hydrazine sulfate improves appetite, reduces weight loss, and improves survival. NCI clinical studies demonstrated that hydrazine is ineffective as a cancer treatment; however, these studies have been controversial for inappropriate inclusion criteria.
Dose: 60 mg 4 times daily for several days, then 2 times a day, and then 3 times a day for 35-40 days. After treatment is stopped for 2-6 weeks, the course can be repeated as needed. A complete course of the drug can be repeated as many as 40 times.
How to take it: The drug is usually taken orally with meals but it can also be administered parenterally as a 0.4 percent solution (15 ml=60 mg).
Side effects: Hydrazine sulfate has been demonstrated to produce few, transient side effects including nausea, vomiting, itching, dizziness, and impaired motor function or numbness of the extremities. No instances of bone-marrow, heart, lung, kidney or immune system toxicity, or death have been reported. Hydrazine sulfate is not carcinogenic in humans.
Possible risks: Hydrazine sulfate is incompatible with tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol and other foods high in tyramine (e.g., aged cheeses and fermented products). Combined use destroys the efficacy of this drug and increases patient morbidity. Liver damage may result from very high doses (i.e., over 20 times the therapeutic dose), and pregnant women should avoid hydrazine sulfate.
Approximate cost: U.S. $20 for 100 capsules.