decitabine

Pronunciation: de SIT a been

Brand: Dacogen

What is the most important information I should know about decitabine?

Decitabine affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, cough, mouth sores, or unusual bleeding or bruising.

What is decitabine?

Decitabine is a cancer medicine that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (certain types of blood or bone marrow cancer).

Decitabine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving decitabine?

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease; or
  • liver disease.

You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment.

Decitabine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or the father is using this medicine.

  • If you are a woman, do not use decitabine if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.
  • If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.
  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using decitabine.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men. However, it is important to use birth control to prevent pregnancy because decitabine can harm an unborn baby.

You should not breastfeed while using decitabine and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.

How is decitabine given?

Decitabine is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

In most cases, a decitabine injection is given every 8 hours for 3 days. This 3-day treatment is usually repeated every 6 weeks at least 4 times.

You may be given other medications to prevent nausea or vomiting while you are receiving decitabine.

Decitabine affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Your doctor will need to examine you on a regular basis.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your decitabine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving decitabine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

What are the possible side effects of decitabine?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever, chills, sore throat;
  • mouth sores, red or swollen gums, skin sores;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, cold hands and feet; or
  • cough with mucus, chest pain, feeling short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever or other signs of infection.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect decitabine?

Other drugs may affect decitabine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about decitabine.

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