Decitabine is a chemotherapy medication that reduces the growth of cancer cells. It treats myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) like acute myeloid leukemia. MDS happens when your blood stem cells don’t become healthy blood cells. A healthcare provider will give you this medication via infusion into a vein in a hospital or clinic.
DECITABINE (dee SYE ta been) is a chemotherapy drug. This medicine reduces the growth of cancer cells. It is used to treat adults with myelodysplastic syndromes.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Dacogen
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
•infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
•an unusual or allergic reaction to decitabine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
•pregnant or trying to get pregnant
This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a doctor or health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 6 months after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for at least 2 weeks after stopping it.
In males, this medicine may interfere with the ability to father a child. Talk with your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
•low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
•signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
•signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
•signs of decreased red blood cells - unusual weakness or tiredness, fainting spells, lightheadedness
•increased blood sugar
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
•loss of appetite
•skin rash, itching
•weak or tired
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.