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All about: Azacitidine

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Generic Name: Azacitidine (ay-za-SYE-ti-deen)
Brand Name: Vidaza

Azacitidine is used for:

Treating certain cancers of the blood, including chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Azacitidine is an antineoplastic. It works by causing the death of abnormal, rapidly dividing cells in the bone marrow.

Do NOT use Azacitidine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Azacitidine or to mannitol
  • you have advanced liver cancer

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Azacitidine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Azacitidine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Azacitidine . However, no specific interactions with Azacitidine are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Azacitidine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Azacitidine :

Use Azacitidine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Azacitidine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Azacitidine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Azacitidine . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not shake Azacitidine .
  • Do not use Azacitidine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If Azacitidine comes into contact with the skin, immediately and thoroughly wash with soap and water. If it comes into contact with mucous membranes (eg, eyes, nose, mouth, vagina), flush thoroughly with water.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Azacitidine , contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Azacitidine .

Important safety information:

  • Azacitidine may cause dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Azacitidine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Azacitidine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Azacitidine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Azacitidine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Azacitidine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Men should not father a child while using Azacitidine . Talk with your doctor about using effective methods of birth control while using Azacitidine .
  • Lab tests, including liver function tests, kidney function tests, and blood counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Azacitidine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Azacitidine may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Azacitidine while you are pregnant. It is not known if Azacitidine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Azacitidine .

Possible side effects of Azacitidine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; joint or muscle pain; loss of appetite; nausea; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; tiredness or weakness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; bleeding at the injection site; blood in the urine; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; easy bruising or bleeding; decreased or painful urination; fainting; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irregular heartbeat; stomach pain; swelling; unusual or severe tiredness; weight loss; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; nausea; vomiting.

Proper storage of Azacitidine :

Azacitidine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Azacitidine at home, store Azacitidine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Azacitidine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Azacitidine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Azacitidine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Azacitidine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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