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All about: Decitabine

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Generic Name: Decitabine (dee-SYE-ta-been)
Brand Name: Dacogen

Decitabine is used for:

Treating myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) (eg, certain types of anemia or leukemia).

Decitabine is a nucleoside analog. It works by blocking cell growth.

Do NOT use Decitabine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Decitabine

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

Before using Decitabine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Decitabine . 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 liver or kidney problems

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

Ask your health care provider if Decitabine 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 Decitabine :

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

  • Decitabine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Decitabine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Decitabine . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Decitabine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you miss a dose of Decitabine , contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • Decitabine may cause dizziness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Decitabine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Decitabine 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.
  • Decitabine may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Men who take Decitabine should always use a condom when having sex with a woman who may become pregnant. Do this for as long as you take Decitabine and for 2 months after you stop taking it.
  • Decitabine 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.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood and platelet counts and liver and kidney function tests, may be performed while you use Decitabine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Decitabine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Decitabine 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 Decitabine while you are pregnant. It is not known if Decitabine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using Decitabine .

Possible side effects of Decitabine :

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; hair loss; headache; joint or muscle pain; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach pain or upset; trouble sleeping; 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); change in the amount of urine you produce; chest pain; confusion; depression; difficulty swallowing; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; numbness of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; severe headache or dizziness; severe stomach pain or vomiting; shortness of breath; sores or white patches in the mouth; swelling; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes.

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 fever, chills, sore throat, or unusual bruising or bleeding.

Proper storage of Decitabine :

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Decitabine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Decitabine 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 Decitabine . 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 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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