decitabine

This medication is used to treat a group of blood/bone marrow disorders (myelodysplastic syndromes-MDS) in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. People with MDS may have problems such as infections, anemia, and easy bleeding/bruising. Decitabine is a chemotherapy drug. It is believed to work by helping your bone marrow grow normal blood cells so you will need fewer blood transfusions. Decitabine also kills abnormal blood cells that have grown too fast and do not work properly.

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30 Recon solution, 50 mg

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About decitabine

Overview

This medication is used to treat a group of blood/bone marrow disorders (myelodysplastic syndromes-MDS) in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. People with MDS may have problems such as infections, anemia, and easy bleeding/bruising. Decitabine is a chemotherapy drug. It is believed to work by helping your bone marrow grow normal blood cells so you will need fewer blood transfusions. Decitabine also kills abnormal blood cells that have grown too fast and do not work properly.

How to use

This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional in a hospital or infusion clinic.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, lab test results, and response to treatment. Keep all medical/lab appointments.

This medication can be injected once a day for 5 days in a row or injected every 8 hours for 3 days in a row, as directed by your doctor. Your treatment cycle will be repeated every 4 weeks if you are on a 5-day course, or every 6 weeks if you are on a 3-day course, and depending on your response to the medication and blood tests.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day during your treatment cycle.

Tell your doctor if your condition gets worse.

Side effects

Redness/pain/bruising at the injection site, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, trouble sleeping, hair loss, or muscle/joint pain may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: confusion, easy bleeding/bruising, unusual tiredness, pale skin, mouth/tongue sores, swollen belly, shortness of breath.

This medication may make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Though decitabine is supposed to improve the body's immune system, in some patients this medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Warnings & Precautions

Before using decitabine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.

To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should have a pregnancy test before starting this medication. You should not become pregnant while using decitabine. Decitabine may harm an unborn baby. Females using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for at least 6 months after stopping treatment. Males using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for at least 3 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug and for at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Storage

Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

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Missed Doses:

For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Notes:

Lab tests (such as complete blood counts, platelet counts, liver function tests, kidney function tests) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Selected from the Licensed Solutions data included with permission and copyrighted by FDB, inc., 2014. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data provider and is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any drug or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. 

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