Treats myelodysplastic syndrome (a bone marrow disease) and certain types of anemia.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to decitabine, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with cancer medicines in the past.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Men should not father a child while receiving this medicine, and for 2 months after the treatment.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
- Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, cold sweat, or bluish-colored skin.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst or hunger, or muscle cramps or twitching.
- Enlarged abdomen.
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Headache, confusion, or numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or fainting.
- Painful urination, red or dark brown urine, or change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Red or black stools, or pain during bowel movement.
- Swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet.
- Trouble swallowing, or burning feeling on the chest, throat, mouth, tongue, or gums.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Vaginal pain, itching, or discharge.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping.
- Back pain, joint pain, or muscle pain.
- Bleeding gums.
- Blurred vision.
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, or stomach pain.
- Hair loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Redness, pain, swelling, itching, blistering, or rash where the shot was given.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Warmth, redness, swelling, numbness, or pain in your skin, or skin rash or itching.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013