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Dacarbazine

Generic Name: dacarbazine (da-KAR-ba-zeen)
Brand Name: DTIC-Dome

Dacarbazine can cause severe, even fatal, liver problems (hepatic necroses), or a decrease in the formation of new blood cells (hemopoietic depression). It has also caused cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection (eg, persistent sore throat or fever), easy bruising or bleeding, nausea, dark urine, unusual fatigue, yellowing of the eyes or skin, or stomach pain. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you are using dacarbazine.


Dacarbazine is used for:

Treating certain cancers (eg, advanced skin cancer) and Hodgkin disease. It may be used with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dacarbazine is an antineoplastic agent. It is not known exactly how dacarbazine works. It may block the growth of cancer cells.

Do NOT use dacarbazine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dacarbazine
  • you have shingles or chickenpox

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

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Before using dacarbazine:

Some medical conditions may interact with dacarbazine. 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 a blood disease, an infection, or liver or kidney problems

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

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dacarbazine 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 dacarbazine:

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

  • Dacarbazine will be administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • If dacarbazine contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of dacarbazine, contact your doctor immediately.

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

Important safety information:

  • Dacarbazine may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills.
  • Dacarbazine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Use of dacarbazine may increase the risk of developing a second cancer. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Avoid vaccination with live virus vaccines (eg, measles, mumps, oral polio) while you are taking dacarbazine. Vaccinations may be less effective.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood cell counts and liver function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using dacarbazine during pregnancy. It is unknown if dacarbazine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dacarbazine.

Possible side effects of dacarbazine:

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:

Facial flushing, numbness, or tingling; loss of appetite; metallic taste in mouth; muscle pain or weakness; nausea; temporary hair loss; vomiting.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; fever, chills, or sore throat; joint pain; pain, redness, or swelling at injection site; severe nausea and vomiting; stomach pain; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

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 ), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of dacarbazine:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dacarbazine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dacarbazine 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dacarbazine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dacarbazine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dacarbazine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dacarbazine.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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