Generic Name: decitabine (de SIT a been)
Brand Names: Dacogen
What is Dacogen?
Dacogen (decitabine) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Dacogen is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (certain types of blood or bone marrow cancer).
Dacogen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Dacogen
Before receiving Dacogen, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.Do not use Dacogen if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. If a man fathers a child while using Dacogen, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 2 months after you stop receiving this medicine. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving Dacogen.
Dacogen can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
Before receiving Dacogen
To make sure you can safely take Dacogen, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
kidney disease; or
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Dacogen if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. If a man fathers a child while using Dacogen, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 2 months after you stop receiving Dacogen. It is not known whether decitabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are receiving Dacogen.
See also: Dacogen pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How is Dacogen given?
Dacogen is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. This medicine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 3 hours to complete.
In most cases, a Dacogen injection is given every 8 hours for 3 days. This 3-day treatment is usually repeated every 6 weeks. You will most likely receive at least 4 of these treatments.
You may be given other medications to prevent nausea or vomiting while you are receiving Dacogen.Dacogen can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Dacogen injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while receiving Dacogen?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Dacogen side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Dacogen: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
fever, chills, body aches, cough, sore throat, flu symptoms;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath, cough with yellow or green mucus;
swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness anywhere on your body; or
electrolyte imbalance (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, jerking muscle movements, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).
Less serious Dacogen side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation;
increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, drowsiness;
joint pain; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Dacogen side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Dacogen?
There may be other drugs that can interact with Dacogen. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Dacogen resources
Compare Dacogen with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Dacogen.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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