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Dacarbazine

Generic Name: dacarbazine (da KAR ba zeen)
Brand Name: DTIC-Dome
Dosage Forms: intravenous powder for injection (100 mg; 200 mg)

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Aug 26, 2020. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is dacarbazine?

Dacarbazine is used to treat skin cancer (malignant melanoma) and Hodgkin's disease.

Dacarbazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Dacarbazine can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or new signs of infection (fever, weakness, cough, diarrhea, burning when you urinate).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use dacarbazine if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or

  • bone marrow suppression.

It is not known whether dacarbazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using dacarbazine.

How is dacarbazine given?

Dacarbazine is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

To help prevent severe nausea or vomiting, avoid eating anything for 4 to 6 hours before your injection.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when dacarbazine is injected.

Dacarbazine is sometimes given daily for 5 to 10 days in a row every 3 or 4 weeks. For Hodgkin's disease, you may only receive dacarbazine for 1 day every 15 days. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with dacarbazine.

Dacarbazine can increase your risk of bleeding or infection. You will need frequent medical tests. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your dacarbazine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since dacarbazine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving dacarbazine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using dacarbazine. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Dacarbazine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath; or

  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting.

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.

Dacarbazine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Melanoma:

2 to 4.5 mg/kg IV once a day for 10 days; repeat every 4 weeks
OR
250 mg/m2 IV once a day for 5 days; repeat every 3 weeks

Use: For metastatic malignant melanoma

Usual Adult Dose for Hodgkin's Disease:

150 mg/m2 IV once a day for 5 days in combination therapy; repeat every 4 weeks
OR
375 mg/m2 IV on Day 1 in combination therapy; repeat every 15 days

Use: For Hodgkin's disease as a second-line therapy when used in combination with other agents

What other drugs will affect dacarbazine?

Other drugs may affect dacarbazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.