Generic Name: dacarbazine (da CKAR ba zeen)
Brand Name: DTIC-Dome
What is dacarbazine?
Dacarbazine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Dacarbazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Dacarbazine is used to treat skin cancer (malignant melanoma) and Hodgkin's disease.
Dacarbazine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use dacarbazine if you are allergic to it.
It is not known whether dacarbazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether dacarbazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are being treated with dacarbazine.
How is dacarbazine given?
Dacarbazine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
Avoid eating anything for 4 to 6 hours before your injection. This may help prevent severe nausea or vomiting.
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 lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
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?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
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.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
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:
severe or continued vomiting;
fever, chills, body aches, 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; or
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
loss of appetite;
temporary hair loss;
mild skin rash; or
numbness, warmth, redness, or tingly feeling in your face.
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: Side effects (in more detail)
Dacarbazine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Melanoma:
2 to 4.5 mg/kg IV once a day for 10 days, repeated every 4 weeks or 250 mg/m² IV once a day for 5 days, repeated every 3 weeks.
Usual Adult Dose for Hodgkin's Disease:
150 mg/m² IV once a day for 5 days, repeated every 4 weeks or 375 mg/m² IV once, repeated every 15 days in combination therapy.
What other drugs will affect dacarbazine?
Other drugs may interact with dacarbazine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about dacarbazine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: alkylating agents
Other brands: DTIC-Dome
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about dacarbazine.
- 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.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.04.
Date modified: March 06, 2018
Last reviewed: September 29, 2015