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Dacarbazine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to dacarbazine: powder for solution

Intravenous route(Powder for Solution)

Hemopoietic depression is the most common toxicity with dacarbazine for injection. Hepatic necrosis has also been reported. Studies have demonstrated this agent to have a carcinogenic and teratogenic effect when used in animals .

Along with its needed effects, dacarbazine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking dacarbazine:

More Common

  • Redness, pain, or swelling at place of injection

Less Common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills
  • painful or difficult urination, accompanied by fever or chills
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Rare

  • Shortness of breath
  • stomach pain
  • swelling of face
  • yellow eyes or skin

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking dacarbazine:

Rare

  • Sores in mouth and on lips

Some side effects of dacarbazine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More Common

  • Loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting (should lessen after 1 or 2 days)

Less Common

  • Feelings of uneasiness
  • flushing of face
  • muscle pain
  • numbness of face

This medicine may cause a temporary loss of hair in some people. After treatment with dacarbazine has ended, normal hair growth should return.

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills
  • painful or difficult urination, accompanied by fever or chills
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dacarbazine: intravenous powder for injection

Hematologic

Very common (10% or more): Bone marrow depression (25%)

Common (1% to 10%): Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pancytopenia, agranulocytosis, blood lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) increased, blood creatinine increased, blood urea increased[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (90%), vomiting (90%)

Rare (less than 0.1%): Diarrhea[Ref]

Hepatic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatic necrosis due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) of the liver, Budd-Chiari syndrome (sometimes fatal), hepatic enzymes increased (e.g., alkaline phosphatase, ASAT, ALAT)[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Rare (less than 0.1%): Facial flushing

Frequency not reported: ECG abnormalities, orthostatic hypotension (may be associated with high doses)[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anaphylaxis[Ref]

Dermatologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alopecia, hyperpigmentation, photosensitivity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Erythema, maculopapular exanthema, urticaria

Frequency not reported: Rash[Ref]

Local

Rare (less than 0.1%): Application site irritation

Frequency not reported: Severe pain along the vein caused by injection of concentrated solution, extravasation (causing pain, tissue damage, cellulitis), burning sensation[Ref]

General

Anorexia, nausea, and vomiting are the most frequently reported adverse reactions. Over 90% of patients are affected with the initial few doses. The vomiting lasts 1 to 12 hours and is incompletely and unpredictably palliated with phenobarbital and/or prochlorperazine. Restricting oral intake of food for 4 to 6 hours prior to therapy may help to alleviate these symptoms. The rapid toleration of these symptoms suggests that a CNS mechanism may be involved, and usually these symptoms subside after the first 1 or 2 days.[Ref]

Immunologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Infections, influenza-like symptoms[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Frequency not reported: Myalgia[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision

Rare (less than 0.1%): Impaired vision[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (90%)[Ref]

Nervous system

Rare (less than 0.1%): Headache, lethargy, malaise, convulsions, facial paresthesia[Ref]

Psychiatric

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Confusion[Ref]

Renal

Rare (less than 0.1%): Impaired renal function[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Dacarbazine (dacarbazine)." Hospira Inc, Lake Forest, IL.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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