azacitidine

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azacitidine

Pronunciation:ay za SYE ti deen
Brand:Vidaza

What is the most important information I should know about azacitidine?

donotDo not use this medication if you are allergic to azacitidine or mannitol, or if you have liver cancer.

Before receiving azacitidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease.

nopregDo not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 4 weeks after you stop using azacitidine.

Tell your caregiver right away if this medication accidentally gets on your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

donotDo not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with azacitidine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Azacitidine can lower the 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. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What is azacitidine?

Azacitidine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Azacitidine is used to treat certain types of bone marrow cancers and blood cell disorders.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving azacitidine?

donotYou should not be given this medication if you are allergic to azacitidine or mannitol, or if you have advanced liver cancer.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. Before you receive azacitidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • a history of liver cancer.
nopregFDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive azacitidine without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 4 weeks after you stop using azacitidine.

nobrfeedIt is not known whether azacitidine passes into breast milk, but it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. You may need to either stop nursing or stop receiving azacitidine.

How is azacitidine given?

Azacitidine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein, or as a shot given under the skin. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Azacitidine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 40 minutes to complete. If you are receiving a shot under your skin, you may require two injections to complete your dose.

You may also be given medications to reduce nausea and vomiting while you are receiving azacitidine.

emtThis medication is usually given for 7 days in a row every 4 weeks for at least 4 treatment cycles. Your treatment schedule may be different. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Tell your caregiver right away if this medication accidentally gets on your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Azacitidine can lower the 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. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss an appointment for your azacitidine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while using azacitidine?

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid getting any of this medicine on your skin. If this does happen, tell your caregiver right away and wash the area with soap and warm water.

donotDo not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with azacitidine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

What are the possible side effects of azacitidine?

emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
emtCall your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • dry mouth, increased thirst, confusion, increased urination, muscle pain or weakness, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • pain, itching, burning, bleeding, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • redness where the injection was given;
  • headache; or
  • joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect azacitidine?

There may be other drugs that can interact with azacitidine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about azacitidine.


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.

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