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Azacitidine (Injection)

Azacitidine (ay-za-SYE-ti-deen)

Treats myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Brand Name(s):

Novaplus Azacitidine, Vidaza

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to azacitidine or mannitol, you are pregnant, or you have advanced liver cancer.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You may also receive medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or any infections.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blood in your urine or stools
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful urination
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion, extreme tiredness, or drowsiness
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot is given
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish skin
  • Skin wound that does not heal or looks infected (red and swollen)
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, feet, or face
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache or arm, leg, joint, or back pain
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Nervousness, increased sweating, depression, or trouble sleeping
  • Tooth pain, swelling in your gums, mouth sores, or trouble swallowing

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 9/4/2014


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