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Drug Guide    D   Dacarbazine

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   Dacarbazine

Dacarbazine
IV


Dacarbazine is used to treat certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer that has spread (metastatic malignant melanoma) and Hodgkin's disease. It is a cancer chemotherapy drug that is used alone or with other medications to slow or stop cancer cell growth.

 
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 Dacarbazine images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Dacarbazine

Uses
Dacarbazine is used to treat certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer that has spread (metastatic malignant melanoma) and Hodgkin's disease. It is a cancer chemotherapy drug that is used alone or with other medications to slow or stop cancer cell growth.
Notes
  • Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store the vials in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light.
  • Once the medication is mixed, consult your pharmacist about the expiration date of the solution.


How To Use
  • This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional.
  • It is given on a schedule as directed by your doctor.
  • Follow all instructions for proper mixing with IV solutions.
  • Before using, check the medication visually for particles or discoloration.
  • If either is present, do not use the solution.
  • If you have any questions about the use of this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.

Side Effects
  • See also Warning section.Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite commonly occur.
  • Vomiting may last up to 12 hours.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Eating several small meals, not eating for 4 to 6 hours before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen these effects.
  • These symptoms usually decrease after 1 to 2 days.
  • Diarrhea, flu-like symptoms (e.g., discomfort, uneasiness, body aches, headache), blurred vision, or flushing/numbness/tingling of the face may also occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Temporary hair loss may occur.
  • Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.Many people using this medication have serious side effects.
  • However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.If this medication leaks out of the vein into the tissue under the skin, it may cause serious tissue damage.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you experience pain, burning, redness, or swelling at the injection site.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mouth sores, confusion, seizures, sunburn (sun sensitivity).A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before using dacarbazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, blood disorders, decreased bone marrow function, current infections.Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received polio vaccine by mouth or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.Since this medication can increase your risk of developing serious infections, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Avoid contact with people who have illnesses that may spread to others (e.g., flu, chickenpox).To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like safety razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.This drug may infrequently cause blurred vision.
  • Use caution while driving, using machinery, or taking part in any other activity that requires alertness.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.This medication may rarely make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps.
  • Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Due to the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.This medication can affect sperm production in men.
  • Therefore, reliable forms of birth control should be used during treatment and for some time afterwards.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose
  • It is important that you receive each dose of this medication as scheduled.
  • If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs that may decrease bone marrow function (e.g., azathioprine, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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