This medication may often cause serious blood disorders (decreased bone marrow function leading to a low number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). These effects can cause anemia, lower your body's ability to fight an infection, and increase your risk of bleeding. Dacarbazine may also cause rare but serious liver problems. These side effects may rarely be life-threatening. Your doctor will monitor you closely while you are receiving this medication.
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat), persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, stomach/abdominal pain.Who should not take dacarbazine intravenous?
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.
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. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.
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.
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.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using dacarbazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
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 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.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs that may decrease bone marrow function (e.g., azathioprine, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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