DACARBAZINE

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): DTIC-Dome

GENERIC NAME(S): DACARBAZINE

 

Description: Dacarbazine is a cancer medication under the alkylating agent group.  It appears to form methylcarbonium ions that attack nucleophilic groups. It also cross-links DNA strands leading to inhibition of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.  This interferes in the growth in cancer cells and can eventually kill it.
Pharmacokinetics: 
Absorption: Poorly absorbed from the GI tract (oral).
Distribution: Crosses the blood-brain barrier; localised in the liver. Protein-binding: 5%.
Metabolism: Extensively hepatic.
Excretion: Urine (as unchanged drug). Elimination half-life: 20 min (initial), 5 hr (terminal).

Indications:

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.

Contraindications:

Should not be used in patients who have hypersensitivity reactions or allergic reactions to this drug.

How to use dacarbazine intravenous:

  • 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.

Blood disorder: This medication may often cause serious blood disorders, such as anemia, lower your body’s ability to fight an infection, and increase your risk of bleeding.

Liver problems: 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.

Common side effects:

  • Nausea,
  • vomiting, and
  • loss of appetite

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mouth sores, confusion, seizures, sunburn (sun sensitivity).

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.

Precautions:

  • Allergy: Before using dacarbazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Medical History: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you had: 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).
  • This drug may infrequently cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
  • 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.

Pregnancy Risk:  Category C.  During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Breastfeeding: 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.

Interactions:

Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs that may decrease bone marrow function (e.g., azathioprine, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole).

Overdose:

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

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.

Missed Dose

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.

Storage

Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.

Brands:

Available Brands

  • Arzi-200 [ Multicare ]
  • Duticin [ Korea United Pharma ]

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