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What is Vidaza?
Vidaza (azacitidine) is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Vidaza is used to treat certain types of bone marrow cancers and blood cell disorders.
Vidaza may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not receive Vidaza if you have liver cancer.
Vidaza can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
Before taking this medicine
You should not receive Vidaza if you are allergic to azacitidine or mannitol, or if you have:
- liver cancer.
To make sure Vidaza is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease; or
- a history of liver disease.
Do not use Vidaza if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving Vidaza, whether you are a man or a woman. If a man fathers a baby while using Vidaza, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment, and for at least 4 weeks after your treatment ends.
It is not known whether azacitidine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How is Vidaza given?
Vidaza is injected under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
This medicine 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.
You may also be given medications to reduce nausea and vomiting while you are receiving Vidaza.
Tell your caregiver right away if Vidaza accidentally gets on your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Azacitidine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Vidaza dosing information
Usual Adult Dose of Vidaza for Myelodysplastic Syndrome:
For use in the treatment of patients with the following myelodysplastic syndrome subtypes: refractory anemia or refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (if accompanied by neutropenia or thrombocytopenia or requiring transfusions), refractory anemia with excess blasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation, and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Initial Dose: 75 mg/m2 subcutaneously or intravenously daily for 7 days, every 4 weeks.
Maintenance Dose: The dose may be increased to 100 mg/m2 if no beneficial effect is seen after two treatment cycles and if no toxicity other than nausea and vomiting has occurred. It is recommended that patients be treated for a minimum of 4 cycles. However, complete or partial response may require more than 4 treatment cycles. Treatment may be continued as long as the patient continues to benefit.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Vidaza injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using Vidaza?
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient’s body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Do not receive a «live» vaccine while receiving Vidaza, 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. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Vidaza side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Vidaza: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe ongoing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- redness, swelling, warmth, oozing, or other signs of skin infection;
- stabbing chest pain, wheezing, cough with yellow or green mucus, feeling short of breath;
- low blood cell counts — fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, rapid heart rate, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling light-headed;
- kidney problems — lower back pain, blood in your urine, little or no urinating, swelling in your feet or ankles;
- liver problems — upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- low potassium — leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, extreme thirst, increased urination, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or
- signs of tumor cell breakdown — numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth; muscle weakness or tightness; fast or slow heart rate, weak pulse, feeling short of breath; confusion, fainting.
Common Vidaza side effects may include:
- fever, chills, bruising, or other signs of low blood cell counts;
- low potassium;
- nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea;
- weakness; or
- redness or other irritation where the injection was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Vidaza?
Other drugs may interact with azacitidine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.