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Generic Name: Decitabine decitabine de-SIT-a’been [de-SIT-abeen].
Drug Class: Antimetabolites.

What is Dacogen?

Dacogen is a treatment for cancer that blocks the spread and growth of cancer cells within the body. Dacogen injections are used in the treatment of myelodysplastic diseases (certain forms of bone marrow or blood cancer). Dacogen can also be used to treat conditions that are not mentioned in this guide.


Dacogen affects your immune system. It can cause infections more frequently. Call your doctor for any unusual bruising or bleeding. You may also experience any other symptoms of an infection (fever, chills, fever, coughing, sore throat, and difficulty breathing).

Before getting an injection of Dacogen, inform your doctor that you suffer from kidney or liver disease. Don't use Dacogen when you are pregnant. It may harm your unborn baby. Utilize effective birth control and inform your doctor if you are pregnant while receiving treatment. If a man is fathering an infant while taking decitabine, it could be born with birth defects. Utilize a condom to avoid pregnancy during treatment. Use condoms at least for 2 months after you cease taking this medication. Breastfeeding is not advised while taking this medicine.

Before you take this drug

To ensure that Dacogen is suitable for you, ask your doctor if you have previously had:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.

You might need to undergo a pregnancy test that is negative prior to beginning this treatment. Decitabine could cause harm to an unborn baby as well as birth defects in the case that either the father or mother uses this medication.

  • If you're pregnant, do not use Dacogen in the event that you are expecting. Make sure you use effective birth control methods to avoid pregnancy while using the medication and for a minimum of 6 months following the last dose.
  • If you're male, use effective birth control when your partner can get pregnant. Continue using birth control for a minimum of 3 months following the last dose.
  • Contact your physician immediately. If you become pregnant when one of the parents or father is taking Dacogen.

Decitabine could impact fertility (the ability to bear children) in males. It is, however, important to utilize birth control to avoid pregnancy since decitabine could affect the unborn baby. It is not recommended to breastfeed while taking Dacogen or for at least two weeks after the dose you last took.

How to take Dacogen?

Dacogen is administered as an injection into the vein. The healthcare professional will give the injection. In the majority of cases, the Dacogen injection is administered every 3 days for 8 hours. This three-day course is generally repeated every six weeks, at least four times. You could also receive other medications to treat the nausea and vomiting during the time you take Dacogen. Decitabine can affect the body's immune system. You could contract infections more frequently, even severe or fatal infections. Your doctor should check on you regularly.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Myelodysplastic Syndrome:

Treatment Regimen Option 1:
15 mg/m2 IV for three hours Repeat every 8 hours for 3 days. Repeat this process every six weeks. Patients may be prescribed the standard antiemetic treatment.
If the hematologic recovery (ANC 1,000/mcL or more and platelets greater than 50,000/mcL) from a prior treatment requires more than six weeks, the next one should be delayed and doses gradually reduced using this method:
Recovery that takes more than six weeks but not more than eight weeks. Stop doses for a maximum of 2 weeks, and then reduce dosing to 11 mg/m2 each eight hours (33 mg/m2/day, 99 mg/m2/cycle) after restarting therapy.
Recovery requiring more than 8 but not more than 10 months: Examine your patient for the progression of disease (by taking bone aspirates of the marrow). In the absence of disease progression, the dose is recommended to be delayed for 2 weeks more and then decreased to 11 mg/m2 IV once every eight hours (33 mg/m2/day, 99 mg/m2/cycle) after restarting therapy. The dose is then increased or maintained throughout subsequent cycles according to clinical indications.
Treatment Regimen Option 2:
20 mg/m2 IV for 1 hour; repeat each day for 5 days. Repeat this procedure every 4 weeks. Patients might be prescribed antiemetic therapies.
If myelosuppression is present, subsequent treatment cycles must wait until a complete improvement (ANC of 1,000/mcL or higher and platelets of 50,000/mcL or more).
Comments: With either treatment, it is suggested that patients be treated for at least four cycles. However, an entire or partial response can require more than four cycles.
Perform a total count of platelets and blood prior to each cycle and as often as necessary to evaluate the reaction and toxicity.
Perform liver chemistry as well as serum creatinine prior to the start of treatment.
Use: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), both previously treated and untreated, de novo, or secondary in origin are eligible for treatment using this drug, including previously untreated, de novo, de novo secondary forms with French-American-British subtypes of MDS such as Refractory anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts; Refractory anemia With Excess Blasts In Transformations and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia); Intermediate-1, Intermediate-2 or high risk International Prognostic Scoring System groups are all eligible.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Consult your physician for the appropriate treatment in the event that you don't make an appointment to receive a Dacogen injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Because this medication is administered by a health expert in a medical environment, the risk of overdose is less likely to occur.

What should be avoided?

Beware of those with illnesses or suffering from infections. Inform your doctor immediately when you begin to show symptoms of an infection. Avoid activities that increase the chances of sustaining injuries or bleeding. Make sure you take extra precautions to avoid bleeding when shaving or brushing your teeth.

Side effects of Dacogen

See a doctor immediately in the event that you exhibit symptoms that you are experiencing an allergic reaction to Dacogen, such as hives or breathing difficulties and swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face.

Contact your doctor immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Fever chills, fever, throat sore.
  • Mouth sores Mouth sores, gums that are red or swollen, or skin sores.
  • Simple bleeding, the unusual appearance of red or purple spots beneath your skin.
  • Pale skin or feet that are cold and dry.
  • Cough sensation in the chest, chest pain, feeling out of breath.

This is not a comprehensive list of all the side effects. Others could happen. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical effects. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

Other medications can be incompatible with decitabine, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your doctor about all your medications currently in use as well as any medications you are about to start or stop taking.