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Form of dosage: intravenous powder for injection (50 mg).
Drug class: antimetabolites

What is Decitabine?

Decitabine, a chemotherapy drug, is used for the treatment of myelodysplastic disorders (certain forms of cancer in the blood and bone marrow). This medication guide does not list all possible uses for Decitabine.

Side effects of Decitabine

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergy: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling in your lips, face, throat, or tongue

There are serious side effects that can occur with decitabine. If you experience:

  • sore throat,
  • Skin sores or sores on the lips; gums that are red and swollen; sores in the mouth;
  • Easy bruising or bleeding; purple or red patches under the skin
  • Pale skin and cold feet or hands
  • Cough with mucus and chest pain are symptoms that make one feel short of breath and reduce breathing capacity.

Decitabine can cause the following side effects:

  • Fever or other symptoms of infection.

There may be other side effects.Call your physician if experiencing adverse side effects and report it by calling the FDA's hotline: 1-800-FDA-1088 for guidance on reporting them.


Your immune system is affected by decitabine. Your immune system may be affected, causing you to get more infections, including serious and fatal ones.

Before you take this drug

If you've ever:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver Disease.

Before starting the treatment, you may be required to take a pregnancy test. Decitabine may cause birth defects or harm to an unborn child if either the mother or father uses it.

  • Do not take decitabine while pregnant if you're a female. You should use birth control while taking this medication and at least six months after the last dose.
  • Use effective birth control if you're a male. Continue to use birth control at least three months after your last dose.
  • Do not wait to tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using decitabine.

The ability to have children with males may be affected by this medicine. It is still important to avoid pregnancy, as decitabine may harm the unborn child. While taking decitabine, you should refrain from breastfeeding for 2 weeks following your last dose.

How to take Decitabine?

An injection of decitabine into the vein is administered. This injection will be given by a healthcare professional. Decitabine is usually injected every eight hours over a period of three days. The 3-day treatment will usually be repeated at least four times every six weeks. While you receive decitabine, other medicines may be prescribed to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Your immune system is affected by decitabine. Your immune system may be affected, causing you to get more infections. This could include serious and fatal ones. You will have to be examined by your doctor on a regular schedule.

Details on dosage

Adult dose for myelodysplastic syndrome:

Patients may receive standard antiemetic treatment prior to the administration of 15 mg/m2 intravenously every eight hours for three days.
This algorithm should be followed if hematologic recovery (ANC 1000/mcL and greater and platelets 50 000/mcL) is more than six weeks.
When starting therapy, if recovery requires more than 6 weeks but less than 8, delay dosing by up to two weeks. Temporarily reduce the dose of 11 mg/m2 intravenously every eight hours (33 mg/m2/day; 99 mg/cycle).
If recovery is expected to take more than 8 weeks but not more than 10, assess the patient's disease progress (by bone-marrow aspirates). In the absence of progression, the dose can be deferred for up to two more weeks and reduced to 11 mg/m2 every eight hours (33 mg/m2/day) at the time of restarting the therapy.
Option 2: TREATMENT Regimen
Patients may receive standard antiemetic treatment prior to administration.
The next treatment cycle should not be started until hematologic improvement is achieved (ANC of 1,000/mcL and/or greater, or platelets at 50,000/mcL).
It is suggested that either treatment regimen be followed for at least four cycles. However, some patients may not respond to the treatments after four cycles.
Perform complete platelet and blood counts before each cycle and whenever necessary to monitor the response to treatment and assess toxicity.
Perform liver chemistries and measure serum creatinine before starting therapy.
Use: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including previously treated and untreated cases of MDS diagnosed as French American British subtypes such as Refractory anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts; Refractory Anemia With Excess Blasts In Transformation And Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia), are treated according to Intermediate-1, Intermediate-2 or high risk International Prognostic Scoring System Groups.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are unable to maintain your scheduled decitabine infusion, call your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Decitabine will be administered by healthcare professionals in a medical environment, so an overdose should not occur.

What should be avoided?

Stay away from people with infections or illnesses. If you notice any signs of an infection, tell your doctor immediately. Be careful to avoid activities that may cause injury or bleeding. Take extra precautions to avoid bleeding when shaving or cleaning your teeth.

Interaction with other drug

Decitabine may interact with other drugs, such as prescription medicines, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you stop or start using.