Dacarbazine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Dacarbazine Brand Name(s): Dacarbazine and Dacarbazine.

Uses

What is Dacarbazine used for?

Dacarbazine is commonly 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.

How should I take Dacarbazine?

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.

How do I store Dacarbazine?

Store in a refrigerator 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). After reconstitution and prior to use, the solution in the vial may be stored at 4°C for up to 72 hours or at normal room conditions (temperature and light) for up to 8 hours. If the reconstituted solution is further diluted in 5% dextrose injection, USP or sodium chloride injection, USP, the resulting solution may be stored at 4°C for up to 24 hours or at normal room conditions for up to 8 hours.

If you need to store dacarbazine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Dacarbazine?

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.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: 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).

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 drug may rarely 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 make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

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.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Dacarbazine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Dacarbazine. This Dacarbazine is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Dacarbazine?

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.

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

People using this medication may 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 ofside 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 right away 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.

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.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Dacarbazine?

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

Dacarbazine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Dacarbazine?

Dacarbazine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Dacarbazine?

Dacarbazine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Dacarbazine.

What is the dose of Dacarbazine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Melanoma

2 to 4.5 mg/kg IV once a day for 10 days, repeated every 4 weeks or 250 mg/m² IV once a day for 5 days, repeated every 3 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Hodgkin’s Disease

150 mg/m² IV once a day for 5 days, repeated every 4 weeks or 375 mg/m² IV once, repeated every 15 days in combination therapy.

Dose Adjustments

Doses are based on ideal body weight. Doses may depend upon the specific indication for use.

Precautions

Restriction of oral intake for 4 to 6 hours prior to treatment may help prevent GI adverse reactions. Dacarbazine should be used with caution in patients with renal and/or liver dysfunction.

Other Comments

The hematologic profile should be monitored. Hematopoietic toxicity may warrant suspension or cessation of therapy. Patients should be advised to use sunscreens and to avoid sun exposure following administration of this drug.

What is the dose of Dacarbazine for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Dacarbazine available?

Dacarbazine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Intravenous powder for injection

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Dacarbazine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 19, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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