What Azacitidine is and what it is used for?
- Azacitidine is classified as an anticancer antimetabolites. This drug kills abnormal blood cells in bone marrow that have grown too fast and do not work properly.
- Azacitidine is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). This medicine may also be used to treat other blood cancers. As determined by your doctor.
How Azacitidine is given?
- Azacitidine is injected under the skin. The injection will be given into your thigh, abdomen or upper arm. The injection site will be rotated each time.
What should I know while receiving Azacitidine?
- You might have stinging or a dull ache for a short time after injection. The skin in the injection site may go red and itchy for a while. These reactions typically occur within 1-2 days and usually disappear on their own.
- Do not receive this drug when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 6 months after the treatment ends.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- You will have regular blood tests during treatment. Blood tests help your doctor understand how well azacitidine is working and monitor any side effect you might get.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of azacitidine. Let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially if you have liver or kidney problems.
- There are many drugs may affect how azacitidine works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Nausea and vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Diarrhea or constipation
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve the symptoms.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
Less common side effects
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Muscle or joint pain
Talk to the doctor if the pain is bothering you, they can give you medicine to help ease pain.
Tell your doctor if this happens. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking any pain relievers.
- Cough or trouble breathing
Azacitidine may affect how you breathe. Tell your doctor if you develop difficulty breathing with wheezing and coughing or there is any existing breathing problems get worse.
- Difficulty sleeping
Talk to your doctor if this bothers you. Treatments usually include lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.