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azacitidine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving azacitidine (Vidaza)?

You should not be given this medication if you are allergic to azacitidine or mannitol, or if you have advanced liver cancer.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication. Before you receive azacitidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • a history of liver cancer.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not receive azacitidine without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 4 weeks after you stop using azacitidine.

It is not known whether azacitidine passes into breast milk, but it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. You may need to either stop nursing or stop receiving azacitidine.

How is azacitidine given (Vidaza)?

Azacitidine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein, or as a shot given under the skin. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Azacitidine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 40 minutes to complete. If you are receiving a shot under your skin, you may require two injections to complete your dose.

You may also be given medications to reduce nausea and vomiting while you are receiving azacitidine.

This medication 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.

Tell your caregiver right away if this medication accidentally gets on your skin. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Azacitidine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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