Posted on April 28th, 2009 by
Generic Name : Azacitadine (aye-zuh-CYE-ta-deen)
Trade Name: Vidaza™
For which conditions is this drug approved? Azacitadine is FDA-approved for the treatment of the following types of myelodysplastic syndromes: refractory anemia or refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (if accompanied by neutropenia or thrombocytopenia or requiring transfusions), refractory anemia with excess blasts, and refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation, and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.
What is the mechanism of action? Azacitadine belongs to a group of drugs called a nucleoside analogue. Azacitadine produces its anti-cancer effects by inhibiting the ability of DNA replication. The suppression of DNA replication tends to affect faster replicating cells, such as cancer cells, ultimately causing cellular death.
How is azacitadine typically given (administered)? Azacitadine is typically administered subcutaneously (injection under the skin). The dose and scheduling in which azacitadine is administered is dependent upon many factors, including the condition being treated, the particular treatment regimen being utilized, the patient’s height and weight, overall health, and the patient’s tolerance of therapy. Patients may also receive anti-nausea medication prior to treatment with azacitadine.
How are patients typically monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with azacitadine. Typically, blood may be drawn to check levels of blood cells and to monitor functions of some organ systems, such as the kidneys or liver. Physical examinations, scans, or other measures may also be utilized to assess side effects and response to therapy.
What are the common (occur in 30% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with azacitadine?
What are the less common (occur in 10% to 29% of patients) side effects of treatment with azacitadine?
What are the rare (occur in less than 10% of patients) side effects of treatment with azacitadine?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting chemotherapy?
When should patients notify their physician?
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug.By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
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