What is Dacarbazine?

  • Dacarbazine is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug used in combination with other approved anti- cancer drugs to slow or stop cancer cell growth.
  • Dacarbazine is an imidazole carboxamide derivative which is available in vial form for Intravenous injection.
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Uses of Dacarbazine:

  • Malignant melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
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How does Dacarbazine work?

  • Dacarbazine causes alkylation of DNA and affects regulation of gene expression thus slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.
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How to Take Dacarbazine?

  • Dacarbazine is administered intravenously along with extensive hydration after visually inspecting for particulate matter or discolouration before administration.
  • To prevent nausea and vomiting, avoid eating anything for 4-6 hours before injection.

Common Dosage for Dacarbazine:

  • The recommended dose of Dacarbazine for malignant melanoma in adults is 2-4.5mg/kg IV once a day for 10 days repeated every 4 weeks.
  • For patients with Hodgkin’s disease, recommended dose is 150mg/m2 IV once a day for 5 days repeated every 4 weeks or 375mg/m2 IV once repeated every 15 days.
  • Dose adjustment should be considered for elderly and patients with liver and kidney diseases.

When to avoid Dacarbazine and precautions to take?

Dacarbazine should not be used or should be used with caution when:

  • Allergic to any of its components
  • Patients with liver and kidney disease
  • Pregnant and lactating females
  • Patients with blood disorders

Side effects of Dacarbazine?

  • Dacarbazine may produce multiple side effects, although they may not be common in all the patients. Commonly observed side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Alopecia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Immunosuppresion (increased risk of infections)
  • Fever and chills
  • Confusion
  • Kidney damage
  • Injection site reactions (redness, pain)

Effects on organs?

  • Dacarbazine can lead to immunosuppresion and thus increased chances of infection. Continuous monitoring of blood cells should be done prior to and at intervals after treatment.
  • Patients with liver and kidney disease should administer Dacarbazine with caution.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Allergy with Dacarbazine may exhibit following symptoms:
  • Rash
  • Chest tightness
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • Consult your doctor before administering any other drugs concomitantly with Dacarbazine. All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important ones include:
  • Azathioprine
  • Trimethoprim
  • Levadopa
  • Phenytoin
  • Ritonavir
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Shows Effects / Results In:

  • The time required by Dacarbazine to show its desired effect varies from person to person and depends on the clinical situation.

Storage of Dacarbazine

  • Storage at room temperature away from direct heat and light.
  • Keep medicines away from children and pets.

Pro Tips When Taking Dacarbazine:

  • Patients with long term use of Dacarbazine are associated with increased rate of opportunistic infections which may sometimes be serious and fatal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dacarbazine addictive?

  • No such tendency has been reported.

Can I have Dacarbazine with alcohol?

  • Interaction of Dacarbazine with alcohol is unknown. But it may increase the incidence of hepatic (liver) damage when administered concomitantly.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • No such interaction with food products observed..

Can I have Dacarbazine when Pregnant?

  • Dacarbazine is contraindicated in pregnant women as it may cause foetal damage.

Can I have Dacarbazine when feeding a baby?

  • Women should be advised not to administer Dacarbazine while lactating.

Can I drive after taking Dacarbazine?

  • Dacarbazine does not usually affect your ability to drive.

What happens if I overdose on Dacarbazine?

  • It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose or frequency.
  • In cases of over dosage, observe the patient and supportive therapy is administered.

What happens if I eat expired Dacarbazine?

  • The medicine may not work as well as the potency of the medicines decreases and also it may lead to some adverse effects.

What happens if I miss a dose of Dacarbazine?

  • Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember. But, if it is already time for the next dose – do not double the dose.

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