Azacitidine is used to treat a blood disorder in which the bone marrow is not working properly and does not produce enough mature blood cells.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
Azacitidine injection is to be given intravenously (into the vein). It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
It may also be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, abdomen area or upper arm).
The dose, route and schedule of administration of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Azacitidine.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have advanced liver cancer as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not use Azacitidine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- heart disease
- lung disease
It is important that you do not get pregnant or father a child while you are being treated with Azacitidine. You and your partner must use proven birth control methods during the treatment and for 3 months after stopping the treatment. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy tests may be done routinely to check the appropriateness of the treatment.
- Your doctor may also need to do blood tests, lung, liver and kidney function tests. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Azacitidine may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, stomach pain, mouth sore or irritation, lack of appetite, headache, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, muscle or joint pain, and injection site pain, redness, or swelling.
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- live vaccines e.g. BCG
- medicines for blood disorders e.g. deferiprone
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. tacrolimus
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Azacitidine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Protect from light. Light may cause the medication to lose some of its effectiveness.
Do not use this medicine if it becomes cloudy or if it has changed in colour.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.