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Dacarbazine

INFORMATION

Uses

Dacarbazine is used in the treatment of ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma and Hodgkin’s disease (a cancer of the lymph glands).

How it works

Dacarbazine belongs to a class of medications known as purine analogs. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Common side effects

Nausea, Paresthesia (tingling or pricking sensation), Anemia, Diarrhoea, Flushing, Hair loss, Influenza like symptoms, Loss of appetite, Sore mouth, Sore throat, Vomiting, Reduced blood platelets, Decreased white blood cell count

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Dacarbazine injection must be given under the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in giving chemotherapy medications for cancer.
  • You should not eat anything for 4 to 6 hours before taking dacarbazine injection. This may help prevent severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Dacarbazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Avoid any unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Dacarbazine can cause a severe decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow increasing the risk of developing serious infection or bleeding. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms, such as, fever, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising. 
  • Dacarbazine may cause serious or life-threatening liver damage. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms, such as nausea, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, lack of energy, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
  • It is advisable for men undergoing dacarbazine treatment to take contraceptive measures during and for 6 months after termination of therapy.
  • Do not drink alcohol while on dacarbazine treatment.
  • Do not drive or operate machines while using dacarbazine.

Frequently asked questions

Dacarbazine

Q.What is dacarbazine used for?
Dacarbazine is used to treat skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (malignant melanoma), cancer of the white blood cell (Hodgkin's lymphoma) and advanced adult soft tissue sarcomas (cancer of soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, fat, and blood vessels)

Q.How is dacarbazine administered/ how is dacarbazine given/ why is dacarbazine given as an infusion?
Dacarbazine is administered as infusion or injection. Absorption by mouth is slow and varies therefore intravenous (infusion or injection) administration is preferred

Q.Does dacarbazine work/ how effective is dacarbazine?
Dacarbazine is effective if taken at recommended dosage and duration as advised by your doctor

Q.Is dacarbazine a vesicant?
Dacarbazine is a potent vesicant (it is corrosive), and it should be carefully administered to avoid the risk of extravasation (leaking into the tissues)

Q.Does dacarbazine cause hair loss?
Yes. Hair loss is a common side effect of dacarbazine.


Content on this page was last updated on 18 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)