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Precautions and Warnings With Dacarbazine

If you have problems with your liver or kidneys, talk to your healthcare provider about potential warnings and precautions that may apply to you before beginning treatment with dacarbazine. This chemotherapy treatment is not appropriate for some people, including those who are taking certain medications or who have certain allergies. Risks may also apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome®) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Dacarbazine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Like other chemotherapy medicines, dacarbazine can cause significant bone marrow depression, a condition in which the bone marrow does not make adequate amounts of blood cells. This can lead to serious problems, such as:
  • Your blood cell counts will be monitored closely using blood tests throughout treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend you miss a dose, or stop treatment altogether, if your blood cells counts become too low. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of bone marrow depression, such as:
    • Unusual bleeding or bruising
    • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, and aches and pains
    • Signs of anemia, such as tiredness, shortness of breath, or paleness.
  • This medication can cause liver damage. Although rare, the liver damage from dacarbazine has been reported to cause death. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Upper-right abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • Some people may experience a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis after receiving dacarbazine. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, face, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • This medication can cause skin irritation and tissue damage if it leaks from the vein during administration and comes into contact with body tissue. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience pain, stinging, burning, redness, or swelling at your injection site. He or she may be able to relieve some of the pain by applying hot packs to the area.
  • This drug caused cancer when given to rats and mice. It may increase the risk for developing other types of cancer in humans as well.
  • People receiving dacarbazine may experience significant nausea and vomiting, especially with the first few doses. Vomiting may last 1 to 12 hours, but usually gets better after the first one to two days of treatment. Limiting the amount of food you consume four to six hours before receiving your dose can help reduce this symptom. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience extreme or persistent nausea and vomiting, especially if you cannot keep down liquids, or if your symptoms persist for more than 12 hours.
  • You may be more sensitive to the sun during treatment. Make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and hat, if you will be outside.
  • Dacarbazine may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Dacarbazine).
  • Dacarbazine is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy (see DTIC-Dome and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known whether dacarbazine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see DTIC-Dome and Breastfeeding).
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Dacarbazine Chemotherapy Information

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