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Dacogen Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Dacogen

Generic Name: decitabine (Pronunciation: de SIT a been)

What is decitabine (Dacogen)?

Decitabine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Decitabine is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (certain types of blood or bone marrow cancer).

Decitabine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of decitabine (Dacogen)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, cough, sore throat, flu symptoms;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
  • stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath, cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness anywhere on your body; or
  • electrolyte imbalance (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, jerking muscle movements, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;
  • tired feeling;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation;
  • cough;
  • increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, drowsiness;
  • joint pain; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Dacogen (decitabine injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about decitabine (Dacogen)?

Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

Do not use decitabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

If a man fathers a child while using this medication, the baby may have birth defects. Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 2 months after you stop receiving decitabine.

You should not breast-feed while you are receiving decitabine.

Decitabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Side Effects Centers

Additional Dacogen Information

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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