1 What is Azacitidine?

Generic: Azacitidine (Subcutaneous Route)

Azacitidine is an antimetabolite drug that is used to treat certain kinds of cancer.

It acts by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and destroying those cells thereafter. This drug may also affect the growth of normal body cells, thus, other effects can occur. Serious effects that may occur must be reported to the doctor immediately.

2 What to Know Before Using

Tell to your doctor if you are allergic to Azacitidine or to any other medications.

There are no specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Azacitidine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are prone to have undesirable side effects which may require medical attention.

Pregnancy Category D – Do not use Azacitidine while you are pregnant as it can cause risk to the unborn baby. There are no sufficient studies whether Azacitidine can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Using this medicine with Live Rotavirus Vaccine is not recommended and you may not be required to use this medication. Otherwise, alternative medicine may be prescribed for your other medications.

Using this medicine with any of the following medications is usually not recommended, but with exception in some cases. Dosage or frequency of one or both of your medicines may be changed if both medicines are prescribed together.

This medicine is contraindicated for patients with:

3 Proper Usage

Tell your doctor if you experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain when using this medication.

The dose of this medicine varies for different patients. You should follow your doctor's orders or the instructions on the label. Do not change your dose unless your doctor tells you to do so. The dosage or frequency of the medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine and on the medical problem you are treating.

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions if you missed a dose of this medicine.


Your doctor will be checking you regularly for the effectiveness of the medication. Blood tests may be ordered as well for undesirable effects.

4 Precautions to Take

Your doctor will be checking you regularly for the effectiveness of the medication. Blood tests may be ordered as well for undesirable effects.

5 Potential Side Effects

If you are experiencing any of the following side effects, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

  • Black, Tarry stools
  • Bladder pain
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Cloudy urine
  • Body aches or pain
  • Burning or Stinging of skin
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Difficult breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Ear congestion
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Itching
  • Loss of voice
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea
  • Pain or Tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • Painful cold sores or blisters on lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • Painful or Difficult urination
  • Pain, Redness, Swelling, Tenderness, Warmth on skin
  • Pale skin
  • Pinpoint red spots on skin
  • Puffiness or Swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, Ulcers, or White spots on lips or in mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swollen glands
  • Tender, swollen glands in neck
  • Tightness in chest
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Voice changes
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Change in consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased urine
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased blood creatinine
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased thirst
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Numbness or Tingling in hands, feet, or lips
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Less serious side effects:

  • Acid or Sour stomach
  • Appetite decreased
  • Belching
  • Bleeding after defecation
  • Bloody nose
  • Blurred vision
  • Bruise
  • Bumps on skin
  • Burning, Crawling, Itching, Numbness, Prickling, "Pins and Needles"; or Tingling feelings
  • Burning while urinating
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • Difficulty in moving
  • Discouragement
  • Dizziness, Faintness, or Lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • Dry skin
  • Fainting
  • Fear
  • Feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Feeling of sluggishness
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Feeling unusually cold
  • Flushing
  • Full or Bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Heart murmur
  • Indigestion
  • Inflamed tissue from infection at the site of injection
  • Injection site bruising
  • Irritability
  • Itching at injection site
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Large, Flat, Blue or Purplish patches in the skin
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Mouth hemorrhage
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Nervousness
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in joints
  • Postnasal drip
  • Post procedural hemorrhage
  • Redness of skin
  • Shivering
  • Sleeplessness
  • Small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lung when listening with a stethoscope
  • Small lumps under the skin
  • Small red or purple spots in mouth
  • Soreness or Discomfort to touch or pressure on stomach
  • Stomach discomfort upset or pain
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of abdominal or stomach area
  • Swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • Swelling or Inflammation of the mouth
  • Swelling with pits or depressions visible on skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Tongue ulceration
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Uncomfortable swelling around anus
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Unusually warm skin
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.