Azacytidine review

Azacytidine is a medicament used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome (Myelodysplastic syndromes), a type of bone marrow disease that typically precedes leukemia. Myelodysplastic syndromes is diagnosed by the improper functioning of the bone marrow. When bone marrow cells are deformed, this leads to a decrease in blood production.

Azacytidine improves the bone marrow function by binding to the DNA and RNA, and improving blood production by killing off abnormal cells. In a test done on Azacytidine use, patients who previously needed blood transfusions for Myelodysplastic syndromes no longer needed it after being treated with Azacytidine, and 16% reported full return of bone marrow structure and blood cell count.

Azacytidine is used to treat Myelodysplastic syndromes and its subtypes such as various refractory anemia, including those with ringed sideroblasts, excess blasts, and excess blasts in transformation. It is even used in the treatment of some leukemia such as chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia and refractory acute myelogenous leukemia.

Azacytidine is available as a powder that is readily soluble in water and can be administered subcutaneously or intravenously by a doctor or nurse. Treatment usually consists of a once-a-day injection for seven days, and may be repeated after 4 weeks. Doctors typically prescribe 4 treatments at a time. However, doses may be increased after two cycles if significant improvement is not evident and no adverse side effects are seen. Conversely, subsequent treatments may be delayed or doses reduce if adverse side effects are evident. It is important to communicate with your doctor regarding any effects felt while undergoing treatment. The dose is dependent on the patient's weight, previous treatment history and other assessments made by your doctor. The doctor may also use Azacytidine in other related conditions if found to work effectively.

Known side effects of Azacytidine treatment may include nausea, diarrhoea or constipation, mouth sores, tiredness, cramps, back and arthralgia, perspiration, swelling of ankles, hands and feet, rashes and reddening of skin and weakness. If you experience any of these conditions, consult your doctor.

A low white blood count may be experienced in between sessions. During this period you may be susceptible to infections. This low point is temporary, lasting usually 10-17 days but possibly taking 28-31 days to recover.

Serious side effects that require immediate medical attention may include pale skin, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, bruising or bleeding, nosebleed, signs of infection such as a fever and sore throat, and red or purple dots on the skin. Consult your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur.

Inform you doctor of any medicament you are currently taking as well as any present medicament allergies you have. Also, avoid taking aspirin while undergoing treatment unless your doctor specifically allows this.

Do not take any form of immunization such as vaccines while on Azacytidine. The lowered white blood cell count may leave you in danger.

Azacytidine may be harmful to a developing fetus if you are pregnant and may also affect fertility if you are planning to become pregnant. Contraceptives may also interact with the medicament and barrier methods such as condoms are preferred. Avoid breastfeeding during this period as well.

Azacytidine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of azacytidine

• Molecular formula of azacytidine is C8H12N4O5
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 4-amino-1-[3,4-dihydroxy-5-(hydroxymethyl)oxolan-2-yl]-1,3,5-triazin-2-one
• Molecular weight is 244.205 g/mol
Azacytidine available : 100mg tablets

Generic name: Azacitidine

Brand name(s): Azacitidina, Azacitidinum, Ladakamycin, Mylosar, Vidaza

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