We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Decitabine?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Decitabine is a chemotherapy drug a doctor may prescribe to treat a patient with myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition where the bone marrow produces cancerous cells. A number of cancers fall into this group, and there are a variety of treatment options available. Before a doctor determines a course of treatment, she will evaluate the patient carefully to learn more about the cancer and any risk factors that might make use of a particular medication inadvisable. This process can include medical imaging, blood tests, and patient interviews to collect medical history.

This medication works by blocking cell growth to prevent the production of cancerous cells. Inevitably, it also limits the growth of normal cells, and this drug has an immunosuppressive effect. While on decitabine, patients will have low white blood cell counts. This exposes them to the risk of infection and makes it harder to fight off infections. Patients with normally minor infections can get very sick, and it is important to avoid live vaccines, people known to carry infections, and environments where infectious organisms are likely to be present, like crowded rooms.

Patients receive decitabine by injection in a doctor's office, clinic, or cancer treatment center. They may need to wait after their injections so nurses can monitor them for adverse reactions. These reactions can onset suddenly and may be very dangerous. Once the patient appears stable, she can be released to go home or return to her hospital room. Patients should make sure to communicate about anything abnormal they notice after their injections, as this could be a sign of a bad reaction.

Decitabine can cause nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalances. Some patients experience high blood sugar and may feel lightheaded while on the drug. It is also a known teratogen and can damage DNA. Pregnant women should not take decitabine, and sexually active patients should exercise precautions to reduce the risk of pregnancy. If a patient becomes pregnant while on this drug or while her partner is using it, she should contact a doctor immediately for advice and recommendations.

Liver or kidney disease can make a patient a poor candidate for decitabine treatment. These patients may have trouble metabolizing the medication and could experience more dangerous side effects. A doctor should carefully evaluate the patient before making a decision about whether to recommend decitabine. It may be possible to use it safely with supervision, while in other patients, the risks would outweigh the benefits.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.