Fight Infections with Low Cost Generic drug- Vidaza (Azacitidine) ®
The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of disorders or conditions in which the bone marrow produce problematic blood cells. There is a risk of life threatening infections and bleeding since the bone marrow cannot produce healthy blood cells. One third of these patients may lead to acute leukemia.
Because of MDS are an acquired stem cell disorders and result to bone marrow failure. Cases of mortality reported are due mostly to infection and bleeding. MDS is characterized by the susceptibility to life threatening infections and a risk to developing into leukemia.
Treatment of MDS
Azacitidine is classified in a group of medications called demethylation agents. It is the generic name of Vidaza®. These type of medications work by helping the bone marrow in order for it to produce normal blood cells, and fight off infection by killing the abnormal cells found in the bone marrow. Vidaza® (Azacitidine) works by switching off a protein and through the switching of genes, the cancer cells are stopped from growing and dividing. This results to the reduction of the number of abnormal cells and help control cell growth.
Indications and Usage
Vidaza ® Generic name Azacitidine is indicated for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome subtypes: refractory anemia (RA) or refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts, refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB), refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation (RAEB-T), and chronic melanocytic leukemia (CMMoL).
Dosage and Administration
Vidaza ® (Azacitidine) is given as a once-a-day subcutaneous (under the skin) injection or as an IV (intravenous) injection. Initial dose is 75mg/m2 daily for seven (7) days for four (4) weeks. Those who maintain Vidaza ® (Azacitidine) treatment, the dose may be increased to 100mg/m2 if no remarkable effect seen after two treatment cycles and if other than nausea and vomiting, no other toxicity is reported to have occurred.
It is recommended however that patients be treated for up to a minimum of 4 cycles. However, if the patient is continually benefitting from Azacitidine, treatment may be continued as necessary since partial or total response may go for more than 4 cycles of treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
“What happens if I miss a dose?”
Call your doctor as soon as possible if you missed an appointment for your Vidaza ® injection.
Some of the common Vidaza ® side effects may include fever, chills, bruising, or other signs of low blood cell counts; low potassium levels, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and a feeling of weakness or irritation where the injection was given.
“Is it safe for pregnant and nursing mothers?”
Because Vidaza® (Azacitidine) is harmful to the fetus, make sure to use effective contraception when you suspect possible pregnancy. Breastfeeding is also not advisable during this treatment because the drug may come through breastmilk.
Vidaza (Azacitidine) for Myelodysplastic Syndrome:
I had MDS which later evolved into Leukemia. I had traditional chemo sessions but had severe complications. I’m on my 4th cycle of Vidaza but some day cell counts are lower and some days they are simply back to normal. Problem is with my platelets. I have had a lot of blood transfusions but recently these blood transfusions had been significantly fewer. The doctors think that Vidaza starts working after the 6th cycle so that my platelet count will increase. They considered transplant but perhaps wait until the 9th cycle and decide since I’m really okay with Vidaza and I’m in total remission.
My sister had been diagnosed with Leukemia a few years back. She has been undergoing Vidaza for treatment. She had seven day treatments for a month and after 5 months she was in remission. She has been complaining fatigue and unfortunately she has had her share of vomiting and constipation but we’re still thankful for her remission.
I’m on the 3rd month of 7 days of injections brought from cancerdrugs.supply I had no extreme reactions except my skin would swell where the injections have been done and later they would peel. My white blood cells went down and then they eventually went back up. I’m just grateful that even though I have low hemoglobin and platelet count, blood transfusions are not necessary.