Specialty Drug


AZACITIDINE is a chemotherapy drug. This medicine reduces the growth of cancer cells and can suppress the immune system. It is used for treating myelodysplastic syndrome or some types of leukemia. Compare nucleoside metabolic inhibitors.

Vidaza Side Effects

What should I watch for?

Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

Both men and women must use effective birth control with this medicine.


Interactions with Medications

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Black, tarry stools

bladder pain

bleeding gums

blood in the urine or stools

cloudy urine

body aches or pain

burning or stinging of the skin

chest pain




difficult breathing

difficulty swallowing


ear congestion

fast heartbeat


frequent urge to urinate


hives, itching, or skin rash


loss of voice

lower back or side pain

muscle aches

nasal congestion


pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones

painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals

painful or difficult urination

pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, warmth on the skin

pale skin

pinpoint red spots on the skin

puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue

rapid heartbeat

runny nose


sore throat

sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth

stuffy nose

swollen glands

tender, swollen glands in the neck

tightness in the chest

troubled breathing with exertion

unusual bleeding or bruising

unusual tiredness or weakness

voice changes


Less common

Change in consciousness


decreased urine


dry mouth

increased thirst

irregular heartbeat

loss of appetite

mood changes

muscle pain or cramps

numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips

loss of consciousness

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose




Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Acid or sour stomach

appetite decreased


bleeding after defecation

bloody nose

blurred vision


bumps on the skin

burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings

burning while urinating


difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)

difficulty with moving


dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position

dry skin



feeling of discomfort or illness

feeling of sluggishness

feeling sad or empty

feeling unusually cold


full or bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach


heart murmur


inflamed tissue from infection at the injection site

injection site bruising


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


night sweats

pain in the joints

postnasal drip

post procedural hemorrhage

redness of the skin


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 the mouth

soreness or discomfort to touch or pressure on the stomach

stomach discomfort upset or pain


swelling of abdominal or stomach area

swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

swelling or inflammation of the mouth

swelling with pits or depressions visible on the skin

swollen joints

tongue ulceration

trouble concentrating

trouble sleeping

uncomfortable swelling around the anus

unusual drowsiness

unusually warm skin

upper abdominal or stomach pain

weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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