Azacitidine is a medication used in the treatment of certain types of blood cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It belongs to a class of drugs known as hypomethylating agents.
Azacitidine works by inhibiting the activity of DNA methyltransferase enzymes, which are involved in the addition of methyl groups to DNA molecules. By blocking this process, azacitidine helps to restore normal DNA methylation patterns in cancer cells, leading to the reactivation of tumor suppressor genes and the inhibition of cancer cell growth.
The medication is typically administered via injection under the supervision of healthcare professionals in a hospital or clinical setting. The specific dosage and treatment regimen are determined by the healthcare provider based on the individual’s condition, response to therapy, and other factors.
Common side effects of azacitidine may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and low blood cell counts. More serious side effects, such as severe myelosuppression or liver toxicity, can occur but are less common. Regular monitoring of blood cell counts and liver function may be recommended during treatment.
Azacitidine should only be used under the guidance and prescription of a qualified healthcare professional experienced in the treatment of blood cancers. It may interact with other medications, so it is important to inform the healthcare provider about all medications being taken, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
In summary, azacitidine is a medication used in the treatment of certain types of blood cancers. It works by inhibiting DNA methylation to restore normal gene activity and inhibit cancer cell growth. Regular monitoring and adherence to healthcare provider instructions are important during azacitidine treatment.
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