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Facts of Vidaza (5 Azacytidine) ?

  • Medicine Name: Vidaza
  • Generic Name: 5 Azacytidine
  • Company Name: Celgene Corp.
  • Available as (Form & Strength): 100mg

Product Description

What Vidaza (5-Azacitidine) is used for:

  • Treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Drug type: 5-Azacitidine is an anti-cancer (“antineoplastic” or “cytotoxic”) chemotherapy drug. This medication is classified as an “antimetabolite” and a “demethylation” agent. (For more detail, see “How this drug works” section below.)


  • Before starting azacitidine treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
  • Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking azacitidine.
  • Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment.
  • Pregnancy category D (azacitidine may be hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus.)
  • For both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking azacitidine. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
  • Do not breast feed while taking this medication.
  • Inform your physician of any history of liver or kidney disease you may have experienced before taking azacitidine

How this drug works:

Azacitidine is a member of a new class of drugs known as DNA “demethylating” agents. Methylation of DNA is a major mechanism that regulates gene expression in cells. When there is an increase in DNA methylation this can result in the blockage of the activity of “suppressor genes” that regulate cell division and growth. When suppressor genes are blocked, cell division becomes unregulated, allowing or promoting cancer.

Azacitidine’s anticancer effects are believed to be twofold. One way that it works is by demethylation or interfering with the methylation of DNA. By this process of demethylation, normal function to the tumor suppressor genes is restored, thus restoring control over cell growth.

Azacitidine also belongs to the category of chemotherapy called antimetabolites. Antimetabolites are very similar to normal substances within the cell. When the cells incorporate these substances into the cellular metabolism, they interact with a number of targets within the cell to produce a direct cytotoxic effect that causes death of rapidly dividing cancer cells.


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