Brand Names

Dacogen® (There may be other names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

Decitabine is given by infusion into a vein (intravenous or IV). Infusions generally last between 1-3 hours.

Why is Decitabine Used?

This drug is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) – a group of conditions in which the bone marrow produces abnormally shaped blood cells instead of healthy blood cells.

How Does it Work?

Decitabine belongs to two classes of medications because it seems to work in 2 ways. First, it is a demethylating agent. Demethylation restores normal function to a cell’s tumor suppressing genes. Once the tumor suppressing genes are working again, they can control the growth and reproduction of cells. This helps your bone marrow to make normal blood cells.

Secondly, decitabine is an antimetabolite. Antimetabolites are very similar to normal substances found in a cell. When the cancer cell takes in the decitabine, it can no longer multiply (reproduce). If the cells are unable to multiply, they die.

Continue Reading Detailed Drug Profile