PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!

DTIC (Generic Dacarbazine)

Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.


DTIC (dacarbazine) is a chemotherapy medication primarily used in the treatment of melanoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. While it can be effective in treating these conditions, it also carries several risks and potential side effects:

  • Bone marrow suppression: DTIC can reduce the production of blood cells in the bone marrow, leading to an increased risk of anemia, bleeding, and infection.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These are common side effects of DTIC treatment and can range from mild to severe.
  • Liver toxicity: DTIC can cause liver damage, which may manifest as elevated liver enzymes in blood tests or more severe liver dysfunction.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Patients may experience symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue resembling those of the flu.
  • Skin reactions: Some individuals may develop rashes, itching, or other skin reactions during treatment with DTIC.
  • Increased risk of secondary cancers: There is a small risk of developing secondary cancers, such as leukemia, after treatment with DTIC.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, DTIC can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • Infertility: DTIC may affect fertility in both men and women, leading to temporary or permanent infertility.
  • Other side effects: Other potential side effects of DTIC treatment include hair loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and changes in taste or smell.

It’s essential for patients receiving DTIC to be closely monitored by their healthcare team for any signs of adverse reactions, and to report any new or worsening symptoms promptly.

Why is this medication prescribed?

DTIC (dacarbazine) is prescribed primarily for the treatment of melanoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. It is a chemotherapy medication that works by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

How should this medicine be used?

DTIC is typically administered intravenously (IV) in a clinical setting such as a hospital or outpatient infusion center. The dosage and frequency of administration depend on various factors, including the type and stage of cancer being treated, the patient’s overall health, and other treatments they may be receiving concurrently.

The exact regimen and dosage of DTIC will be determined by the patient’s oncologist, who will tailor the treatment plan to suit the individual’s specific needs. Treatment schedules may vary, but DTIC is often given every few weeks in cycles, allowing the body time to recover between doses.

Before each dose of DTIC, patients will undergo routine blood tests to monitor their blood cell counts and overall health. Depending on the results, adjustments to the dosage or frequency of administration may be made to minimize side effects and ensure the most effective treatment.

It’s crucial for patients to follow their healthcare provider’s instructions carefully regarding the use of DTIC and to report any side effects or concerns promptly. Additionally, patients should discuss any questions or uncertainties about their treatment regimen with their healthcare team to ensure optimal care and management of their condition.

Other uses for this medicine

DTIC (dacarbazine) is primarily used for the treatment of melanoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcoma. However, it may also be used off-label or in clinical trials for other types of cancer, such as certain types of brain tumors and neuroendocrine tumors.

What special precautions should I follow?

When using DTIC, there are several special precautions that patients and healthcare providers should observe:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: DTIC can harm an unborn baby, so it should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Similarly, breastfeeding should be avoided while receiving DTIC treatment, as it may pass into breast milk and harm the nursing infant.
  • Liver and kidney function: Since DTIC is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys, patients with impaired liver or kidney function may require dose adjustments or closer monitoring to prevent toxicity.
  • Blood cell counts: DTIC can cause bone marrow suppression, leading to decreased production of blood cells. Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor blood cell counts during treatment, and dosage adjustments may be needed if significant decreases occur.
  • Allergic reactions: Patients should be monitored for signs of allergic reactions during DTIC infusion, such as rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue. Immediate medical attention is required if an allergic reaction occurs.
  • Sun sensitivity: DTIC treatment may increase sensitivity to sunlight, leading to an increased risk of sunburn. Patients should take precautions to protect their skin from sun exposure, such as wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure.
  • Infection risk: Since DTIC can suppress the immune system, patients are at increased risk of infections. Avoiding close contact with sick individuals and practicing good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, can help reduce the risk of infection.
  • Other medications and supplements: Patients should inform their healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products they are taking, as some may interact with DTIC and affect its efficacy or increase the risk of side effects.
  • Fertility: DTIC may cause temporary or permanent infertility in both men and women. Patients concerned about fertility preservation should discuss options with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.

By following these precautions and working closely with their healthcare team, patients can maximize the benefits of DTIC treatment while minimizing the risk of adverse effects.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with DTIC. However, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can support overall health and may help mitigate some side effects of chemotherapy. It’s essential to stay hydrated and consume a variety of nutritious foods to support your body’s strength and resilience during treatment.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of DTIC, contact your healthcare provider or oncology team for guidance as soon as possible. They will advise you on the best course of action based on your treatment schedule and individual circumstances. In some cases, the missed dose may be rescheduled, while in others, it may be skipped entirely, depending on how close it is to the next scheduled dose. Never double up on doses unless specifically instructed to do so by your healthcare provider. Consistent adherence to your treatment schedule is crucial for the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

What side effects can this medication cause?

DTIC (dacarbazine) chemotherapy can cause various side effects, which may vary in severity depending on individual factors such as overall health, dosage, and duration of treatment. Common side effects of DTIC may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These are among the most common side effects of chemotherapy and may occur shortly after treatment.
  • Bone marrow suppression: DTIC can suppress the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, leading to a decrease in white blood cells (which fight infections), red blood cells (which carry oxygen), and platelets (which help with blood clotting). This can result in an increased risk of infection, fatigue, and easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Hair loss (alopecia): Many chemotherapy drugs, including DTIC, can cause hair loss. Hair loss may be partial or complete and can occur on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hair.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Some individuals may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue during or shortly after DTIC treatment.
  • Skin reactions: DTIC may cause skin reactions such as rash, itching, or sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity).
  • Liver toxicity: DTIC can affect liver function, leading to elevated liver enzymes in blood tests or more severe liver dysfunction.
  • Digestive issues: DTIC may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, DTIC can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • Infertility: DTIC may affect fertility in both men and women, leading to temporary or permanent infertility.
  • Increased risk of secondary cancers: There is a small risk of developing secondary cancers, such as leukemia, after treatment with DTIC.

It’s important for patients undergoing DTIC treatment to communicate any side effects they experience with their healthcare provider promptly. Many side effects can be managed or mitigated with supportive care measures or adjustments to the treatment plan. Additionally, healthcare providers may prescribe medications or recommend lifestyle changes to alleviate certain side effects and improve quality of life during chemotherapy.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: DTIC is typically stored in a healthcare facility or pharmacy where it is prepared and administered by healthcare professionals. If you are provided with DTIC for home use, follow the storage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Generally, DTIC should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Unused or expired DTIC should be disposed of properly to prevent accidental exposure. Do not dispose of DTIC in household trash or flush it down the toilet unless instructed to do so. Instead, follow local regulations for the disposal of hazardous waste or return any unused medication to a pharmacy or healthcare facility for proper disposal.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek medical help: If you or someone else may have overdosed on DTIC, call emergency services (such as 911 in the United States) or your local poison control center immediately. Provide as much information as possible about the medication ingested, including the dosage and time of ingestion.
  • Symptom management: While waiting for medical assistance, monitor the individual for signs of overdose and provide supportive care as needed. This may include maintaining airway and breathing, administering fluids, and treating symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

What other information should I know?

  • Handling precautions: DTIC is a cytotoxic (cell-killing) medication and should be handled with caution by healthcare professionals to minimize exposure. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn when preparing and administering DTIC to reduce the risk of skin contact or inhalation of medication particles.
  • Patient education: Patients receiving DTIC should be educated about the medication, including its purpose, potential side effects, and what to do in case of adverse reactions. It’s important to follow all instructions provided by your healthcare provider and report any concerns promptly.
  • Follow-up care: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential during DTIC treatment to monitor your response to the medication, manage side effects, and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

By understanding how to store, dispose of, and respond to emergencies involving DTIC, patients and healthcare providers can ensure safe and effective use of this chemotherapy medication.

Copyright © 2023