Low-dose drug therapy for AML
If you’re not well enough for intensive chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant, you may be offered a low dose of drugs called cytarabine or azacitidine and/or chemotherapy tablets. Cytarabine or azacitidine are given by injection under the skin for several days, and the treatment is repeated once a month for at least six months. This may need to continue for up to two years.
Side effects of low-dose drug therapy
Side effects may include flu-like symptoms and skin rash for cytarabine, and nausea, constipation and diarrhoea for azacitidine.
These effects can be managed with medicines.
A/Prof John Moore (Conjoint UNSW), Senior Staff Specialist Haematology, Department of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital; Glynda Blomson, Consumer; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital; Sharon Frazer, Consumer; Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Karen Maddock, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Haematology, Westmead Hospital.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.