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Home / Drugs / Starting with D / Dacarbazine

An antineoplastic agent. It has significant activity against melanomas. (from Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 31st ed, p564)
CategoriesAntineoplastic Agents
Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
ManufacturersAbraxis pharmaceutical products
App pharmaceuticals llc
Bedford laboratories div ben venue laboratories inc
Hospira inc
Teva parenteral medicines inc
Bayer healthcare pharmaceuticals inc
PackagersAPP Pharmaceuticals
Bedford Labs
Ben Venue Laboratories Inc.
Hospira Inc.
Sicor Pharmaceuticals
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
SynonymsBiocarbazine R
Dacarbazino [INN-Spanish]
Dacarbazinum [INN-Latin]
Imidazole Carboxamide


For the treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma. In addition, dacarbazine is also indicated for Hodgkin's disease as a secondary-line therapy when used in combination with other antineoplastic agents.


Dacarbazine is a synthetic analog of naturally occurring purine precursor 5-amino-1H-imidazole-4-carboxamide (AIC). After intravenous administration of dacarbazine, the volume of distribution exceeds total body water content suggesting localization in some body tissue, probably the liver. Its disappearance from the plasma is biphasic with initial half-life of 19 minutes and a terminal half-life of 5 hours. 1 In a patient with renal and hepatic dysfunctions, the half-lives were lengthened to 55 minutes and 7.2 hours. 1 The average cumulative excretion of unchanged DTIC in the urine is 40% of the injected dose in 6 hours. 1 DTIC is subject to renal tubular secretion rather than glomerular filtration. At therapeutic concentrations dacarbazine is not appreciably bound to human plasma protein.

mechanism of action

The mechanism of action is not known, but appears to exert cytotoxic effects via its action as an alkylating agent. Other theories include DNA synthesis inhibition by its action as a purine analog, and interaction with SH groups. Dacarbazine is not cell cycle-phase specific.


LD50=350mg/kg (orally in mice)




Erratic, slow and incomplete

half life

5 hours

route of elimination

Dacarbazine is subject to renal tubular secretion rather than glomerular filtration. In man, dacarbazine is extensively degraded. Besides unchanged dacarbazine, 5-aminoimidazole -4 carboxamide (AIC) is a major metabolite of dacarbazine excreted in the urine.

drug interactions

Thiabendazole: The strong CYP1A2 inhibitor, Thiabendazole, may increase the effects and toxicity of Dacarbazine by decreasing Dacarbazine metabolism and clearance. Monitor for changes in the therapeutic and adverse effects of Dacarbazine if Thiabendazole is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.

Trastuzumab: Trastuzumab may increase the risk of neutropenia and anemia. Monitor closely for signs and symptoms of adverse events.