gemcitabine

Pronunciation: jem SYE ta been

Brand: Gemzar

What is the most important information I should know about gemcitabine?

Multum nopreg

Do not receive gemcitabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Gemcitabine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Gemcitabine is usually given once a week for several weeks. The medicine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Multum emt

Gemcitabine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney and liver function may also need to be checked. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with gemcitabine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

If any of this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

What is gemcitabine?

Gemcitabine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Gemcitabine is used to treat cancers of the pancreas, lung and breast.

Gemcitabine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving gemcitabine?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to gemcitabine.

To make sure you can safely use gemcitabine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • if you are receiving radiation treatment.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use gemcitabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether gemcitabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using gemcitabine.

How is gemcitabine used?

Gemcitabine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Gemcitabine is usually given once a week for up to 7 weeks.

Multum emt

Gemcitabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

If any of this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a miss an appointment to receive your gemcitabine infusion.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness or tingly feeling, severe skin rash, fever, chills, flu symptoms, or any signs of infection.

What should I avoid while using gemcitabine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using gemcitabine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of gemcitabine?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • pain, swelling, or skin changes where the needle was placed;
  • hearing problems;
  • blood in your urine; or
  • breathing problems.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
  • diarrhea or constipation;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • skin rash;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • drowsiness; or
  • hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect gemcitabine?

There may be other drugs that can interact with gemcitabine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about gemcitabine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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