The reference site for Gemcitabine

Gemcitabine, sold under the brand name Gemzar among others, is a chemotherapy medication used to treat a number of types of cancer.

WHAT IS Gemcitabine?

Gemcitabine is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. It acts by interfering with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

This medicine is used to treat pancreatic cancer, particularly when it has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body (Stage IVB). In combination with the drug cisplatin, gemcitabine is the first-line treatment for inoperable, metastasized non-small cell lung cancer.

Sometimes it is also used to treat cancers of the bladder or breast, or epithelial ovarian cancer.

Gemcitabine’s brand name is Gemzar®.

 

Brand Name(s): Gemzar
CAS nº: 95058-81-4
(gem SIGH tah bean)

 

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to gemcitabine and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Gemcitabine is FDA-approved for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, either as initial therapy or following treatment with the chemotherapy agent fluorouracil.

It is also approved for treating locally-advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with the chemotherapy agent cisplatin (Platinol®), and for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer in combination with the chemotherapy agent carboplatin (Paraplatin®) in patients whose cancer has progressed at least 6 months following prior therapy.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Gemcitabine is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Gemcitabine interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

This medicine is used to treat pancreatic cancer, particularly when it has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body (Stage IVB). In combination with the drug cisplatin, gemcitabine is the first-line treatment for inoperable, metastasized non-small cell lung cancer.

It is also sometimes used to treat cancers of the bladder or breast, or epithelial ovarian cancer.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

NOTE: With clinical trials underway, gemcitabine is being evaluated for its effectiveness in the treatment of uterine, stomach, laryngeal and hypopharyngeal, and colon and rectal cancers.

Dosage and using this medicine

Gemcitabine should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with gemcitabine depending upon the type of cancer being treated and other factors. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Furthermore, your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with gemcitabine to monitor progress and side effects.

Skin accidentally exposed to gemcitabine should be rinsed thoroughly with soap and warm water.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING GEMCITABINE:

Please inform your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or poor bone marrow function. The use of gemcitabine may be dangerous if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Gemcitabine can lower the activity of your immune system making you susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses and do not receive vaccines that contain live strains of a virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) during treatment with gemcitabine. In addition, avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus can be passed on to you.

Gemcitabine is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that gemcitabine is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use gemcitabine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

Additionally, discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment with gemcitabine.

It is not known whether gemcitabine passes into breast milk. Do not take gemcitabine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

Note: The safety and effectiveness of gemcitabine in children has not been established.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

It is advised that you contact your doctor if you miss a dose of gemcitabine.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from gemcitabine include:

nausea
vomiting
pain/redness (due to the injection)

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

flu-like symptoms (fever, weakness, loss of appetite, cough, chills and muscle pain)
mouth or lip sore
mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
nerve problems such as burning, pricking or tingling
rash, itching, or hives
temporary hair loss

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection)
tissue or vein reactions near the site of administration
blood in the urine
little or no urine production
severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
difficulty in breathing

Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with gemcitabine.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Your healthcare provider will store gemcitabine as directed by the manufacturer. If you are storing gemcitabine at home, follow the directions provided by your healthcare provider.

In case of an emergency/overdose

If for any reason an overdose of gemcitabine is suspected, contact your healthcare provider immediately. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call the local emergency services on 911.

Symptoms of a gemcitabine overdose tend to be similar to the side effects caused by this medication, although often more severe.

Product Images

PICTURES OF GEMCITABINE MEDICATION

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of gemcitabine that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: GEMZAR®
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: Gemzar Powder for Injection
Manufacturer: ELI LILLY & CO.

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