GENERIC NAME: GEMCITABINE - INJECTION (gem-SITE-uh-bean)
BRAND NAME(S): Gemzar
USES: Gemcitabine is used alone or with other treatments/medications to treat certain types of cancer (including breast, lung, ovarian, pancreatic). It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used to treat certain other cancers, such as bladder cancer.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your healthcare professional before you start receiving gemcitabine and each scheduled dose. If you have any questions, ask your healthcare professional.This medication is given by injection into a vein by a healthcare professional, usually over 30 minutes once a week or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.If this medication touches your skin, wash the skin immediately and completely with soap and water.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain/redness at the injection site, and flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, muscle aches) may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be needed to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Changes in diet and lifestyle, such as eating several small meals or limiting activity, may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: dizziness/lightheadedness, fainting, mouth sores, numbness/tingling of hands/feet, sudden weight gain, swelling of ankles/feet, severe stomach/abdominal pain, easy bleeding/bruising, cough, difficulty catching your breath (shortness of breath, wheezing), unusual tiredness, fast/irregular heartbeat, change in amount of urine, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes/skin.Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, jaw/left arm pain, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, vision changes, confusion.This medication can lower your ability to fight an infection (bone marrow depression). Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of infection (e.g., high fever, chills, persistent sore throat).An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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