Gemcitabine (By injection)
Treats cancer, including breast, ovaries, lung, and pancreas cancer.
Gemcitabine Novaplus, Gemzar, Infugem, PremierPro Rx GemcitabineThere may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to gemcitabine, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine:
- Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein. This medicine must be given slowly, so the needle should stay in place for at least 30 minutes.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- If this medicine gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water, and tell your doctor. If you get the medicine into your eyes, nose, or mouth, rinse the area with large amounts of water, and tell your doctor.
- Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:
- This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Male patients with female partners should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose.
- Do not breastfeed during treatment with this medicine and for at least 1 week after the last dose.
- Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or lung or breathing problems. Tell your doctor if you are receiving radiation treatment.
- This medicine may cause the following problems:
- Lung problems (including interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary edema, adult respiratory distress syndrome)
- Kidney problems (including hemolytic uremic syndrome)
- Liver problems
- Capillary leak syndrome
- Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES)
- Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Some men who use this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
- This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain or tightness, trouble breathing
- Dark urine or pale stools, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
- Headache, confusion, unusual drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness, blurred vision
- Lightheadedness or fainting, swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
- Nausea, vomiting, severe itching, bleeding from your gums or nose
- Pinpoint red or purple spots on your skin, decrease in how much or how often you urinate
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Last Updated: 6/18/2019