Brand name: Gemzar
Distributor: Eli Lilly and Company
Gemcitabine is available by prescription only
given by injection into a vein
Indications: Gemcitabine is used in the treatment
of the following malignancies:
advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
advanced or metastatic pancreatic
breast cancer or a breast cancer that relapses after chemotherapy.
Gemcitabine can also be prescribed for
other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
dosage of Gemcitabine
recommended by your doctor depends on the type of cancer being treated, the overall state of your health, and
your body surface area (BSA). If you are taking other medications it may also play a role in the choice of
Gemcitabine is given by injection into
a vein. Usually, the drug is given intravenously once weekly over a period of 30 minutes. A week of rest is
often recommended every four weeks for your body to adapt to the drug.
Gemcitabine should be given in
hospital or a health care center equipped for its preparation. Gemcitabine should be given only by physicians or
health professionals who have experience in cancer chemotherapy.
as with any drug,
Gemcitabine overdose can be dangerous if it is high and long term. An overdose of Gemcitabine can damage your
bone marrow, and lead to serious infections. During the treatment and even months after, avoid anything that
can weaken your immune system and the risk of infection. If you think you have taken an overdose, contact
your doctor or the poison control center nearest you as soon as possible to reduce or prevent complications.
administered in hospital, lack of dose is basically difficult if you keep all your doctor’s appointments. If for
some reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your physician before the date you
are scheduled for the injection. Do not stay home because you are
experience side effects;
Gemcitabine cause side effects in most patients. Missing a dose or session of the
therapy can affect the entire treatment.
contraindicated or should be used with precaution in case of the following conditions:
to Gemcitabine or any
of its components
against yellow fever
with live attenuated vaccine or phenytoin.
Mechanism of action (MOA):
cancer cells are unable to
survive if they cannot divide rapidly; Gemcitabine selectively inhibits the synthesis of DNA that allows the
cells to divide, which slows or stops the growth of cancer cells.
Interactions: talk to your doctor before taking
vitamins or nutritional supplements. Some medicines can affect the curative effects of Gemcitabine, or increase
the risk of developing side effects. Consult your doctor before taking these medicines:
- Ganciclovir, an antiviral drug
- Azathioprine, an immune system inhibitor
depressant drug that causes relaxation
, a drug
used to inhibit the
production of acid in the stomach
medication used to treat pain of gouty arthritis
vaccine, yellow fever vaccine, etc.
(Cytoxan, Cytoxan, Neosar, Procytox,
Revimmune), a drug used to treat several types of cancers
- Celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, painful menstruation, colon and rectum
Side effects: while attacking cancer cells,
Gemcitabine also affects
normal (healthy) cells, which lead, in certain patients, to the following side effects:
or darkening of the skin or nails.
If the side
effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any
of these symptoms:
red skin rash
urination or red urine
bruising or bleeding
of the feet or legs
of the skin or eyes
of the feet or ankles.