What is Gemzar
Gemzar or gemcitabine is a prescription medicine that effective in the treatment of various types of cancer. Gemzar is currently made by Eli Lilly.
Side effects of Gemzar
The most common side effects of Gemzar include:
- loss of appetite
- thinned or brittle hair
You should stop taking this medicine and contact your doctor at once if you have noticed such serious side effects as:
- mouth blistering
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- tingling, numbness or pain
- sore throat
- difficulty swallowing
- muscle aches
- bone pain
- severe vomiting
- change in normal bowel habits for more than 2 days
- red, itchy rash
- swelling of the feet or ankles or overall puffiness
- shortness of breath
Gemzar is used to treat the following types of cancer:
- Ovarian cancer. Gemzar is used in combination with carboplatin (Paraplatin) to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least six months after previous chemotherapy involving a platinum-type medication.
- Breast cancer. Gemzar is used in combination with paclitaxel (Taxol) to treat metastatic breast cancer after breast cancer surgery and previous unsuccessful chemotherapy involving an anthracycline medication.
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Gemzar is used in combination with cisplatin (Platinol) to treat inoperable non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, either to the surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body (Stages IIIA, IIIB, or IV).
- Pancreatic cancer that has spread to surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body (Stages II, III, or IV).
It is not recommended to use Gemzar if you have:
- A history of low levels of white blood cells in the blood
- Any infection
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Any allergies to food, dyes or preservatives
- Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are taking any other medicines, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements
Gemzar Dosage for Cancer
Your doctor will prescribe your Gemzar dose depending on your height and weight. Your Gemzar dose also depends on the type of cancer, the other chemotherapy medications you are taking and whether you develop serious Gemzar side effects.