Gemzar

Generic Name: Gemcitabine hydrochloride

  • What is Gemzar?

    Gemzar is used in the treatment of four types of cancer. In ovarian cancer, Gemzar is given with carboplatin at least 6 months after relapse. For breast cancer, this drug administered with paclitaxel to patients who have not responded to alternate forms of chemotherapy. In non-small cell lung cancer, Gemzar with cisplatin is given to patients who have inoperable or metastatic lung cancer. Lastly, Gemzar is used alone in Stage II or III pancreatic cancer.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Gemzar?

    Gemzar can cause harm in unborn babies, such as cleft palate or malformation of bones. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor before beginning Gemzar therapy.
  • Who should not take Gemzar?

    Do not begin treatment with Gemzar if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Also, Gemzar therapy should be avoided if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Gemzar?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Gemzar. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you had previous therapy that you have experienced for your form of cancer.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Breast Cancer

    Gemzar should be administered intravenously at a dose of 1250 milligrams (mg)/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Paclitaxel should be administered at 175 mg/m2 on Day 1 as a 3-hour intravenous infusion before Gemzar administration.

    Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

    With the 4-week schedule, Gemzar should be given through an IV at 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle. Cisplatin should be administered intravenously at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 after the infusion of Gemzar. With the 3-week schedule, Gemzar should be given through an IV at 1250mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Cisplatin should be given at a dose of 100 mg/m2 through an IV after the infusion of Gemzar on Day 1.

    Ovarian Cancer

    Gemzar is given at a dose of 1000 milligrams (mg)/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Carboplatin AUC 4 should be administered intravenously on Day 1 after Gemzar administration.

    Pancreatic Cancer

    Gemzar should be given by IV at a dose of 1000mg/m2 over 30 minutes once weekly for up to 7, followed by a week of rest from treatment. The following cycles should happen for 3 consecutive weeks out of every 4 weeks.

  • How should I take Gemzar?

    Gemzar will be given to you through an IV in a hospital setting.
  • What should I avoid while taking Gemzar?

    While receiving therapy with Gemzar, it is best to avoid becoming pregnant or nursing.
  • What are the possible side effects of Gemzar?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: Diarrhea, difficulty breathing, fever, hair loss, inflammation of the mouth, nausea, rash, sleepiness, vomiting

  • Can I receive Gemzar if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing. It is not recommended to receive therapy with Gemzar while pregnant because it may cause development problems such as cleft palate or incomplete bone formation. Also, Gemzar may pass into your breast milk.