Generic Name(s): gemcitabine
Drug Class: Nucleoside Metabolic Inhibitors
Treats: cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer
Gemzar, generically named gemcitabine, belongs to a group of drugs known as antimetabolites. This medication is a cancer drug that interferes with the growth and the spread of cancer cells in the body of a patient. Gemzar is used to treat cancers of the pancreas, lung, breast and ovary. Gemzar works to stop the reproduction and growth of cancer cells.
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Gemzar is used to treat various forms of cancer. This medication normally works by slowing down or stopping the growth of cancer cells that are found in a patient. Gemzar is an antimetabolite and targets certain parts of DNA to stop and kill cancer cells. Below you will find the uses of Gemzar.
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Dosage of Gemzar depends on the individual and the condition being treated. You should always use medication precisely as your doctor prescribes it. Gemzar is given through an IV infusion, so your doctor or healthcare professional will monitor and administer your treatment. Below you will find a typical dosage of Gemzar.
- Ovarian cancer: 1000 mg per square meter of affected area infused over 30 minutes on day 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle
- Breast cancer: 1250 mg per square meter of affected area infused over 30 minutes on day 1 and 8 of the 21-day cycle
- Non-small cell lung cancer: 1000 mg per square meter of affected area infused over 30 minutes on days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28 day cycle
- Pancreatic cancer: 1000 mg per square meter of affected area once a week for 7 weeks, followed by a week of rest, then once weekly for 3 weeks
Gemzar Side Effects
Like any drug, Gemzar may cause side effects. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, you should contact your doctor. Because of our limited understanding of cancer, you may experience certain severe side effects. Below you will find a list of side effects associated with Gemzar. Note that not all possible side effects are listed.
- Hair loss
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- Fever or chills
- Bleeding gums
- Chest pains
- Cloudy urine
- Burning sensation
- Pale skin
- Prolonged bleeding
- Black stools
- Slurred speech
- Temporary blindness
- Weakness in the arm
- Noisy breathing
Like any drug, Gemzar may interact with other drugs and substances. Drug interactions can cause Gemzar to function differently in the body. It can also lead to serious side effects to a patient. Patients should make sure they inform their physicians of all the drugs they may be using before they start medicating on Gemzar. Some of the known drug interactions are listed below. Note that not all possible interactions are listed.