Gemcitabine is an
intravenous (IV) medicine that is usually given in a
dose based on body surface area. The type and extent of a cancer determines the
exact dose and schedule of administering this drug.
It's usually given through a needle in a vein. Each dose takes about 30 minutes. Doses may be repeated weekly, depending on treatment needs.
Why It Is Used
Gemcitabine interferes with how cells divide, which stops the
growth of the cancer cells. It is used to treat pancreatic and lung cancer. It
may also be used to treat bladder, breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer or
How Well It Works
Gemcitabine is effective against many forms of cancer. But the
type and extent of a cancer determines how effectively this medicine slows or
stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Possible serious side effects of gemcitabine
Allergic reactions. Signs of allergic
reaction can include trouble breathing; swelling or closing of the throat;
swollen face, tongue, or lips; or hives.
Low blood counts, which may increase the risk of infection and bleeding.
Feeling extremely tired, bruising or bleeding
easily, or signs of infection such as a fever or chills.
These symptoms may mean that the medicine caused the numbers of your
white or red blood cells or platelets to
Severe nausea and
Blood in the urine or rarely needing to
Less serious side effects are more common and may
Fever and flu-like symptoms.
Nausea, vomiting, and loss of
Hair loss. This is reversible, and hair
will grow back when treatment ends.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.