Gemcitabine is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug and is classified as an antimetabolite. Gemcitabine is used to treat pancreas cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, soft-tissue sarcoma, and metastatic breast cancer.
The most common side effects are low blood cell counts (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets); fever; infection; hair loss; tiredness; nausea; vomiting; constipation; diarrhea; rash; shortness of breath; muscle aches; blood in urine; hearing changes and numbness or tingling in your toes or fingers. Lab work may identify additional side effects.
- GEMZAR is approved by the FDA in combination with carboplatin (another type of chemotherapy) for the patient with advanced ovarian cancer that has returned at least 6 months after the patient had finished platinum-based therapy.
- GEMZAR is approved by the FDA in combination with cisplatin (another type of chemotherapy) for the first-line treatment of patients (for whom surgery is not possible) with locally advanced (stage IIIA or stage IIIB) or metastatic (stage IV or cancer that has spread) non-small cell lung cancer.
- GEMZAR is approved by the FDA in combination with paclitaxel for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer after they have received another type of chemotherapy called an anthracycline, unless their medical condition did not allow them to receive an anthracycline.
- GEMZAR is approved by the FDA as a single agent (given alone) as the first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced (stage II or stage III when surgery is not an option) or metastatic (stage IV) adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. GEMZAR is also indicated for patients previously treated with 5-FU (another type of chemotherapy).