Gemcitabine

Gemcitabine is often prescribed to treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other types. It is administered intravenously and is usually given at your healthcare provider's office, a hospital, or an infusion center. The dose your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on factors such as your weight, the type of cancer being treated, and other medications you may be taking.

What Is Gemcitabine?

Gemcitabine (Gemzar®) is a prescription medication used to treat various types of cancer. Specifically, it is approved to treat:
 
(Click What Is Gemcitabine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Possible Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with gemcitabine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
 
Common side effects of gemcitabine include but are not limited to:
 
  • Increased liver enzymes (which can be a sign of liver damage)
  • Nausea and vomiting (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
  • Anemia (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
  • Neutropenia (low levels of a certain type of white blood cell called neutrophils).
     
(Click Gemcitabine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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