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Gemcitabine HCl intraven.
GEMCITABINE - INJECTION

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

GEMCITABINE - INJECTION

(gem-SITE-uh-bean)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Gemzar

Uses

Gemcitabine is used to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., lung, pancreas). This medication may be used alone or in addition to other cancer treatments.

How To Use

This medication is given by vein (IV), usually over 30 minutes, as directed by your doctor. The dose depends on your condition and response to therapy. Do not exceed the maximum recommended dose. Follow all instructions for proper mixing and dilution with correct IV fluids. Follow all safety precautions. Consult your pharmacist for details. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, or pain/redness at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: diarrhea, constipation, mouth sores, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, blood in the urine, weakness, tiredness, muscle aches, loss of appetite, hair loss, tingling or numbness of the hands or feet. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: trouble sleeping, unusual sweating, hearing changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: severe headache, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, one-sided weakness, mental/mood changes, vision problems, slurred speech, chest pain, change in the amount of urine, dark urine, yellowing eyes or skin. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: recent illness, radiation therapy, kidney problems, liver problems, bone marrow problems (e.g., leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia), heart disease, allergies (especially drug allergies). This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any sign of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages as they may aggravate certain side effects (e.g., tiredness). Caution is advised when using this drug in women because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: other anti-cancer drugs, recent/upcoming vaccinations (e.g., oral polio, measles). Also report your use of drugs that cause drowsiness such as: sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drug (e.g., diazepam), narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines or tricyclics), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), muscle relaxants, drowsiness-causing antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine). Check the labels carefully on all medicines (e.g., cough-and- cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe tiredness, rash, or tingling or numbness of the hands or feet.

Notes

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood) will be performed to monitor for side effects and response to treatment. Keep all scheduled medical appointments.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Store unopened vials at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. After mixing and dilution in correct IV fluids (consult your pharmacist for details), the drug is stable at room temperature for 24 hours. Do not refrigerate. Discard any unused liquid.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).