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  • Generic Name: (gemcitabine)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 08/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Gemzar is an anticancer medicine used to relieve symptoms associated with cancers of the breast, lung, ovaries, or pancreas. Gemzar is administered as intravenous (through a vein in your arm) injections.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Gemzar is thought to work by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By stopping the growth of cancer cells, Gemzar may help to relieve your symptoms associated with cancer.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, anemia (low red blood cell counts), low white blood cell or platelet (a type of blood cell that forms clots to help stop bleeding) counts, fever, rash, shortness of breath, swelling in your hands or feet.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Lung or breathing problems, with symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough.

      Kidney problems associated with red blood cell counts, with symptoms such as changes in the color or volume of urine, or increased bruising or bleeding.

      Liver problems, with symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, weakness, itchiness, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, right upper stomach pain, and flu-like symptoms.

      Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, with symptoms such as altered alertness and behavior, drowsiness, seizures, vomiting, confusion, or vision or speech problems.

      Harm to your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while receiving Gemzar.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will not administer Gemzar to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Gemzar. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver problems, if you received or are currently receiving radiation therapy, if you drink alcohol, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will administer Gemzar to you.

      Each treatment with Gemzar may take 30 minutes.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      No significant interactions have been reported with Gemzar at this time. However, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Gemzar can harm your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of Gemzar during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are receiving Gemzar. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Gemzar should be given under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Your healthcare provider will store this medication for you.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
      time!
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    This discount plan is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. The plan is not intended as a substitute for insurance and does not meet creditable coverage requirements under state or federal law. The plan provides discounts at participating pharmacies on certain pharmaceutical supplies, prescription drugs, or medical equipment and supplies. The range of discounts will vary depending on the products received. Members are obligated to pay the pharmacy the entire amount of the discounted rate for such products at the point of sale. The plan does not pay pharmacies for products provided to members. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. The pharmacy may pay the plan a fee from amounts the pharmacy collects from the member. The discount plan organization is ProCare Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Inc.,1267 Professional Parkway, ProCare Office Park, Gainesville, GA 30507, 1-888-299-5383. Customer service is provided by PDR, LLC., 5 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ, 07645, 1-800-232-7379, www.pdr.net/DiscountCard, customerservice@pdr.net.