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gemcitabine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving gemcitabine (Gemzar)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to gemcitabine.

To make sure you can safely use gemcitabine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • if you are receiving radiation treatment.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use gemcitabine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether gemcitabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using gemcitabine.

How is gemcitabine used (Gemzar)?

Gemcitabine is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Gemcitabine is usually given once a week for up to 7 weeks.

Gemcitabine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

If any of this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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