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Gemcitabine Side Effects

gemcitabine side effects

Gemzar Side Effects

Gemzar (gemcitabine) is a chemotherapy drug used to treat certain types of malignant tumors, including some cases of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. Side effects of Gemzar include pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, numbness or tingly feeling, weakness, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, headache, swelling in your hands/ankles/feet, skin rash, drowsiness, or hair loss. Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Gemzar including unusual weakness, urinating less than usual or not at all, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, general ill feeling, sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body).

Gemzar Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Capillary leak syndrome is a rare but serious side effect of gemcitabine. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of this condition: stuffy or runny nose followed by weakness or tired feeling, and sudden swelling in your arms, legs and other parts of the body.

  • fever, chills, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, trouble eating or swallowing;
  • severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, confusion, seizure (convulsions);
  • severe skin redness, swelling, oozing, or peeling during or after radiation treatment;
  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, red or pink urine, swelling in your feet or ankles;


Gemcitabine is used to treat certain types of cancer (including breast, lung, ovarian, pancreatic). It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. This medication is given by injection into a vein by a healthcare professional. It is given over 30 minutes as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment.


Before using gemcitabine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, radiation treatment, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure).


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

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