Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Gemcitabine
Gemcitabine is an
intravenous (IV) medicine that is usually given in a
dose based on body surface area. The type and extent of a cancer determines the
exact dose and schedule of administering this drug.
It's usually given through a needle in a vein. Each dose takes about 30 minutes. Doses may be repeated weekly, depending on treatment needs.
Gemcitabine interferes with how cells divide, which stops the
growth of the cancer cells. It is used to treat pancreatic and lung cancer. It
may also be used to treat bladder, breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer or
Gemcitabine is effective against many forms of cancer. But the
type and extent of a cancer determines how effectively this medicine slows or
stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Possible serious side effects of gemcitabine
Less serious side effects are more common and may
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
Gemcitabine should be administered only under the supervision of a
You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after
taking this medicine. Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting
Gemcitabine can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if
you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or to father a child while you are
Do not breast-feed while you are using gemcitabine.
Do not use this medicine if you have:
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Other Works Consulted
Abramowicz M (2003). Treatment guidelines: Drugs of choice for cancer. Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 1(7): 41–52.
March 5, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
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