GemcitabineGemcitabine is a medication which is used in treatment of various types of cancer. Gemcitabine destroys cancerous cells and prevents the growth of such cells. It is mainly used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the pancreas and ovaries. It can also be used for bladder and gallbladder cancer, and cancer of the bile duct and cancer of the lymphatic system.
PrecautionsYou must inform your doctor about any medical conditions and allergies before you start the treatment with Gemcitabine. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should notify their doctor about it since Gemcitabine may cause harm to the baby. Gemcitabine can be combined with some medications but there are certain drugs which must not be taken together with Gemcitabine. Make sure that your doctor is informed about any other medications that you take. Since, Gemcitabine can weaken your immune system, you must protect yourself from infections and injuries.
Side EffectsA number of side effects may occur after you start taking Gemcitabine. If you notice any unusual changes in your health condition, contact your doctor as soon as possible so he/she could change the dose or the treatment. In some cases the side effects may go away in a few days, after your body adjusted to Gemcitabine. If the side effects continue to be persistent or severe seek medical help. Some of the common side effects may include bloody urine or stool, bloody cough up, bleeding gums frequent nosebleeds and heavy menstrual bleeding. You may also experience numbness or tingling sensation on the skin, paleness of the skin, hair loss and severe fatigue. You may develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, weakness, sore throat, coughing and runny nose. Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and loss of weight can also occur after taking Gemcitabine. Gemcitabine can cause problems with urination and changes in color of your urine and stool.
Other side effects include sleeping disorders, pain in the muscles, muscle cramps, pain in the chest, white sores in the mouth, excessive perspiration, swelling of the feet or hands, and swelling of the joints and glands.
Rare Side EffectsIn rare cases you may experience sudden headache, pain in your arms pr back, seizures and sudden weakness in some parts of the body. You may also have breathing difficulties and irregular pulse. Rare side effects of Gemcitabine may include vision impairment and temporary blindness, speech problems, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting and jaundice.