Gemzar Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 6 months after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for at least 1 week after stopping it.
Men should inform their doctors if they wish to father a child. This medicine may lower sperm counts. Talk with your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Black, tarry stools
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
blood in the urine or stools
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
coughing up blood
difficult or labored breathing
difficulty in moving
difficulty in swallowing
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
general feeling of discomfort or illness
increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
lack or loss of strength
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
muscle ache, cramps, pain, or stiffness
painful or difficult urination
pinpoint red spots on the skin
prolonged bleeding from cuts
rapid weight gain
red or black, tarry stools
red or dark brown urine
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
swelling or inflammation of the mouth
tightness in the chest
troubled breathing with exertion
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
headache (sudden and severe)
inability to speak
pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, back or neck
pounding in the ears
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
weakness in the arm or leg or on one side of the body (sudden and severe)
Rapid, shallow breathing
Incidence not known
Blue lips and fingernails
chest pain or discomfort
coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
decrease or increase in the amount of urine
decreased urine output
difficult, fast, noisy breathing
dilated neck veins
extreme tiredness or weakness
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
sores on the skin, especially on the thighs, breasts, penis, or buttocks
sores, welts, or blisters
stomach pain, continuing
swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Difficulty having a bowel movement
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
thinning of hair
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.