When given alone, gemcitabine is usually given by vein 3 weeks in a row, followed by a 1 week rest period, but schedules can vary. When given with another chemotherapy agent, it is usually given once per week for 2 weeks followed by a week off.
Side effects may include:
- Low blood counts
- Hair loss
- Menopausal symptoms
- Mouth sores
- Skin rash
- Swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
Before starting gemcitabine, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medicines. You will have regular blood tests while receiving gemcitabine. You should avoid becoming pregnant and breast-feeding while you are taking it.