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The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses and/or guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this document shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.    PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.

Drug:   Gemcitabine - Gemzar®

Usual Diluents

NS

Dilution Data

DILUTION SUMMARY

[Amount of drug] [Infusion volume] [Infusion rate]

[Prescribed dose ]  [250 ml ]  [ 30 minutes]*
  *Acceptable concentration range: 0.1 mg/ml -  40 mg/ml
    (Do NOT refrigerate - crystallization may occur)


Preparation for Intravenous Infusion Administration 1
The recommended diluent for reconstitution of Gemzar is 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection without preservatives. Due to solubility considerations, the maximum concentration for Gemzar upon reconstitution is 40 mg/mL. Reconstitution at concentrations greater than 40 mg/mL may result in incomplete dissolution, and should be avoided.

To reconstitute, add 5 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 200-mg vial or 25 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 1-g vial. Shake to dissolve. These dilutions each yield a gemcitabine concentration of 38 mg/mL which includes accounting for the displacement volume of the lyophilized powder (0.26 mL for the 200-mg vial or 1.3 mL for the 1-g vial). The total volume upon reconstitution will be 5.26 mL or 26.3 mL, respectively. Complete withdrawal of the vial contents will provide 200 mg or 1 g of gemcitabine, respectively. The appropriate amount of drug may be administered as prepared or further diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/mL Infuse over 30 minutes.  Longer infusion times may increase toxicity.

When prepared as directed, Gemzar solutions are stable for 24 hours at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).  Discard unused portion. Solutions of reconstituted Gemzar should NOT be refrigerated, as crystallization may occur. 1

The compatibility of Gemzar with other drugs has not been studied. No incompatibilities have been observed with infusion bottles or polyvinyl chloride bags and administration sets.1

Other:
Reconstituted vials are stable for up to 35 days and infusion solutions diluted in 0.9% sodium chloride are stable up to 7 days at 23°C when protected from light. Do not refrigerate. 2   Dilute with 50 to 500 mL NS or D5W to concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/mL.2

Stability / Miscellaneous

WARNINGS/PRECAUTIONS - See package insert. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY INDICATIONS
CONTRAINDICATIONS DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION RECONSTITUTION / DILUTION
  HOW SUPPLIED  
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CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action:
Gemcitabine exhibits cell phase specificity, primarily killing cells undergoing DNA synthesis (S-phase) and also blocking the progression of cells through the G1/S-phase boundary. Gemcitabine is metabolized intracellularly by nucleoside kinases to the active diphosphate (dFdCDP) and triphosphate (dFdCTP) nucleosides. The cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine is attributed to a combination of two actions of the diphosphate and the triphosphate nucleosides, which leads to inhibition of DNA synthesis. First, gemcitabine diphosphate inhibits ribonucleotide reductase, which is responsible for catalyzing the reactions that generate the deoxynucleoside triphosphates for DNA synthesis. Inhibition of this enzyme by the diphosphate nucleoside causes a reduction in the concentrations of deoxynucleotides, including dCTP. Second, gemcitabine triphosphate competes with dCTP for incorporation into DNA. The reduction in the intracellular concentration of dCTP (by the action of the diphosphate) enhances the incorporation of gemcitabine triphosphate into DNA (self-potentiation). After the gemcitabine nucleotide is incorporated into DNA, only one additional nucleotide is added to the growing DNA strands. After this addition, there is inhibition of further DNA synthesis. DNA polymerase epsilon is unable to remove the gemcitabine nucleotide and repair the growing DNA strands (masked chain termination). In CEM T lymphoblastoid cells, gemcitabine induces internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, one of the characteristics of programmed cell death.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION (summary)
  • Ovarian: 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle
  • Breast Cancer: 1250 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: 4-week schedule, 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle: 3-week schedule; 1250 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle
  • Pancreatic: 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes once weekly for up to 7 weeks (or until toxicity necessitates reducing or holding a dose), followed by a week of rest from treatment. Subsequent cycles should consist of infusions once weekly for 3 consecutive weeks out of every 4 weeks
  • Dose Reductions or discontinuation may be needed based on toxicities

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Ovarian Cancer
Gemzar in combination with carboplatin is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least 6 months after completion of platinum-based therapy.


1.2 Breast Cancer
Gemzar in combination with paclitaxel is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy, unless anthracyclines were clinically contraindicated.

1.3 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Gemzar is indicated in combination with cisplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with inoperable, locally advanced (Stage IIIA or IIIB), or metastatic (Stage IV) non-small cell lung cancer.

1.4 Pancreatic Cancer
Gemzar is indicated as first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced (nonresectable Stage II or Stage III) or metastatic (Stage IV) adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Gemzar is indicated for patients previously treated with 5-FU.


2.   DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Gemzar is for intravenous use only. Gemzar may be administered on an outpatient basis.


2.1 Ovarian Cancer
Gemzar should be administered intravenously at a dose of 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Carboplatin AUC 4 should be administered intravenously on Day 1 after Gemzar administration. Patients should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count, including differential counts. Patients should have an absolute granulocyte count geq1500 x 106/L and a platelet count geq100,000 x 106/L prior to each cycle.

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Dose Modifications
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Gemzar dosage adjustments for hematological toxicity within a cycle of treatment is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on Day 8 of therapy. If marrow suppression is detected, Gemzar dosage should be modified according to guidelines in Table 1
Table 1: Day 8 Dosage Reduction Guidelines for Gemzar in Combination with Carboplatin
Absolute granulocyte count
(x 106/L)
Platelet count
(x 106/L)
% of full dose
geq1500 and geq100,000 100
1000-1499 and/or 75,000-99,999 50
<1000 and/or <75,000 Hold

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except nausea/vomiting, therapy with Gemzar should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. For carboplatin dosage adjustment, see manufacturer's prescribing information.

Dose adjustment for Gemzar in combination with carboplatin for subsequent cycles is based upon observed toxicity. The dose of Gemzar in subsequent cycles should be reduced to 800 mg/m2 on Days 1 and 8 in case of any of the following hematologic toxicities:
  • Absolute granulocyte count <500 x 106/L for more than 5 days
  • Absolute granulocyte count <100 x 106/L for more than 3 days
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Platelets <25,000 x 106/L
  • Cycle delay of more than one week due to toxicity
If any of the above toxicities recur after the initial dose reduction, for the subsequent cycle, Gemzar should be given on Day 1 only at 800 mg/m2.


2.2 Breast Cancer
Gemzar should be administered intravenously at a dose of 1250 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Paclitaxel should be administered at 175 mg/m2 on Day 1 as a 3-hour intravenous infusion before Gemzar administration. Patients should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count, including differential counts. Patients should have an absolute granulocyte count geq1500 x 106/L and a platelet count geq100,000 x 106/L prior to each cycle.


Dose Modifications

Gemzar dosage adjustments for hematological toxicity is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on Day 8 of therapy. If marrow suppression is detected, Gemzar dosage should be modified according to the guidelines in Table 2.
Table 2: Day 8 Dosage Reduction Guidelines for Gemzar in Combination with Paclitaxel
Absolute granulocyte count
(x 106/L)
Platelet count
(x 106/L)
% of full dose
geq1200 and >75,000 100
1000-1199 or 50,000-75,000 75
700-999 and geq50,000 50
<700 or <50,000 Hold

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except alopecia and nausea/vomiting, therapy with Gemzar should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. For paclitaxel dosage adjustment, see manufacturer's prescribing information.


2.3 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Two schedules have been investigated and the optimum schedule has not been determined [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. With the 4-week schedule, Gemzar should be administered intravenously at 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle. Cisplatin should be administered intravenously at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 after the infusion of Gemzar. With the 3-week schedule, Gemzar should be administered intravenously at 1250 mg/m2 over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle. Cisplatin at a dose of 100 mg/m2 should be administered intravenously after the infusion of Gemzar on Day 1. See prescribing information for cisplatin administration and hydration guidelines.


Dose Modifications
Dosage adjustments for hematologic toxicity may be required for Gemzar and for cisplatin. Gemzar dosage adjustment for hematological toxicity is based on the granulocyte and platelet counts taken on the day of therapy. Patients receiving Gemzar should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet counts. If marrow suppression is detected, therapy should be modified or suspended according to the guidelines in Table 3. For cisplatin dosage adjustment, see manufacturer's prescribing information.

In general, for severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity, except alopecia and nausea/vomiting, therapy with Gemzar plus cisplatin should be held or decreased by 50% depending on the judgment of the treating physician. During combination therapy with cisplatin, serum creatinine, serum potassium, serum calcium, and serum magnesium should be carefully monitored (Grade 3/4 serum creatinine toxicity for Gemzar plus cisplatin was 5% versus 2% for cisplatin alone).

2.4 Pancreatic Cancer
Gemzar should be administered by intravenous infusion at a dose of 1000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes once weekly for up to 7 weeks (or until toxicity necessitates reducing or holding a dose), followed by a week of rest from treatment. Subsequent cycles should consist of infusions once weekly for 3 consecutive weeks out of every 4 weeks.


Dose Modifications
Dosage adjustment is based upon the degree of hematologic toxicity experienced by the patient [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Clearance in women and the elderly is reduced and women were somewhat less able to progress to subsequent cycles [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Patients receiving Gemzar should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet count. If marrow suppression is detected, therapy should be modified or suspended according to the guidelines in Table 3.
Table 3: Dosage Reduction Guidelines
Absolute granulocyte count
(x 106/L)
Platelet count
(x 106/L)
% of full dose
geq1000 and geq100,000 100
500-999 or 50,000-99,999 75
<500 or <50,000 Hold

Laboratory evaluation of renal and hepatic function, including transaminases and serum creatinine, should be performed prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter. Gemzar should be administered with caution in patients with evidence of significant renal or hepatic impairment as there is insufficient information from clinical studies to allow clear dose recommendation for these patient populations.

Patients treated with Gemzar who complete an entire cycle of therapy may have the dose for subsequent cycles increased by 25%, provided that the absolute granulocyte count (AGC) and platelet nadirs exceed 1500 x 106/L and 100,000 x 106/L, respectively, and if non-hematologic toxicity has not been greater than WHO Grade 1. If patients tolerate the subsequent course of Gemzar at the increased dose, the dose for the next cycle can be further increased by 20%, provided again that the AGC and platelet nadirs exceed 1500 x 106/L and 100,000 x 106/L, respectively, and that non-hematologic toxicity has not been greater than WHO Grade 1.

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2.5 Preparation and Administration Precautions
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Caution should be exercised in handling and preparing Gemzar solutions. The use of gloves is recommended. If Gemzar solution contacts the skin or mucosa, immediately wash the skin thoroughly with soap and water or rinse the mucosa with copious amounts of water. Although acute dermal irritation has not been observed in animal studies, 2 of 3 rabbits exhibited drug-related systemic toxicities (death, hypoactivity, nasal discharge, shallow breathing) due to dermal absorption.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anti-cancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published [see References (15)].

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2.6  Preparation for Intravenous Infusion Administration
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The recommended diluent for reconstitution of Gemzar is 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection without preservatives. Due to solubility considerations, the maximum concentration for Gemzar upon reconstitution is 40 mg/mL. Reconstitution at concentrations greater than 40 mg/mL may result in incomplete dissolution, and should be avoided.

To reconstitute, add 5 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 200-mg vial or 25 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 1-g vial. Shake to dissolve. These dilutions each yield a gemcitabine concentration of 38 mg/mL which includes accounting for the displacement volume of the lyophilized powder (0.26 mL for the 200-mg vial or 1.3 mL for the 1-g vial). The total volume upon reconstitution will be 5.26 mL or 26.3 mL, respectively. Complete withdrawal of the vial contents will provide 200 mg or 1 g of gemcitabine, respectively. The appropriate amount of drug may be administered as prepared or further diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/mL.

Reconstituted Gemzar is a clear, colorless to light straw-colored solution. After reconstitution with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, the pH of the resulting solution lies in the range of 2.7 to 3.3. The solution should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution or container permit. If particulate matter or discoloration is found, do not administer.

When prepared as directed, Gemzar solutions are stable for 24 hours at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Discard unused portion. Solutions of reconstituted Gemzar should not be refrigerated, as crystallization may occur.

The compatibility of Gemzar with other drugs has not been studied. No incompatibilities have been observed with infusion bottles or polyvinyl chloride bags and administration sets.


3. DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
GEMZAR (gemcitabine for injection, USP) is a white to off-white lyophilized powder available in sterile single-use vials containing 200 mg or 1 g gemcitabine.


4. CONTRAINDICATIONS
Gemzar is contraindicated in those patients with a known hypersensitivity to the drug.


HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING

How Supplied
GEMZAR (gemcitabine for injection, USP), is available in sterile single-use vials individually packaged in a carton containing:

200 mg white to off-white, lyophilized powder in a 10-mL size sterile single-use vial - NDC 0002-7501-01 (No. 7501)

1 g white to off-white, lyophilized powder in a 50-mL size sterile single-use vial - NDC 0002-7502-01 (No. 7502)


Storage and Handling
Unopened vials of Gemzar are stable until the expiration date indicated on the package when stored at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) and that allows for excursions between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F)
[See USP Controlled Room Temperature]. [see Dosage and Administration (2.5 and 2.6)]


Copyright © 1996, 2010, Eli Lilly and Company. All rights reserved.

Reference(s))

PRIMARY:
1)  [PACKAGE INSERT DATA] : cytarabine (CYTARABINE) injection, solution. Mayne Pharma (USA) Inc. Paramus, NJ 07652. Revision Date January 2004.


2) Solimando, Dominic A. Drug Information Handbook for Oncology: A Complete Guide to Combination Chemotherapy Regimens, 8th ed. Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; 2010.


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The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses and/or guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this document shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.    PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.
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