Gemzar Uses

How Does Gemzar Work?

Gemzar is part of a group of medications called antimetabolites. Antimetabolites are medications that are very similar to naturally-occurring chemicals in the body that cells use to build DNA and other important parts of the cell. Antimetabolites are similar enough to these chemicals that cells mistake them for the real chemicals, using them to build DNA. However, antimetabolites are different enough that DNA (or other cell structures) built using them will not function properly. Since DNA is essential for cells to grow and multiply, antimetabolite medications prevent cell growth and multiplication and may cause cell death.
 
While Gemzar can kill both healthy and cancerous cells, it has a greater effect on cells that are multiplying rapidly. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are therefore more affected by Gemzar.
 

Gemzar Uses in Children

Gemzar is not approved for treating cancer in children. Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Gemzar in children. A few studies have shown that Gemzar may not be effective for treating leukemia in children.
 

Off-Label Gemzar Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Gemzar for something other than the condition listed in this article. Currently, off-label Gemzar uses can include the treatment of the following cancers:
 
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