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Side effects of Gemzar?

mary colleen

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My husband is on a chemotherapy regimen of Cisplatin and Gemzar. My understanding is that he receives Cisplatin and Gemzar on cycle day 1, and Gemzar alone on cycle day 8....then no chemo until the he gets the combo again on when the cycle begins again on day 22. In other words, 2 weeks on, one week off, 4 cycles. He just completed his first rounds of both drugs (began 11/9), had the Gemzar on 11/16, and has no chemo again until 11/30.

Overall, he has had fairly mild side effects up until today, including generally achy arms and legs.

Today (Gemzar + 8), he began to have fairly severe pain in one leg only, kind of an allover leg pain with no apparent focal point that he can identify. For the first time since surgery, he had to take hydrocodone for the pain. It did the trick for a few hours, and then the pain occured again.

I guess what I am asking is this: has anyone else had this type of side effect from Gemzar? I am a little concerned that the pain is in one leg only this time, especially since it is so pronounced. I am probably a little more concerned because he had a mild blood clot in an IV site when he had his diagnostic bronchoscopy (he never had any previous clotting problems prior to that.) I do know that in his 11/16 bloodwork, his platelet count was within normal range. It had actually dropped to 160 from a pre-chemo baseline of 320.

Anyway - I would appreciate knowing if anyone else has had a similar side effect from Gemzar or any other chemo drug. Thanks very much!

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Let the Oncologist know about this Via phone cal to be on safe side. Someone should be in on Friday the 24th. Deb had Navelbine Gemzar combo with no Pain that she told me of, but I can not help with this combo. Prayers and Thoughts.

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Well, I woke up this morning planning to call the clinic, and he said the pain had disappeared overnight. If it recurs today, I told him we will just have to call the Onc nurse and have it checked out.

He is not on coumadin or any other blood thinner - was briefly on one between the bronchoscopy and the thoracotomy due to the mild blood clot he formed from the IV entry site. The onc took him off of it several days before surgery, and opted not to put him back on at that time.

Thanks all

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Tony was on Gemzar/taxotere for 12 cycles (same as your hub, 2 day 1 then Gemzar only day 7 every three weeks.) He had no nausea at all, but did develop high fevers on treatment + 2-3 days. The only pain he had was the typical "flu" like symptoms, which can cause that achy feeling. Is your hubby's leg tender to the touch in any area? It sounded like overall leg pain when you posted. I'd still want to check with the Onc. ASAP due to blood clot considerations. They did some type of leg ultrasound thing on Tony about midway through his treatment to check for clots in his legs. He isn't on thinners, just baby aspirin, but he has Factor-5 which puts him at even higher risk for clots.

I'd really have it checked out -- call the Onc. Better safe than sorry.

My thoughts are with you -- this is just such a crazy, crappy, heartbreaking journey to go through with a spouse.

My best to you,


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When I was on Cisplatin/Gemzar, I had some bone pain in the long bone (thigh bone) in my leg. It was only one leg, a sharp pain, and it came and went off and on throughout my treatment. However, I never had to take any kind of painkiller for it, so I would recommend that you talk to the oncologist about anything that requires hydrocodone for relief.


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Many thanks to all of you who responded. The pain was not bad this morning, so he would not go in. However, it increased over the course of the day again, and is still requiring pain meds. The reason I find this notable is that he has barely taken his prescribed pain meds over all of these weeks until now.

He's kind of a pain in the neck over things like this - well, over most things, actually:) - so I am going to work on him to have it looked at tomorrow.

Very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! [/u]

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