Vinblastine (Injection)

Introduction

Vinblastine (vin-BLAS-teen)

Treats several types of cancer, including Hodgkin's disease, Kaposi's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancer of the breast or testicles. Also treats Histiocytosis X disease.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to vinblastine or if you have any type of infection.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will decide how much medicine you should have and when it will be given.
  • Your medicine will be given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm, wrist, or hand and sometimes in the chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV infusion.
  • A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.
  • Tell your caregiver right away if any of this medicine gets on your skin or in your eyes, or if you have pain where the IV needle is placed.
  • Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of liquid on the day you get your treatment and for 1 to 2 days after.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or clinic where you get your treatments for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you have your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bag or bottles, and tubes. Put it where children or pets cannot reach it.
  • If you have your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
  • If you have your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep the medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking phenytoin (Dilantin®) or erythromycin.
  • Tell your doctor if you have previously been treated with radiation or cancer drugs.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccinations (such as a flu shot).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.
  • Before using vinblastine, make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease, severe sores on your skin, or lung disease or other breathing problems.
  • It is important to avoid constipation during and for several days after getting this medicine. Get out of bed and walk; get plenty of fiber in your diet from grains, vegetables, or supplements; and drink plenty of liquids. Talk with your doctor about what to do if you get constipated.
  • You may get infections more easily while being treated with this medicine. Stay away from crowds and people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush or mouth swab.
  • This medicine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments. This medicine may harm an unborn baby.
  • Do not get pregnant while you or your sexual partner are being treated with vinblastine. Use an effective form of birth control for the entire time of your treatment.
  • If you do become pregnant or suspect you have become pregnant during treatment, call your doctor right away.
  • Some cancer drugs may make you sterile (unable to have a baby). If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Bloody in urine, vomit, or bowel movement (black, tarry stools)
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble hearing
  • Pain, burning, redness, or swelling where the IV is given
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
  • Trouble going to the bathroom (urinating)
  • Unexplained fever, chills, sore throat, or sores in your mouth
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle or jaw pain, or pain in the area where the cancer is located
  • Tiredness or weakness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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