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Vinblastine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. Vinblastine is used alone or in combination with other antineoplastic medications to treat many different types of cancer including Hodgkin's disease, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph cells), Kaposi's sarcoma, Breast Cancer, and testicular cancer.
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Vinblastine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. Vinblastine is used alone or in combination with other antineoplastic medications to treat many different types of cancer including Hodgkin's disease, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph cells), Kaposi's sarcoma, Breast Cancer, and testicular cancer. It kills cancer cells by interfering with the genetic material DNA, which is necessary for their growth and reproduction.
Vinblastine Sulphate may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of Vinblastine Sulphate may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of Vinblastine Sulphate may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested Vinblastine Sulphate for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using Vinblastine Sulphate, speak to your doctor. Do not stop receiving Vinblastine Sulphate without consulting your doctor.
The recommended dose and dosing schedule of vinblastine varies according to the specific type of cancer being treated, the response to therapy, and the other medications or treatments being used. The dose given is based on body size.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. Your doctor may decide on a dosage schedule different from that described here.
Vinblastine is available as an intravenous (into the vein) injection. It is usually injected through a specially prepared site on your skin. It should not be given more often than once every 7 days. Very careful handling of Vinblastine Sulphate is required. Vinblastine should only be given by health care professionals familiar with the use of cancer chemotherapy. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.
It is important that Vinblastine Sulphate be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive vinblastine, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
As well as interfering with the genetic material (DNA) of cancer cells, vinblastine can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor. Your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids while using Vinblastine Sulphate to prevent kidney problems.
Vinblastine Sulphate is stored in the refrigerator and protected from light and freezing.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is used in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses Vinblastine Sulphate. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of Vinblastine Sulphate with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using Vinblastine Sulphate. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking Vinblastine Sulphate.
Each mL of vinblastine sulfate injection contains 1 mg of vinblastine. Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride 0.9% in water for injection, sodium hydroxide, and/or sulphuric acid as pH adjusters.
Do not use Vinblastine Sulphate if you:
There may be an interaction between vinblastine and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with Vinblastine Sulphate. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the Nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or Allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use Vinblastine Sulphate.
Blood clotting: Vinblastine Sulphate can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood and increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly as usual (e.g., black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding). Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of platelets in your blood.
Cardiovascular effects: Vinblastine has effects on the heart and circulatory (blood vessels) system. It may cause increased blood pressure. Reports of heart attack, stroke, and a constriction of the blood vessels called Raynaud's phenomenon have been reported with the use of vinblastine.
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or other diseases of the heart and blood system, discuss with your doctor how Vinblastine Sulphate may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Vinblastine Sulphate, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Gout: Vinblastine may increase the levels of uric acid in the body and increase the risk for gout. If you have gout or a history of gout, discuss with your doctor how Vinblastine Sulphate may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Vinblastine Sulphate, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any unusual joint pain or swelling to your doctor as soon as possible.
Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice may prevent vinblastine from leaving the body normally. This causes an increase in the amount of vinblastine in the body and may lead to severe side effects. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while you are receiving treatment with vinblastine.
Infection: In addition to killing cancer cells, Vinblastine Sulphate can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If possible, avoid contact with people with contagious infections.
Tell your doctor immediately if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Liver function: Side effects of vinblastine may be more likely for people with decreased liver function. If you have reduced liver function or liver disease, discuss with your doctor how Vinblastine Sulphate may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Vinblastine Sulphate, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Nerve problems: Vinblastine may cause nerve damage. This often goes away when treatment is stopped or the dose is decreased. If you experience reduced hearing, difficulty speaking, tingling and numbness of your hands and feet, or severe jaw pain, let your doctor know.
Reproduction: Vinblastine can affect sperm production and ovary function. For some people, this may reverse when treatment is complete. If you have concerns about the effect Vinblastine Sulphate has on your ability to have children, talk to your doctor.
Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defects if either the father or mother is using vinblastine at the time of conception, or if it is used during pregnancy. It may also harm the baby in other ways if used during pregnancy.
Vinblastine Sulphate should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Use effective birth control while you are being treated with Vinblastine Sulphate. If you become pregnant while taking Vinblastine Sulphate, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Vinblastine Sulphate may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using vinblastine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: Vinblastine has been used to treat cancer in children. It should be prescribed and given only by doctors familiar with treating cancer in children.
Seniors: Seniors may be at increased risk for developing infection or bleeding problems when using vinblastine.
All material © 1996-2021 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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