Vinblastine

Generic Name: vinblastine (vin-BLAS-teen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

It is extremely important that the needle be properly positioned before vinblastine is injected. If vinblastine accidentally leaks into surrounding tissue, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged. Notify your doctor immediately if you feel pain or irritation at the injection site. Fatalities have occurred when vinblastine was injected into the spine. This drug is for intravenous (IV; into a vein) use only.


Vinblastine is used for:

Treating certain types of cancer. It is usually used in combination with other antineoplastic agents. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Vinblastine is an antineoplastic agent. It works by interfering with the reproduction of tumor cells.

Do NOT use vinblastine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in vinblastine
  • you have a low white blood cell count that is not caused by the disease being treated
  • you have a bacterial infection, chickenpox, or herpes zoster

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using vinblastine:

Some medical conditions may interact with vinblastine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an infection, bone marrow problems, low blood cell counts, or liver problems
  • if you are undergoing radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with vinblastine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Cyclosporine, doxorubicin, erythromycin, etoposide, itraconazole, or streptogramins (eg, quinupristin/dalfopristin) because the side effects of vinblastine may be increased
  • Digoxin or phenytoin because the effectiveness may be decreased by vinblastine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if vinblastine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use vinblastine:

Use vinblastine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Vinblastine is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking vinblastine is recommended to avoid constipation. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • It is very important to follow your recommended dosage schedule.
  • If you miss a dose of vinblastine, contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use vinblastine.

Important safety information:

  • Contact your doctor at once if any of the following occur: sudden shortness of breath, severe tightness in the lungs, sore throat, fever, chills, sore mouth.
  • If the solution contacts the eyes or other mucous membranes (eg, nose, mouth), flush immediately and thoroughly with water.
  • Vinblastine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Vinblastine may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using vinblastine.
  • Vinblastine may cause hair loss. It generally is not total hair loss, and, in some cases, hair regrows while treatment continues.
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use vinblastine with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Vinblastine has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking vinblastine. If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using vinblastine during pregnancy. It is unknown if vinblastine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking vinblastine.

Possible side effects of vinblastine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bone pain; constipation; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; general body discomfort; hair loss; headache; jaw pain; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine or stools; chest pain; difficulty urinating; hoarseness; infection (sore throat, cough, fever, chills, sore mouth); loss of tendon reflexes; numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes; pain in the tissue that contains the tumor; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; rectal bleeding; seizures; severe bleeding; sores on the mouth or lips; sudden shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures.

Proper storage of vinblastine:

Vinblastine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using vinblastine at home, store vinblastine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep vinblastine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about vinblastine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Vinblastine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take vinblastine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about vinblastine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to vinblastine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using vinblastine.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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