Generic Name: vinblastine (vin BLAS teen)
Brand Name: Velban
What is Velban (vinblastine)?
Vinblastine is cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.
Vinblastine is used to treat Hodgkin's disease, certain types of lymphoma, testicular cancer, breast cancer, choriocarcinoma (a type of uterine cancer), Kaposi's sarcoma, and Letterer-Siwe disease.
Vinblastine is often used in combination with other cancer medications.
Vinblastine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Velban (vinblastine)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have severely low white blood cell counts, or an untreated or uncontrolled bacterial infection.
Do not use vinblastine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Before you receive vinblastine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, wasting syndrome, skin ulcers, coronary artery disease, a history of blood clot or stroke, or cancer that has spread to your bone marrow.
Vinblastine is often used in combination with other cancer medications.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when vinblastine is injected.
Vinblastine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with vinblastine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Velban (vinblastine)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
severely low white blood cell counts; or
an untreated or uncontrolled bacterial infection.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:
wasting syndrome (decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue);
skin ulcers, bed sores;
coronary artery disease, a history of blood clot or stroke (including "mini-stroke"); or
cancer than has spread to your bone marrow.
FDA pregnancy category D. Vinblastine can cause harm to an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Before you receive vinblastine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether vinblastine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is vinblastine given?
Vinblastine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion.
Vinblastine is usually given once every 7 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.
Vinblastine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your vinblastine injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while receiving Velban (vinblastine)?
Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with vinblastine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), oral polio, chickenpox (varicella), BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin), and nasal flu vaccine.
Talk to your doctor about ways to avoid constipation while being treated with vinblastine.
Velban (vinblastine) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, mouth pain, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling;
bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);
problems with vision, hearing, speech, balance, or daily activities;
sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, sudden headache or confusion;
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or
pain, burning, redness, swelling, or skin changes where the IV needle was placed.
Less serious side effects may include:
temporary hair loss;
tumor pain, bone pain;
missed menstrual periods;
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
feeling weak or tired.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Velban side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Velban (vinblastine)?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Solareze);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
antifungal medication such as clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend);
an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
cancer medicines such as cisplatin (Platinol), carboplatin (Paraplatin), mitomycin (Mutamycin), or oxaliplatin (Elixatin);
HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with vinblastine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Velban resources
Compare Velban with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about vinblastine.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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