Vincasar PFS

Generic Name: vincristine (vin KRIS teen)
Brand Name: Oncovin, Vincasar PFS

What is Vincasar PFS (vincristine)?

Vincristine is cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.

Vincristine is used to treat leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue tumors), neuroblastoma (cancer that forms in nerve tissue), and Wilms' tumor.

Vincristine is sometimes used in combination with other cancer medications.

Vincristine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Vincasar PFS (vincristine)?

You should not use this medication if you have a nerve-muscle disorder, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, myasthenia gravis, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Vincasar PFS (vincristine)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have a nerve-muscle disorder such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, myasthenia gravis, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy.

To make sure vincristine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • breathing problems;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • a bacterial infection;

  • a blockage in your intestines; or

  • coronary artery disease.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use vincristine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with vincristine. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.

It is not known whether vincristine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is vincristine given?

Vincristine is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Vincristine is usually given once per week. 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.

Vincristine can cause severe constipation. You may be given medication to prevent constipation while you are receiving this medicine. Use all medications as directed by your doctor.

You may need frequent medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your vincristine injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since vincristine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving Vincasar PFS (vincristine)?

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using vincristine, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Vincasar PFS (vincristine) 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:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, cold or flu symptoms;

  • problems with vision, hearing, speech, swallowing, walking, or daily activities;

  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling; or

  • severe constipation, severe bloating or stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools.

Common side effects may include:

  • temporary hair loss;

  • decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue;

  • diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or

  • weight loss.

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: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Vincasar PFS (vincristine)?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with vincristine, especially:

  • nefazodone;

  • an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin;

  • antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;

  • hepatitis C medicines--boceprevir, telaprevir; or

  • HIV or AIDS medication--atazanavir, cobicistat, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with vincristine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about vincristine.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 2013-07-11, 10:44:46 AM.

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