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Vincristine

Generic Name: Vincristine (vin KRIS teen)
Brand Name: Vincasar PFS

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 29, 2019.

Warning

  • This medicine is given into a vein only. If given other ways, vincristine can be deadly. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause tissue damage if the drug leaks from the vein. Tell your nurse if you have any redness, burning, pain, swelling, blisters, skin sores, or leaking of fluid where the drug is going into your body.

Uses of Vincristine:

  • It is used to treat cancer.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Vincristine?

  • If you have an allergy to vincristine or any other part of vincristine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with vincristine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take vincristine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Vincristine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take vincristine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Some side effects may happen up to 2 weeks after the shot. Report them to the doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Low blood cell counts have happened with vincristine. If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
  • If you are 65 or older, use vincristine with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may affect fertility. Fertility problems may lead to not being able to get pregnant or father a child. In both men and women, this may go back to normal but sometimes it may not. Talk with your doctor.
  • Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking vincristine.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking vincristine, call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Vincristine) best taken?

Use vincristine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given into a vein for a period of time.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Change in balance.
  • Not able to move.
  • Severe constipation or stomach pain. These may be signs of a severe bowel problem.
  • Loss of eyesight.
  • Not able to control eye movements.
  • Hearing loss. This can be long-lasting.
  • Seizures.
  • Throat, neck, or jaw pain.
  • Trouble passing urine, pain when passing urine, passing urine in a weak stream or drips, or passing urine more often.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with vincristine. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.

What are some other side effects of Vincristine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Hair loss.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Weight loss.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Not hungry.
  • Headache.
  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, throwing up, and upset stomach are common with vincristine. If these happen, talk with your doctor about ways to lower these side effects. Call your doctor right away if any of these effects bother you, do not go away, or get very bad.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Vincristine?

  • If you need to store vincristine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about vincristine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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