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Vinblastine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to vinblastine: intravenous powder for solution, intravenous solution

Along with their needed effects, medicines like vinblastine can sometimes cause unwanted effects such as blood problems, loss of hair, and other side effects. These and other effects are described below. Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking vinblastine, check with your doctor immediately:

More frequent
  • Cough or hoarseness accompanied by fever or chills
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain accompanied by fever or chills
  • painful or difficult urination accompanied by fever or chills
Less common:
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • pain or redness at place of injection
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black, tarry stools

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking vinblastine, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

Less common:
  • Joint pain
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Difficulty in walking
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • headache
  • jaw pain
  • mental depression
  • numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • pain in fingers and toes
  • pain in testicles
  • weakness

Minor Side Effects

Some vinblastine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Less common:
  • Bone or muscle pain
  • nausea and vomiting

This medicine often causes a temporary loss of hair. After treatment with vinblastine has ended, or sometimes even during treatment, normal hair growth should return.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to vinblastine: intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, transient abnormalities of ECG related to coronary ischemia
Frequency not reported: Hypertension, cerebrovascular accident/Raynaud's phenomenon (in patients undergoing combination chemotherapy with vinblastine, bleomycin and cisplatin)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Alopecia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Light sensitivity
Frequency not reported: Skin vesiculation, extravasation during IV injection (may lead to cellulitis, phlebitis, or sloughing), blisters[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Acute shortness of breath, bronchospasm[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Constipation, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, ileus, vesiculation of the mouth, pharyngitis, diarrhea, hemorrhagic enterocolitis, bleeding from an old peptic ulcer, rectal bleeding, stomatitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Leukopenia (granulocytopenia), anemia, thrombocytopenia (myelosuppression)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Bone pain, jaw pain[Ref]

Nervous system

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Vestibular and auditory damage to the eighth cranial nerve (causing partial or total deafness which may be temporary or permanent)
Very rare (less than 0.01%):
Frequency not reported: Paresthesias, loss of deep tendon reflexes, peripheral neuritis, headache, convulsions, nystagmus, vertigo, dizziness, numbness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Malaise, weakness, pain in the tumor-containing tissue[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Depression[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. "Product Information. VinBLAStine Sulfate (vinBLAStine)." Fresenius Kabi USA, Lake Zurich, IL.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

It is possible that some side effects of vinblastine may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.