Vincristine injection

What is this medication?

VINCRISTINE (vin KRIS teen) is a chemotherapy drug. It slows the growth of cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat many types of cancer like Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, neuroblastoma (brain cancer), rhabdomyosarcoma, and Wilms' tumor.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Oncovin, Vincasar PFS

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • blood disorders
  • gout
  • infection (especially chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease
  • nervous system disease like Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT)
  • recent or ongoing radiation therapy
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vincristine, other chemotherapy agents, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This drug is given as an infusion into a vein. It is administered in a hospital or clinic by a specially trained health care professional. If you have pain, swelling, burning, or any unusual feeling around the site of your injection, tell your health care professional right away.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

  • certain medicines for fungal infections like itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole
  • certain medicines for seizures like phenytoin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.

This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

This medicine may make it more difficult to get pregnant or to father a child. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are concerned about your fertility.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • confusion or changes in emotions or moods
  • constipation
  • cough
  • mouth sores
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain, swelling, redness or irritation at the injection site
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • problems with balance, talking, walking
  • seizures
  • stomach pain
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • jaw pain
  • loss of appetite

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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