vincristine

Pronunciation: vin KRIS teen

What is the most important information I should know about vincristine?

You should not use vincristine if you have a nerve-muscle disorder such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.

What is vincristine?

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 drugs.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving vincristine?

You should not use vincristine if you are allergic to it, or if you have a nerve-muscle disorder such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome. Tell your doctor if you are also receiving radiation treatments.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • gout;
  • kidney stones;
  • breathing problems;
  • liver disease;
  • a blockage in your intestines; or
  • coronary artery disease, high blood pressure.

Vincristine may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant. This medicine may cause missed menstrual periods.

This medicine may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.

How is vincristine given?

Vincristine is given as an infusion into a vein, usually once every 7 days. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when vincristine is injected.

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

Vincristine may cause constipation. Ask your doctor how to avoid severe constipation.

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?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Since vincristine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur. However, overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving vincristine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

What are the possible side effects of vincristine?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe constipation, severe bloating or stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • urination problems;
  • wheezing, trouble breathing;
  • chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
  • problems with vision, hearing, speech, balance, or daily activities;
  • a seizure;
  • mouth pain or ulcers;
  • numbness, tingling, burning pain; or
  • low blood cell counts --fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • hair loss;
  • decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss; or
  • rash.

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.

What other drugs will affect vincristine?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • nefazodone;
  • phenytoin;
  • an antibiotic --clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;
  • antifungal medicine --itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole; or
  • antiviral medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C --boceprevir, cobicistat, dasabuvir, elvitegravir, indinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, nelfinavir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir saquinavir, telaprevir, tipranavir.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect vincristine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about vincristine.

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