What is this medicine?
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.
How should I use this medicine?
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.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
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
confusion or changes in emotions or moods
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
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):
loss of appetite
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
medicines for HIV like delavirdine, efavirenz, nevirapine
medicines for seizures like ethotoin, fosphenotoin, phenytoin
medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
other chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, L-asparaginase, methotrexate, mitomycin, paclitaxel
Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
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.
Where should I keep my medicine?
This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
infection (especially chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
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
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine. You will need important blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
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.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
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.
Men may have a lower sperm count while taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor if you plan to father a child.