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Vincristine is used to treat various types of cancer. It is a cancer chemotherapy drug that is usually used with other chemotherapy drugs to slow or stop cancer cell growth.
See also Warning section.
This medication is given by injection only into a vein by a health care professional. It is given on a schedule usually at weekly intervals or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to treatment. In small children, dosage is also based on weight.
Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids while using this medication. This helps to reduce some of the side effects to the kidneys.
See also Warning section.
Nausea, vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, mouth sores, dizziness, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
This medication can also cause constipation, which in some cases may become serious. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about how you can prevent constipation (such as eating a diet high in fiber, drinking enough water). Ask about regularly using a stool softener such as docusate, avoiding bulk-forming laxatives, and choosing a stimulant laxative. Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if you develop constipation, stomach/abdominal pain, or bloating.
Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough).
This medication commonly affects the nerves and muscles in your body. Most of these side effects go away after this medication is stopped, however some effects may persist for a long time. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following: painful/difficult urination, decreased urination, pain (including in the joints, back, muscles), numbness/tingling/burning/pain of the feet/hands, weakness, difficulty walking, loss of coordination/balance, inability to move your muscles (including the muscles of your face and other parts of your body), drooping eyelids, hoarseness, trouble speaking.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: vision/hearing changes, mental/mood changes (such as depression, hallucinations, confusion), easy bleeding/bruising, severe tiredness.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures, chest/jaw/left arm pain, signs of liver problems (such as dark urine, persistent nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin).
Trouble breathing may rarely occur with vincristine treatment, especially when it is given with another chemotherapy drug, mitomycin-C. Patients with lung problems may be more sensitive to this side effect. Long-term treatment of this side effect may be required if it worsens. This effect may occur within minutes to several hours after vincristine is given and up to 2 weeks after the dose of mitomycin-C. Get medical help right away if you have shortness of breath or coughing. If you have this reaction, you should not receive vincristine again.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using vincristine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to vincristine liposomal; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: nerve/muscle problems (such as numbness/tingling/pain due to neuropathy, demyelinating conditions including Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome), liver disease, radiation treatment to the liver, decreased bone marrow function, blood disorders, current infection.
This medication can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This drug may make you dizzy or tired or cause numbness in your hands/feet. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or tired. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially slowed movement of the gut that may cause vomiting and constipation.
Elderly patients who also take drugs that may cause difficult urination as a side effect may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug on the kidneys (urinary retention). Consult your doctor for more details. See also Drug Interactions.
This medication may reduce fertility in men and women. Consult your doctor for more details.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: digoxin, phenytoin, drugs that may cause nerve damage to the ear (e.g., chemotherapy drugs that contain platinum), drugs that may cause difficult urination (including belladonna alkaloids, anticholinergic drugs such as atropine, antispasmodics such as dicyclomine, drugs to treat an overactive bladder such as oxybutynin).
Other medications can affect the removal of vincristine from your body, which may affect how vincristine works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John's wort, drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, uric acid blood levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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