VINBLASTINE

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Velban

GENERIC NAME(S): VINBLASTINE SULFATE

 

Description: Vinblastine is an antineoplastic agent thet interferes with the reproduction of tumor cells by inhibiting purine synthesis, the citric acid cycle, and the formation of urea. It may also interfere with nucleic acid and protein synthesis.

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Not absorbed reliably from GI tract.

Distribution: Protein binding: Extensive. Concentrated in blood platelets. Does not cross blood-brain barrier significantly.

Metabolism: Metabolised by CYP3A, to active metabolite desacetylvinblastine.

Excretion: Excreted in urine and via bile into faeces (some as unchanged drug). Terminal half life: 25 hr.

Indications:

Treating certain types of cancer. It is usually used in combination with other antineoplastic agents. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Cancers most responsive to vinblastine are the following:

  • Generalized Hodgkin’s disease
  • Lymphocytic lymphoma
  • Histiocytic lymphoma
  • Mycosis fungoides
  • Advanced carcinoma of the testis
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Histiocytosis X

Contraindications:

Should not be given to patients with granulocytopenia, and bacterial infections.

How to use vinblastine intravenous

  • This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional.
  • It is usually given once a week or as directed by your doctor.
  • To prevent leakage of the medication into tissue around the vein, vinblastine should be injected over 1 minute.
  • Tell your health care professional immediately if you experience pain, burning, or redness at the injection site.
  • This medication should not be mixed in a large amount of solution and/or injected over a long time (such as 30 to 60 minutes) unless directed by your doctor.
  • Avoid getting this medication in your eye. If this occurs, wash the affected eye(s) well and contact your doctor.
  • Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication. Doing so helps your kidneys to remove the drug from your body and avoid some of the side effects.

Skin damage: If vinblastine accidentally leaks into tissue around the injection site, the skin and/or muscle may be severely damaged.

Many people using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this medication 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.

Common side effects:

  • pain/redness at the injection site,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation (To reduce constipation, increase your intake of fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. Stool softeners may be helpful. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about stool softeners and laxatives)
  • tiredness, and
  • loss of appetite
  • temporary hair loss

Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • easy bleeding/bruising,
  • fast/pounding heartbeat,
  • abdominal/stomach pain,
  • bone/jaw pain,
  • severe headache,
  • hearing problems,
  • unusual lumps/skin changes,
  • dizziness/feeling of spinning,
  • mental/mood changes (e.g., depression),
  • pale/bluish fingers/toes,
  • pain/coldness in fingers/toes,
  • numbness/tingling,
  • difficult/painful urination,
  • pink/bloody urine

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:

  • sudden shortness of breath/wheezing,
  • black/tarry stools,
  • chest/left arm pain,
  • confusion,
  • seizures,
  • slurred speech,
  • weakness on one side of the body,
  • vision changes,
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds

This medication can lower the body’s ability to fight an infection. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.

Precautions:

  • Allergy: Before using vinblastine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Medical conditions: Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: bone marrow problems (e.g., low white count/platelets from previous chemotherapy/radiation treatment, tumor in the bone marrow), untreated bacterial infection.
  • Medical history: Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you had: blood vessel problems (e.g., blood clots, stroke, Raynaud’s disease, varicose veins), heart disease (e.g., angina, heart attack), poor nutrition, liver disease, lung problems, stomach/intestinal sores (e.g., peptic ulcer), skin sores (ulcers).
  • This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.

Pregnancy Risk: Category D.  This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

Breastfeeding: 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.

Interactions:

  • Some products that may interact with this drug include: aspirin and other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen), hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin), tolterodine, drugs that may harm the ears (e.g., cisplatin, carboplatin, aminoglycosides such as gentamicin), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove vinblastine from your body (such as aprepitant, azole antifungals including itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin, rifamycins including rifabutin).
  • Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin) that may increase your risk of bleeding. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
  • Your doctor may direct you to limit citrus (and other foods/products that increase the acid level of urine) during treatment. Consult your doctor.

Overdose:

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Storage

Vinblastine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider.

Brands:

Available Brands

  • Velbastine [ Korea United Pharma ]

Also marketed as

  • Oncostin [ Cipla ]

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