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Vincristine by Pfizer
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Vincristine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. It causes the death of cancer cells by interfering with the genetic material DNA, which is necessary for their growth and reproduction.
Vincristine is used alone or in combination with other antineoplastic medications to treat many different types of cancer, including leukemia (cancer of white blood cells), lymphoma (cancer of the lymph cells), breast cancer, lung cancer, malignant melanoma, cancer of the cervix, colorectal cancer, and Wilms’ tumor.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each mL of sterile aqueous solution contains vincristine sulfate 1 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: 100 mg mannitol. May contain sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide as pH adjusters. This medication does not contain preservatives.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose and dosing schedule of vincristine varies according to the specific type of cancer being treated, the response to therapy, and the other drugs or treatments being used. The dose administered is also based on body size.
Vincristine is injected into a vein through a specially prepared site on your skin that has been prepared for this purpose. Very careful handling of this medication is required. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.
As well as interfering with the genetic material DNA of cancer cells, vincristine can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects such as hair loss. Vincristine sometimes causes mild nausea and vomiting, but it is important to keep using this medication even if you feel ill.
Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can advise you on how to reduce the effects of nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids while using this medication to prevent kidney problems. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor as suggested in the section "What side effects are possible with this medication?"
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive vincristine, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to vincristine or any ingredients of this medication
- have a particular form (called the "demyelinating form") of a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome
What side effects are possible with this medication?
- abdominal cramps
- back pain
- jaw pain
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- skin rash
- sleeping problems
- temporary loss of hair
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- prolonged constipation
- decreased coordination
- decrease or increase in urination
- difficulty moving
- dizziness or lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or lying position
- drooping eyelids
- blood pressure changes (increased or decreased)
- lower back or side pain
- numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
- pain in fingers and toes
- painful or difficult urination
- signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- sores in mouth and on lips
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- vision changes
Get medical help immediately if any of the following occur:
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Gout and kidney stones: Vincristine may increase the levels of uric acid in the body, which can increase the risk for gout or kidney stones for people already at risk of these conditions. Talk to your doctor to find out whether you are at risk.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, medications that fight cancer may reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people with contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defect if either partner is using vincristine at the time of conception, or if it is taken during pregnancy. It may also harm the baby in other ways if used during pregnancy. Use effective birth control while being treated with this medication, and tell the doctor immediately if you become pregnant.
Breast-feeding: It is not known whether vincristine passes into breast milk. Because of the risk of harm to the infant, women should not breast-feed while receiving vincristine.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between vincristine and any of the following:
- azole antifungal medications (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- BCG vaccine
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, verapamil)
- grapefruit juice
- hepatitis C antivirals (e.g., daclatasvir, dasabuvir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir)
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
- macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
- protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., crizotinib, dabrafenib, imatinib, lapatinib, nilotinib, sunitinib)
- St. John’s wort
- seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone)
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Vincristine-by-Pfizer