Vincristine should be administered only into a vein. However, it may leak into surrounding tissue causing severe irritation or damage. Your doctor or nurse will monitor your administration site for this reaction. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: pain, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, or sores in the place where the medication was injected.
Vincristine should be given only under the supervision of a doctor with experience in the use of chemotherapy medications.
Vincristine is used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to treat certain types of leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells), including acute myeloid leukemia (AML, ANLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease), and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (types of cancer that begin in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection). Vincristine is also used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to treat Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer that occurs in children), neuroblastoma (a cancer that begins in nerve cells and occurs mainly in children), and rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer that forms in muscles in children). Vincristine is in a class of medications called vinca alkaloids. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Vincristine comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually given once a week. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.
Your doctor may need to delay your treatment or change your dose if you experience certain side effects. It is important for you to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment with vincristine injection.
Your doctor may tell you to take a stool softener or laxative to help prevent constipation during your treatment with vincristine injection.
Vincristine is also sometimes used to treat certain types of brain tumors, certain types of lung cancer, multiple myeloma (a type of cancer of the bone marrow), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; a type of cancer of the white blood cells), Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of cancer that causes abnormal tissue to grow on different parts of the body) related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), Ewings sarcoma (a type of cancer in bones or muscle), and gestational trophoblastic tumors (a type of tumor that forms inside a woman's uterus while she is pregnant). Vincristine is also sometimes used to treat thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TPP; a blood disorder that causes blood clots to form in small blood vessels in the body). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
sores in the mouth and throat
loss of appetite or weight
difficulty breathing or swallowing
increased or decreased urination
swelling of the face, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
difficulty walking or unsteady walking
muscle or joint pain
sudden changes in vision, including loss of vision
loss of the ability to move muscles and to feel a part of the body
hoarseness or loss of ability to speak loudly
fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
Vincristine may increase the risk that you will develop other cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving vincristine injection.
Vincristine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
unusual bleeding or bruising
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to vincristine.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 06/15/2013
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.