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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Velban

Generic Name: vinblastine (Pronunciation: vin BLAS teen)

What is vinblastine (Velban)?

Vinblastine is cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body.

Vinblastine is used to treat Hodgkin's disease, certain types of lymphoma, testicular cancer, breast cancer, choriocarcinoma (a type of uterine cancer), Kaposi's sarcoma, and Letterer-Siwe disease.

Vinblastine is often used in combination with other cancer medications.

Vinblastine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of vinblastine (Velban)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, mouth pain, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling;
  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);
  • severe constipation;
  • problems with vision, hearing, speech, balance, or daily activities;
  • sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, sudden headache or confusion;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or
  • pain, burning, redness, swelling, or skin changes where the IV needle was placed.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • temporary hair loss;
  • jaw pain;
  • tumor pain, bone pain;
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
  • feeling weak or tired.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about vinblastine (Velban)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have severely low white blood cell counts, or an untreated or uncontrolled bacterial infection.

Do not use vinblastine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Before you receive vinblastine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, wasting syndrome, skin ulcers, coronary artery disease, a history of blood clot or stroke, or cancer that has spread to your bone marrow.

Vinblastine is often used in combination with other cancer medications.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when vinblastine is injected.

Vinblastine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with vinblastine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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