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vinblastine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving 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.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • liver disease;
  • wasting syndrome (decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue);
  • skin ulcers, bed sores;
  • coronary artery disease, a history of blood clot or stroke (including "mini-stroke"); or
  • cancer than has spread to your bone marrow.

FDA pregnancy category D. Vinblastine can cause harm to an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Before you receive vinblastine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether vinblastine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is vinblastine given (Velban)?

Vinblastine is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion.

Vinblastine is usually given once every 7 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

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

Vinblastine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

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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