vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)

Brand Names: Oncovin, Vincasar PFS

Generic Name: vincristine (Pronunciation: vin KRIS teen)

What is vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

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

Vincristine is used to treat leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue tumors), neuroblastoma (cancer that forms in nerve tissue), and Wilms' tumor.

Vincristine is sometimes used in combination with other cancer medications.

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

What are the possible side effects of vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

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);
  • stomach pain and tenderness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe constipation;
  • painful or difficult urination, urinating more or less than usual or not at all;
  • spinning sensation, feeling like you might pass out;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • problems with vision, hearing, speech, swallowing, 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;
  • decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue;
  • jaw pain;
  • tumor pain, bone pain;
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, 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 vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.

Do not use vincristine 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 vincristine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, coronary artery disease, or a nerve-muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis, Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy.

Vincristine is sometimes used in combination with other cancer medications.

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

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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome.

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

  • liver disease;
  • a nerve-muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis), or muscular dystrophy; or
  • coronary artery disease.

FDA pregnancy category D. Vincristine can cause harm to an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Before you receive vincristine, 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 vincristine 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 vincristine given (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

Vincristine 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.

Vincristine is usually given once per week. 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.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your vincristine injection.

What happens if I overdose (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness, or severe forms of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Talk to your doctor about ways to avoid constipation while being treated with vincristine.

What other drugs will affect vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with vincristine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about vincristine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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