Vinorelbine

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About This Drug

Vinorelbine is used to treat cancer. It is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects

  • Weakness
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Constipation (not able to move bowels)
  • Injection site reaction -you may get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection
  • Effects on the nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness, tingling, or pain inyour hands and feet. It may be hard for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk as usual. The effect on the nerves may get worse with more doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped but it does not get better in all people.
  • Decrease in the number of white blood cells. This may raise your risk of infection.
  • Decrease in red blood cells. This may make you feel more tired.
  • Changes in your liver function

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 20% or greater of patients treated with vinorelbine. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Severe bone marrow depression, which can very rarely be life-threatening
  • Severe constipation, which can very rarely lead to a partial or complete blockage of your small and/or large intestine, which can very rarely be life-threatening
  • >Skin and tissue irritation including redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site if the drug leaks out of the vein and into nearby tissue
  • Severe peripheral neuropathies
  • Inflammation (swelling) of the lungs, which can very rarely be life-threatening. You may have a dry cough or trouble breathing.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Important Information

  • This drug may be present in the saliva, tears, sweat, urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal secretions. Talk to your doctor and/or your nurse about the necessary precautions to take during this time.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To decrease infection, wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, the flu, or other infections.
  • Take your temperature as your doctor or nurse tells you, and whenever you feel like you may have a fever.
  • If you have numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of vinorelbine with food.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and dietary supplements you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with vinorelbine. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplement to make sure that there are no interactions.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Pain in your chest
  • Dry cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Abdominal pain that does not go away
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin gets red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain your hands and feet
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. It is recommended that women do not breastfeed during cancer treatment.
  • Fertility warning: Fertility studies have not been done in humans. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children in the future. Ask for information on egg and sperm banking.

Revised December 2017

This information is intended to provide helpful health information to the general public and is not to be used in place of any medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services. The information herein does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular medication. The dose, method of administration and contraindications for any administered medication should be confirmed before use. UPMC specifically disclaims all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any medication mentioned herein.