What Vinorelbine is and what it is used for?
- Vinorelbine is a member of the vinca alkaloids derived from the periwinkle plant. This medicine binds to the tubulin and inhibits microtubule assembly, thus stopping a cell from separating into two new cells, eventually causing cell death. This cell damage slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- Vinorelbine can be given alone or in combination with other medicines to treat many cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, Hodgkin's disease and ovarian cancer.
How Vinorelbine is given?
- Vinorelbine can be as capsules to take by mouth.
- Vinorelbine can be given as an infusion into a vein over several minutes.
What should I know while receiving Vinorelbine?
- Do use vincristine when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 and 6 months after the last dose.
- If vinorelbine leaks into the skin, it can cause severe tissue damage and blistering. Tell your nurse right away if you get pain, tenderness or redness at the place where the injection is given.
- You will have regular blood tests to make sure you have enough blood cells and have adequate organ functions to receive this medicine. The timing of your treatment may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- The existing health problems may affect the use of vinorelbine. You should let your doctor know if you have any other medical problems, especially if you have liver, or nerve problems.
Common side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Nausea and vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to prevent it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may reduce the discomfort.
- Weakness and fatigue
Try to pace yourself and rest as much as possible. Seek medical advice if fatigue does not go away when you rest and sleep.
- Elevated liver enzymes
This is usually mild and may return to normal after treatment has ended. Seek medical help right away if you have yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, or pain in abdomen.
Drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting more exercise can help you ease constipation. If you have no bowel movement for 2-3 days or have severe abdominal pain, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
Less common side effects
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve diarrhea.
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Numbness and tingling in fingers or toes
This may last as long as therapy is continued and may become more severe. The symptoms usually get better slowly after treatment has ended, but for some people it never goes away completely. Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms and protect areas where sensation is decreased.
- Hair loss
It may begin 2-3 weeks after your first treatment. Your hair will usually grow back after treatment has finished.
- Many drugs may interact with vinorelbine. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor..
- Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking beverages containing grapefruit. This is because grapefruits can affect how vinnorelbine works and can worsen the side effects.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.