WHAT VINBLASTINE SULPHATE INJECTIONS IS AND WHAT IT IS USED FOR
Vinblastine sulphate is an anti-cancer medicine. Treatment with an anti-cancer medicine is sometimes called cancer chemotherapy. Vinblastine Sulphate Injection is sometimes used in the treatment of cancers of the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, testicles, ovaries, skin and breast. It may be given alone or in combination with other anti-cancer medicines.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU USE VINBLASTINE SULPHATE INJECTION
Vinblastine Sulphate Injection must never be injected intrathecally (into the spine).
Do not use Vinblastine Sulphate Injection:
• if you are allergic to vinblastine or to any of the other ingredients of this medicine .
• if you have a bacterial infection which is not under control
• if your blood tests show that you do not have enough white blood cells to fight infection
Tell your doctor if any of the above applies to you before this medicine is used
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or nurse before using Vinblastine Sulphate Injection
• if you are an elderly patient in poor health or with skin sores
• if you have liver disease, including inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
If you notice any of the following, and they do not go away, this might also mean that you
have liver problems:
• Loss of appetite.
• Feeling itchy.
• Feeling tired, having no energy or feeling like you have flu.
• Feeling as though you are going to be sick or actually being sick.
If in doubt, check with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if any of the above apply to you, before this medicine is used.
Other medicines and Vinblastine Sulphate Injection
Special care is needed if you are taking/using other medicines as some could interact with
vinblastine sulphate, for example:
• the use of mitomycin-C and/or progesterone (anti-cancer medicines),with vinblastine may cause breathing problems
• the use of bleomycin or cisplatin (anticancer medicines) with vinblastine may cause heart and circulation problems (e.g. Raynaud’s phenomenon)
• the use of erythromycin (antibiotic) may increase the side effects of vinblastine
• vinblastine may reduce the effectiveness of medicines used to treat epilepsy
• if you are having radiotherapy in the liver area your doctor will delay giving you vinblastine
Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctor will decide if you should receive this medicine.
• As there is a risk of birth defects, women of childbearing potential should use appropriate contraception methods during treatment with vinblastine sulphate.
• If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.
Driving and using machines
Do not drive or use machines if you experience any side effect which may lessen your ability to
do so. Vinblastine Sulphate Injection contains sodium This medicinal product contains 1.5 mmol
sodium (35 mg) per vial. To be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.
HOW TO USE VINBLASTINE SULPHATE INJECTION
This medicine is given by injection (using a syringe) into a vein. Alternatively, it may be injected into the line of a running infusion (drip).
Vinblastine sulphate is an irritant, if it accidentally gets into your eyes tell your doctor or nurse immediately so that it may be washed out.
You may be given medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting during treatment with vinblastine sulphate.
• Your doctor will work out the correct dose of vinblastine sulphate for you and how often it must be given.
• The dose will depend on your medical condition, your size and how well your liver is working. Your doctor will tell how well your liver is working using a blood sample. If your liver is not
working properly the dose may be reduced.
• Vinblastine sulphate is usually given once a week.
If you are given too much or too little Vinblastine Sulphate Injection
This medicine will be given to you in a hospital, under the supervision of a doctor. It is unlikely that you will be given too much or too little, however, tell your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, this medicine can have side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately:
• severe allergic reaction – you may experience a sudden itchy rash (hives), swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, mouth or throat (which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing), and you may feel you are going to faint.
• pain or swelling at the injection site during or immediately after the injection
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor as soon as possible:
• low blood cell count which may be present as anaemia, fever or infection, abnormal bleeding or bruising
• convulsions (fits)
• blood in the stools which may be accompanied by abdominal pain
• blistering of the skin
• mouth ulcers
• sore throat
Vinblastine sulphate may lead to changes in your blood cells. Your doctor will take blood samples to monitor for these and also to check how well your liver is working.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or nurse.
HOW TO STORE VINBLASTINE SULPHATE INJECTION
• Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
• Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the vial label and carton after ‘EXP’. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
• The vials should be stored at 2 – 8°C.
• The vials should be kept in the outer carton in order to protect from light.