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 cancer chemotherapy                                                             

 

ONCOVIN (Vincristine)      

Brand name: Oncovin®, Vincasar®  

 

Generic name: Vincristine 

Other names: Vincristine Sulfate, leurocristine 

Therapeutic Class: vinca alkaloids 

Manufacturer / Distributor: Eli Lilly and Company 

Availability: Oncovin is available by prescription only  

Indications: Oncovin is used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy agents to treat a variety of cancers: 

  • multiple myeloma 
  • Ewing sarcoma  
  • neuroblastoma 
  • brain medulloblastoma  
  • breast cancer 
  • small cell lung cancer  
  • Wilms' tumor  
  • cervical cancer 
  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia  
  • non-Hodgkin   and hodgkin's Lymphoma 
  • rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma  
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura 
  • embryonic tumors  
  • Kaposi's sarcoma related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). 

Oncovin can be prescribed for other health problems; talk to your physician or pharmacist for more information .

 

Dosage form: Oncovin is given by injection into a vein 

Dosage: to determine an effective dosage, your physician will consider the type of cancer you have, your health status (presence of other diseases or not), and your body surface area (height and weight). Depending on the response of your body to the drug, your physician can change the dosage even after the therapy has started. Usually, lower doses are given to patients who are taking other drugs, or undergoing radiation therapy.  

Usually, Oncovin is injected into a vein. The usual dose for adults is 1.4 mg/m2 body surface area. The injection is repeated once a week throughout the duration of the therapy, if there is no complications. The drug may leak into surrounding tissue; therefore, a close monitoring is necessary throughout the treatment.  

In general, Oncovin is administered under medical supervision in a hospital or health center with adequate equipments for the preparation of the drug. Manipulating Oncovin requires caution, and must be done by an oncologist or a health professional that has experience in chemotherapy drugs.  

Overdose: Oncovin is given in hospital by professionals; the risk of overdose is virtually nonexistent; however, accidental overdose or administrative mistake can happen. Oncovin overdose can damage your bone marrow, and cause a decrease in the number of blood cells. Overdosing chemotherapy drugs can cause death or severe health problems.  

Sometimes, Oncovin can cause urinary tract infections, especially in the treatment of acute leukemias. To reduce or prevent urinary problems during treatment, you can drink plenty of fluids. After talking to your doctor about it, you can also drink Vichy water or Carbonated Water.  

Missing dose: the fact that Oncovin is administered in hospital, missing dose is basically difficult if you keep your doctor’s appointment. Therefore, be present at each appointment to take every dose of Oncovin prescribed by your doctor. If for some reason you cannot go to the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date schedule for the injection.  

Contraindication: taking Oncovin requires regular blood monitoring. Oncovin is contraindicated in the following conditions: 

  • breastfeeding  
  • severe peripheral neuropathy 
  • allergy to Oncovin or one of its components 
  • pregnancy - if you are of childbearing age, an effective contraception during treatment can be applied to prevent pregnancy 
  • Vaccination against yellow fever, live attenuated vaccines, phenytoin, fosphenytoin and itraconazole.   

Mechanism of action (MOA): Oncovin belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs known as vinca alkaloids; it slows or stops multiplication of cancer cells by interfering with their genetic material (DNA).  

Interactions:  tell you to your doctor before taking prescription or non prescription medication such as aspirin, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and St. John's wort. Some medicines may interact with Oncovin; tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:  

  • digoxin  
  • phenytoin 
  • asparaginase 
  • mitomycin 
  • nifedipine 
  • probenecid  
  • sulfinpyrazone 
  • all other cancer drugs. 

Side effects: In addition to attack cancer cells, Oncovin may interfere with certain normal cells, causing a number of side effects:

  • hair loss 
  • nausea and vomiting 
  • stomach pain and cramps  
  • constipation
  • diarrhea 
  • headache 
  • jaw pain 
  • fatigue 
  • sleep disorders 
  • Mouth blistering.  

If the side effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:  

  • fainting
  • confusion 
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty walking
  • sore throat and fever (which can indicate infection)
  • hoarseness
  • vision problems
  • tingling, numbness, and cramping in the legs or arms
  • severe abdominal or muscle cramping
  • persistent diarrhea or constipation
  • swelling of the feet and ankles
  • painful urination or urgent need to urinate
  • Redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.

 

References: 

wikipedia.org, vincristine 

fnclcc.fr, vincristine definition