How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Vinorelbine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics. It kills cancer cells by interfering with the genetic material DNA, which is necessary for their growth and reproduction.
Vinorelbine is used alone or in combination with other antineoplastic medications to treat certain types of lung cancer and breast cancer.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Navelbine is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under vinorelbine. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose and dosing schedule of vinorelbine varies according to the specific type of cancer being treated, the response to therapy, and the other drugs or treatments being used. The dose administered is also based on body size.
Vinorelbine is injected into a vein through a specially prepared site on your skin. It is usually given on a weekly basis. Very careful handling of this medication is required. It is always given under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for chemotherapy preparation.
As well as interfering with the genetic material DNA of cancer cells, vinorelbine can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects such as hair loss and mouth sores. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor as suggested in the section "What side effects are possible with this medication?"
Vinorelbine often causes nausea and vomiting, but it is important to keep using this medicine even if you feel ill. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can advise you on how to reduce the effects of nausea and vomiting.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids while using this medication to prevent kidney problems.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to vinorelbine or any ingredients of this medication
- are pregnant
- have severely reduced levels of white blood cells or platelets
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- appetite loss
- jaw pain
- joint or muscle pain
- nausea and vomiting
- temporary loss of hair
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- loss of strength or energy
- numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Get medical help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- black, tarry stools or blood in urine or stools
- chest pain
- cough or hoarseness with fever or chills
- fever or chills
- lower back or side pain with fever or chills
- painful or difficult urination with fever or chills
- painful urination
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- redness, pain, or discolouration of vein at site of injection
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- sore throat with fever or chills
- sores in the mouth and on the lips
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood clotting: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor of any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly as usual. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people with contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.
Liver disease: Vinorelbine should be administered with caution if you have liver disease. Please inform your doctor if you have or have had a history of liver disease.
Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defect if either the father or mother is using vinorelbine at the time of conception, or if it is taken during pregnancy. It may also harm the baby in other ways if taken during pregnancy.
Use effective birth control while being treated with this medication and tell the doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using this medication.
Breast-feeding: It is not known whether vinorelbine passes into breast milk. Women should not breast-feed while receiving vinorelbine treatment due to the risk to the infant.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between vinorelbine and any of the following:
- other cancer medications
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, decongestants, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Navelbine