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Vincristine Description

Vincristine Description

Generic Name : VINCRISTINE

Pronunciation : (vin kris' teen)

Trade Name(s) : Cytocristin, Oncocristin - AQ, Vincristine, Vincristine Sulphate

Why it is prescribed: Vincristine is chemotherapy that is given as a treatment for some types of cancer. Vincristine is used to treat Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of cancer) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Kaposi's sarcoma has become the fourth most common AIDS-defining illness. Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are a category of cancers that have become increasingly common in people with AIDS.

When it is to be taken: Vincristine is given intravenously. Each single dose is given intravenously over 1 minute. It looks like a clear fluid after being dissolved from powder.

How it should be taken: Vincristine is one of the older chemotherapy drugs which has been around for many years. When prepared for use, it becomes a clear and colorless liquid and is given by intravenous route only. It is most commonly used in treatment of the following cancers. The purpose of chemotherapy is to control your illness so that your own body can aid in your recovery. It is important to build up your body's defense system, and a balanced diet is needed to build a healthy body. Ask your doctor for advice on your diet.

Special Instruction :
1. Increased fluid and fiber intake and increased exercise may minimize constipation.
2. Tell your doctor about any pain, difficulty walking, persistent constipation or abnormal sensation such as burning or prickling on the skin.
3. Contraception should be practiced during and for at least 2 months after treatment is concluded.
4. Vincristine and vinblastine may be used in alternating weeks to reduce dose-limiting toxicity. By alternating the drugs, you can use higher, more effective doses without suffering severe side effects.
5. Some other medicines can be harmful when you are having chemotherapy. Always tell your doctor about any other medicine you are taking.

Side Effects : Constipation, stomach cramps, bed wetting, decrease or increase in urination, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficult or painful urination, lack of sweating, joint pain, lower back or side pain, visual changes, difficulty controlling muscle movement, drooping eyelids, headache, jaw pain, numbness or tingling in fingers or toes, pain in testicles, weakness, leukopenia, decrease in number of platelets which can lead to bleeding, and inflammation of the mouth. Vincristine's major side effect is a reversible peripheral neuropathy.

Other Precautions :
1. If vincristine leaks into the tissue around the vein it can damage the tissue in that area. If you notice any stinging or burning around the vein while the drug is being given, or any leakage of fluid from the cannula site, it is very important that you tell the doctor or nurse.
2. If the area around the injection site becomes red or swollen at any time you should either tell the doctor or nurse on the ward, or if you are at home, ring the clinic or ward and ask to speak to the doctor or nurse.

Storage Conditions :
1. Refrigerate infusion device. Warm to room temperature before infusing.
2. Check expiration date.
3. Store vial under refrigeration. Protect from light.

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