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ONCOVIN (Vincristine)

Warning: Those taking Oncovin should take care not to get it on skin or anywhere besides the vein, as this may cause great amounts of damage to the tissue. The medication should be used cautiously in patients having infections, decreased bone marrow reserve, liver disease, pulmonary dysfunction, and other chronic debilitating illnesses

Indications: Oncovin is used to treat many types of conditions and diseases from lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease to neroblastoma and rhabdomysoarcoma, but it is most commonly used in the treatment of malignant tumors that are in an advanced stage. This includes tumors in the bone, the kidneys, ovaries, and sometimes lungs. Because Oncovin is often used in conjunction with other types of chemotherapy medications, its basic function is to help stop the growth of cancerous cells. This is the main way that many doctors choose to battle cancers and tumors inside the individual.

 

In addition, Oncovin is sometimes recommended in the treatment of these cancers: 

 

  • multiple myeloma
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • neuroblastoma 
  • brain medulloblastoma
  • breast cancer 
  • Wilms' tumor
  • cervical cancer
  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia  
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura 
  • embryonic tumors  
  • Kaposi's sarcoma related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). 

This medication is often used on adults, but has also shown effective and therefore been used to help treat child cancer patients as well.

 

Dosage: This medication is given through an injection in the veins in the arm. There are regular dosages over extended periods of time which vary in length and duration according the prescription of the doctor. A doctor may prescribe this medication for shorter or longer periods of time depending on a couple of factors. First, the size, weight, age, and overall physical health of an individual must be taken into account before starting this medication. Also, since this medication is used with other types of medicines as well, it may be necessary to change dosage to help the process of treatment. Also, this medication is prescribed with other medicines that may have more severe symptoms than other types of medicines, so a doctor should take that into account as well when prescribing dosage and duration.

Each injection, dose, or treatment is taken at regular intervals, and it is extremely important that each appointment for treatment is met or rescheduled immediately after the knowledge that it cannot be made by the patient.

 

Contraindications: Oncovin has severe interactions with a couple of types of medications. For example, immunosuppressives, immunomodulators, and other selected agents have very severe interactions and are usually not taken together. As a consequence, if an individual is taking any of those types of drugs, it is important to tell the doctor.

Taking the medication 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: There are many different types of medications that can work with this medication, so it is important to consult with a doctor about what other medications may be taken or have been taken in the past. It is also very urgent to tell a doctor about any allergies that a patient may have. In this way, the medication can be prescribed to work with other types of medications correctly.

Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist 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:

  • anemia
  • abdominal cramps
  • 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 
  • severe depression
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty walking
  • stomatitis or ulcerative colitis
  • 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