NAVELBINE (Vinorelbine)

Warning: Navelbine should only be given while under physician supervision to patients with cancer. It should also only be administered intravenously. If given intrathecally it can result in death. The catheter or needle needs to be positioned properly before the medicine is injected into the patient or it can cause local tissue necrosis and/or thrombophlebitis. This medicine can cause numbness and/or tingling pain that occur in hands and feet. It can cause anemia, lack of energy, hair loss, constipation, and nausea. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking this medication until you know the affect it will have on you. It can cause dizziness and slow reflexes. Mixing this medication with alcohol can enhance the affect of the dizziness, drowsiness, and slow reflexes that you might experience.

Indications : Lung cancer is a type of cancer that is more common than others, because you can breathe in so many harmful pollutants that are in the air. Smoking is by far the most common cause of lung cancer. When you breathe in substances that cause cancer the damage of normal cells get severely damaged and later become cancer. Lung cancer, like all cancers, is when normal cells change then grow rapidly and multiply quickly. Navelbine works by slowing down or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Navelbine is one agent that is used in combination with other agents for use in many different types of cancers but is most commonly used for lung cancer. It is combined with Cisplatin for treatment in advanced non-small lung cancer (NSCLC), usually stage III or stage IV. Lung cancer can easily be treated if it is caught in the early stages. In early stages it is unlikely that cells have grown or spread to other parts of the body.

Navelbine can be also used in the treatment of these cancers:

  • metastatic breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • Hodgkin’s disease.

Dosage: Navelbine is usually given in a dose of 30mg/m intravenously, being slowly administered over a period of 6 to 10 minutes, once a week. When combined with Cisplatin, it is administered 25mg/m. Doses should be monitored along with patient progress and adjusted accordingly in order to prevent hematologic toxicity.

Usually, several criteria are considered before an appropriate dosage is prescribed: age, body surface area (height and weight), type of cancer treated, taking other medications or not, as well as health status. Usually, a lower dose of Navelbine is recommended when it is taken in combination with other drugs or therapy (radiotherapy for instance). Depending on your body’s reaction to the drug, your doctor may stop or change the way you take it.  

 Overdose: overdosing any anti-cancer medications is dangerous. Overdose of Navelbine can lead to a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, which can cause serious infections. Even in the absence of overdose, Navelbine can cause neurological problems, which can be characterized by an abolition of tendon reflexes and impaired sensitivity to the limbs. Navelbine can also cause broncho-pulmonary and heart problems.

During the treatment, keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory. Contact your doctor or the poison control center nearest you immediately if you experience these symptoms: loss of muscle coordination, vision and/or speech problems, sore throat, persistent cough, frequent or painful urination.

Interactions: There is a severe interaction with immunosuppressives. If taking both these medications then your body will not be able to fight off infections very well, thus, making it much easier to get infections. It is best to avoid taking these types of medicines while on Navelbine. There have been acute pulmonary reactions that have been reported when Navelbine and other vinca alkaloids when used with mitomycin.

Contraindications: Tell your doctor or pharmacist your complete medical history before beginning Navelbine. Especially if you have had liver disease or blockage of the intestines or heart disease. Do not use this medication during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant.  Birth control should be used when taking Navelbine.

Side effects: a s with any chemotherapy drugs, Navelbine cause side effects in most patients. most common Navelbine side effects include :

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomitting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • hair loss
  • increased risk of infections
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet.

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

  • fever and chills
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent cough
  • severe clinical depression
  • severe constipation
  • persistent diarrhea
  • abnormal burning and tingling
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • sore throat or mouth pain
  • Redness, pain, or swelling at the site of the injection.



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