Vinorelbine (Navelbine)

Warning: Vinorelbine must only be given by injection from a doctor or trained health care professional.   Deaths have occurred when similar medications were injected into the spine. Do not let your skin come into contact with this medication. Your tissue could suffer severe damage. Tell your doctor immediately if you have pain, redness or swelling at the injection site.

Indications:  Vinorelbine is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat several types of cancer.  It slows or stops the growth of cancer cells.  More specifically, it is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer or cancer of the Uterus.

Vinorelbine is also used to treat:

  • metastatic breast cancer
  • Hodgkin’s disease.

Dosage:  This medicine is given intravenously by a doctor or a health care professional. It is usually given over a ten minute period, once a week or as often as directed by a doctor. Dosage is determined by a doctor.

Your doctor will check your weight, body size, medical condition and how you are responding to therapy to determine if your dose needs to be adjusted.


Overdose:  overdosing Vinorelbine can lead to a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, which can cause serious infections. Even in the absence of overdose, Vinorelbine can cause neurological problems, which can be characterized by an abolition of tendon reflexes and impaired sensitivity to the limbs. Vinorelbine 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.

Contraindications:  Vinorelbine should not be used if you have certain medical conditions including bone marrow diseases or blood cell disorders. It’s important that your doctor know your full medical history before taking this medication.  Tell your doctor about any allergies you may have. This medication can sometimes cause a very serious skin reaction that looks like a severe sunburn when given after a radiation treatment.  Talk to your doctor if you develop a rash or redness, swelling and blistering of the skin. This drug can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight.  Avoid tanning booths and do not stay outside in the sun without proper sunblock.  You should not have immunizations or vaccinations while taking this medication.  Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before using this medication. It could cause harm to an unborn baby. Birth control should be used during treatment and for several months after treatment. Women who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor about the pontential risks the medication can have on an infant.  It is best to stop breastfeeding altogether because it is not known whether this medication is passed through breast milk.

Interactions: Certain medications may affect how Vinorelbine works.  Certain medications may also increase the risk for serious side effects while taking this medication.  Keep a list of all medications you are taking including prescription, non-prescription and herbal remedies, and give it to your doctor or pharmacist. Specific drugs that may interact with this medication include itraconazole, erythromycin, cimetidine, rifabutin and St. John’s Wort. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these or any medication that affects liver enzymes.

Side effects:  as with any chemotherapy drugs, Vinorelbine cause  side effects in most patients. Most common Vinorelbine 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
  • chills
  • shortness of breath
  • persistent cough
  • 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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