Vincasar

Vincasar treats a certain type of cancer of the white blood cells. Can cause tingling sensation and numbness in the fingers and toes.

Vincasar Overview

Updated: 

Vincasar is a prescription medication used to treat acute leukemia which is a type of cancer of the white blood cells. Vincasar is also used in combination with other medicines to treat Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and Wilms’ tumor.

Vincasar belongs to a group of drugs called vinca alkaloids. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.

This medication comes in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare provider. It is usually given at weekly intervals.

Common side effects of Vincasar include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, plus weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).

This brand is no longer available, but the generic vincristine sulfate is available.  

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  • Other
  • Hodgkin Disease
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma, Non-hodgkin
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

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Vincasar Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Vincasar

Vincasar is a medication used to treat acute leukemia which is a type of cancer of the white blood cells. Vincasar is also used in combination with other medicines to treat Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and Wilms’ tumor.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Vincasar Drug Class

Vincasar is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Vincasar

Serious side effects have been reported with Vincasar. See the "Vincasar Precautions" section. 

Common side effects of Vincasar include:

  • hair loss
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • a decrease in white blood cells and platelet counts.
  • constipation
  • weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • stomach (abdomen) pain
  • weight loss
  • changes in taste and appetite
  • mouth sores
  • lack of healthy blood cells in the blood (anemia)

This is not a complete list of Vincasar side effects. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. 

Vincasar Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • medications that block a protein in the body (CYP3A4) such as some macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin, telithromycin), some HIV protease inhibitors (indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), some HCV protease inhibitors (boceprevir, telaprevir), some azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole), conivaptan (Vaprisol), delavirdine (Rescriptor), and nefazodone
  • phenytoin

This is not a complete list of Vincasar drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Vincasar Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Vincasar including the following:

  • kidney disease associated with high levels of uric acid (acute uric acid nephropathy)
  • nerves that control your voluntary muscles may be affected. Frequently, there is a sequence to the development of these side effects. First, only impairment of nerves involved with sensation and an abnormal sensation of tingling or pricking may occur. With continued treatment, pain from an inflamed nerve and, later, movement difficulties may occur. 
  • shortness of breath and severe constriction of airways (bronchospasm) have been reported. Progressive difficulty in breathing may require chronic therapy. Vincasar should not be readministered.
  • a large decrease in white blood cell counts which increases the risk of infections. You should have your complete blood counts checked before each dose. 
  • a large decrease in platelets. Your doctor will monitor your blood counts. 
  • care must be taken to avoid getting Vincasar into the eye. If you get Vincasar in your eye then severe irritation (or, if the drug was delivered under pressure, even a cut on the eye) may result. Wash your eye out immediately and thoroughly.

This medication is for intravenous (IV) use only. Vincasar can cause death if given by other routes. 

Do not take Vincasar if you:

  • are allergic to Vincasar and any of its ingredients
  • have the demyelinating form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome

Vincasar Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Vincasar there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.

Inform MD

Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Vincasar
  • you suffer from any diseases affecting the nerves or muscles
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Vincasar and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. Vincasar can cause birth defects for the baby if you are already pregnant. Patients should not become pregnant while taking Vincasar. Patients should use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy. 

Report to your healthcare provider immediately if you become pregnant. 

Vincasar and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if Vincasar is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby. Do not breastfeed while taking Vincasar.

Vincasar Usage

Vincasar is for intravenous (into the vein) use only. Your doctor will choose the correct dosage for your situation and in most cases will give the injection in his or her office or clinic.

Vincasar is administered into the vein (intravenously) at weekly intervals.

Vincasar Dosage

Vincasar is for intravenous (into the vein) use only. Your doctor will choose the correct dosage for your situation and in most cases will give the injection in his or her office or clinic.

  • The usual dose for children is 1.5 to 2 mg/m2.
  • For children weighing 10 kg or less, the starting dose should be 0.05 mg/kg, administered once a week.
  • The usual dose for adults is 1.4 mg/m2.
  • A dose reduction may be necessary for patients with other medical conditions or your blood work.

Vincasar Overdose

Since this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

Keep all scheduled appointments with your doctor as well as all laboratory appointments. This medicine may cause a decrease of blood cells. Your doctor may order tests before, during and after your treatment to monitor this side effect.

Drink lots of water while receiving Vincasar treatments, unless you are told not to, to help prevent constipation and dehydration.

Good diet and nutrition will be helpful, as well as eating foods that will help reduce the effects of diarrhea.

People on Vincasar may be at risk of infections, so avoiding crowds or other people with contagious illnesses may help. Always maintain good hygiene and wash hands often.

Vincasar FDA Warning

WARNINGS

Caution–This preparation should be administered by individuals experienced in the administration of Vincasar. It is extremely important that the intravenous needle or catheter be properly positioned before any vincristine is injected. Leakage into surrounding tissue during intravenous administration of Vincasar may cause considerable irritation. If extravasation occurs, the injection should be discontinued immediately, and any remaining portion of the dose should then be introduced into another vein. Local injection of hyaluronidase and the application of moderate heat to the area of leakage help disperse the drug and are thought to minimize discomfort and the possibility of cellulitis.

FOR INTRAVENOUS USE ONLY – FATAL IF GIVEN BY OTHER ROUTES.