Vincristine is the generic name for the drug Oncovin or Vincasar. This drug is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of the disease throughout the body. Vincristine is prescribed to treat leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue tumors), neuroblastoma and Wilm’s tumor. This drug was produced by Gensia Sicor Pharmaceuticals and was approved by the FDA in 1999.

In a few cases, Vincristine was accidentally added to spinal catheters, which will result in paralysis or death to the patient. There have been a number of deaths associated to the incorrect administration of Vincristine. Healthcare professionals have put procedures in place to ensure that these mistakes will not happen, such as administering Vincristine in a separate room from other drugs that are administered in the spine and clearly labeling the syringes.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, mouth pain, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • Pale sking, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling
  • Bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing)
  • Stomach pain and tenderness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Severe constipation
  • Painful or difficult urination, urinating more or less than usual or not at all
  • Spinning sensation, feeling like you might pass out
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Problems with vision, hearing, speech, swallowing, balance, or daily activities
  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, sudden headache or confusion
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
  • Pain, burning, redness, swelling, or skin changes where the IV needle was placed

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Temporary hair loss
  • Decreased weight with loss of muscle tissue
  • Jaw pain
  • Tumor pain, bone pain
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Feeling weak or tired
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