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What is vinblastine?

Vinblastine (also called Velban®) is an anticancer medicine. It is a clear liquid given by vein (IV).

Vinblastine can pose a health hazard to caregivers. All caregivers should take safety precautions while giving this drug. For 48 hours after this drug is given, the patient’s body fluids can contain the drug. During that 48-hour period, caregivers should follow safety guidelines when handling the patient’s vomit, blood, urine, and bowel movements, including diapers. These guidelines include wearing gloves when cleaning up body fluids. For a complete list of safety precautions, see “Do you know… Protecting caregivers from drug hazards.”

Possible side effects of vinblastine


  • Irritated tissue and skin damage at the IV site
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Later (usually more than a day after treatment starts)

  • Constipation
  • Pain or cramping in abdomen
  • Fingers or toes feel numb or tingle
  • Jaw pain, problems chewing
  • Trouble breathing or short of breath
  • Headache
  • Low blood counts, usually after 4 to10 days
  • Muscle cramps or muscle weakness
  • Feeling depressed
  • Hair loss
  • Feeling tired or weak

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for vinblastine

  • Vinblastine can cause nausea and vomiting. The doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up after you receive vinblastine.
  • Tell the nurse right away if you have pain or redness at the IV site.
  • The doctor may prescribe a stool softener or laxative if you have constipation.
  • The doctor may prescribe medicine to help with the numbness, tingling, or pain that can occur with vinblastine therapy.
  • It may be easier for you to get infections while you are receiving vinblastine. Stay away from crowds and people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • Some medicines may affect the way vinblastine works. Vinblastine may affect the way other medicines work. These include:
    • Itraconazole
    • Ketoconazole
    • Voriconazole
    • Phenytoin
    • Erythromycin
  • Always tell the doctor if you are taking these medicines, or if you start taking any new medicines while receiving vinblastine.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).