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(Generic versions may still be available.)
This preparation is for intravenous use only. VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) Injection should be administered by individuals experienced in the administration of vincristine sulfate.
Syringes containing this product should be labeled, using the auxiliary sticker provided, to state "FATAL IF GIVEN INTRATHECALLY. FOR INTRAVENOUS USE ONLY."
The treatment of patients following intrathecal administration of VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) has included immediate removal of spinal fluid and flushing with Lactated Ringer†s, as well as other solutions and has not prevented ascending paralysis and death. In one case, progressive paralysis in an adult was arrested by the following treatment initiated immediately after the intrathecal injection:
2. The subarachnoid space was flushed with Lactated Ringer†s solution infused continuously through a catheter in a cerebral lateral ventricle at the rate of 150 mL/h. The fluid was removed through a lumbar access.
3. As soon as fresh frozen plasma became available, the fresh frozen plasma, 25 mL, diluted in 1 L of Lactated Ringer†s injection was infused through the cerebral ventricular catheter at the rate of 75 mL/h with removal through the lumbar access. The rate of infusion was adjusted to maintain a protein level in the spinal fluid of 150 mg/dL.
4. Glutamic acid, 10 g, was given intravenously over 24 hours followed by 500 mg 3 times daily by mouth for 1 month or until neurological dysfunction stabilized. The role of glutamic acid in this treatment is not certain and may not be essential.
Pregnancy Category D Vincristine sulfate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. When pregnant mice and hamsters were given doses of vin-cristine sulfate that caused the resorption of 23% to 85% of fetuses, fetal malformations were produced in those that survived. Five monkeys were given single doses of vincristine sulfate between days 27 and 34 of their pregnancies; 3 of the fetuses were normal at term, and 2 viable fetuses had grossly evident malformations at term.10 In several animal species, vincristine sulfate can induce teratogenesis as well as embryo death at doses that are nontoxic to the pregnant animal. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, she should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.
General Acute uric acid nephropathy, which may occur after the administration of oncolytic agents, has also been reported with vincristine sulfate. In the presence of leukopenia or a complicating infection, administration of the next dose of VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) Injection warrants careful consideration. If central-nervous-system leukemia is diagnosed, additional agents may be required because vincristine sulfate does not appear to cross the blood-brain barrier in adequate amounts.
Particular attention should be given to dosage and neurologic side effects if VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) is administered to patients with preexisting neuromuscular disease and when other drugs with neurotoxic potential are also being used.
Acute shortness of breath and severe bronchospasm have been reported following the administration of vinca alkaloids. These reactions have been encountered most frequently when the vinca alkaloid was used in combination with mitomycin-C and may require aggressive treatment, particularly when there is preexisting pulmonary dysfunction. The onset of these reactions may occur minutes to several hours after the vinca alkaloid is injected and may occur up to 2 weeks following the dose of mitomycin. Progressive dyspnea requiring chronic therapy may occur. VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) should not be readministered.
Care must be taken to avoid contamination of the eye with concentrations of VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) used clinically. If accidental contamination occurs, severe irritation (or, if the drug was delivered under pressure, even corneal ulceration) may result. The eye should be washed immediately and thoroughly.
Laboratory Tests Because dose-limiting clinical toxicity is manifested as neurotoxi-city, clinical evaluation (e.g., history, physical examination) is necessary to detect the need for dosage modification. Following administration of VINCASAR PFS (vincristine sulfate injection) , some individuals may have a fall in the white-blood-cell count or platelet count, particularly when previous therapy or the disease itself has reduced bone-marrow function. Therefore, a complete blood count should be done before administration of each dose. Acute elevation of serum uric acid may also occur during induction of remission in acute leukemia; thus, such levels should be determined frequently during the first 3 to 4 weeks of treatment or appropriate measures taken to prevent uric acid nephropathy. The laboratory performing these tests should be consulted for its range of normal values. Drug Interaction The simultaneous oral or intravenous administration of phenytoin and antineoplastic chemotherapy combinations that included vincristine sulfate has been reported to reduce blood levels of the anticonvulsant and to increase seizure activity.11 Dosage adjustment should be based on serial blood level monitoring. The contribution of vincristine sulfate to this interaction is not certain. The interaction may result from reduced absorption of phenytoin and an increase in the rate of its metabolism and elimination.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility Neither in vivo nor in vitro laboratory tests have conclusively demonstrated the mutagenicity of this product.10 Fertility following treatment with vincristine sulfate alone for malignant disease has not been studied in humans. Clinical reports of both male and female patients who received multiple-agent chemotherapy that included vincristine sulfate indicate that azoospermia and amenorrhea can occur in postpubertal patients. Recovery occurred many months after completion of chemotherapy in some but not all patients. When the same treatment is administered to prepubertal patients, permanent azoospermia and amenorrhea are much less likely.12-18 Patients who received chemotherapy with vincristine sulfate in combination with anticancer drugs known to be carcinogenic have developed second malignancies. The contributing role of vincristine sulfate in this development has not been determined. No evidence of carcinogenicity was found following intraperitoneal administration of vin-cristine sulfate in rats and mice, although this study was limited.10
Usage in PregnancyPregnancy Category D. See
Nursing Mothers It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions due to vincristine sulfate in nursing infants, a decision should be made either to discontinue nursing or the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/8/2004
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Vincasar PFS Information
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