Vinblastine Sulfate

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 6/27/2022
Vinblastine Sulfate Side Effects Center

What Is Vinblastine Sulfate?

Vinblastine Sulfate for Injection is a stathmokinetic oncolytic agent used to treat cancer.

What Are Side Effects of Vinblastine Sulfate?

Common side effects of vinblastine sulfate include:

  • pain/redness at the injection site
  • nausea/vomiting (may be severe)
  • constipation
  • tiredness, and

loss of appetite. Temporary hair loss is another common side effect of vinblastine sulfate. Normal hair growth should return after treatment with vinblastine sulfate has ended.

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Vinblastine Sulfate

Vinblastine sulfate therapy for adults should be started with a single intravenous dose of 3.7 mg/m2 of body surface area (bsa).

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Vinblastine Sulfate?

Vinblastine sulfate may interact with aspirin and other NSAIDs, hydantoins, tolterodine, cisplatin, carboplatin, gentamicin, aprepitant, azole antifungals, and antibiotics. Your doctor may direct you to limit citrus (and other foods/products that increase the acid level of urine) during treatment. Consult your doctor. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Vinblastine Sulfate During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Vinblastine Sulfate is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the fetus. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended.

Additional Information

Our Vinblastine Sulfate for Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Vinblastine Sulfate Consumer Information
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Pain/redness at the injection site, nausea, vomiting, constipation, tiredness, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To reduce constipation, increase your intake of fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. Stool softeners may be helpful. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about stool softeners and laxatives.

Temporary hair loss is another common side effect. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

Many people using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.

Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, fast/pounding heartbeat, abdominal/stomach pain, bone/jaw pain, severe headache, hearing problems, unusual lumps/skin changes, dizziness/feeling of spinning, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression), pale/bluish fingers/toes, pain/coldness in fingers/toes, numbness/tingling, difficult/painful urination, pink/bloody urine.

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: sudden shortness of breath/wheezing, black/tarry stools, chest/left arm pain, confusion, seizures, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision changes, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Vinblastine Sulfate (Vinblastine Sulfate Injection)

Vinblastine Sulfate Professional Information


Prior to the use of the drug, patients should be advised of the possibility of untoward symptoms.

In general, the incidence of adverse reactions attending the use of vinblastine sulfate appears to be related to the size of the dose employed. With the exception of epilation, leukopenia, and neurologic side effects, adverse reactions generally have not persisted for longer than 24 hours. Neurologic side effects are not common; but when they do occur, they often last for more than 24 hours. Leukopenia, the most common adverse reaction, is usually the dose-limiting factor.

The following are manifestations which have been reported as adverse reactions, in decreasing order of frequency. The most common adverse reactions are underlined:

Hematologic: Leukopenia (granulocytopenia), anemia, thrombocytopenia (myelosuppression).

Dermatologic: Alopecia is common. A single case of light sensitivity associated with this product has been reported.

Gastrointestinal: Constipation, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, ileus, vesiculation of the mouth, pharyngitis, diarrhea, hemorrhagic enterocolitis, bleeding from an old peptic ulcer, rectal bleeding.

Neurologic: Numbness of digits (paresthesias), loss of deep tendon reflexes, peripheral neuritis, mental depression, headache, convulsions.

Treatment with vinca alkaloids has resulted rarely in both vestibular and auditory damage to the eighth cranial nerve. Manifestations include partial or total deafness which may be temporary or permanent, and difficulties with balance including dizziness, nystagmus, and vertigo. Particular caution is warranted when vinblastine sulfate (vinblastine sulfate injection) is used in combination with other agents known to be ototoxic such as platinum-containing oncolytics.

Cardiovascular: Hypertension. Cardiac effects such as myocardial infarction, angina pectoris and transient abnormalities of ECG related to coronary ischemia have been reported very rarely. Cases of unexpected myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents have occurred in patients undergoing combination chemotherapy with vinblastine, bleomycin, and cisplatin. Raynaud's phenomenon has also been reported with this combination.

Pulmonary: See PRECAUTIONS.

Miscellaneous: Malaise, bone pain, weakness, pain in tumor-containing tissue, dizziness, jaw pain, skin vesiculation, hypertension, Raynaud's phenomenon when patients are being treated with vinblastine sulfate (vinblastine sulfate injection) in combination with bleomycin and cis-platinum for testicular cancer. The syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone has occurred with higher than recommended doses.

Nausea and vomiting usually may be controlled with ease by antiemetic agents. When epilation develops, it frequently is not total; and, in some cases, hair regrows while maintenance therapy continues.

Extravasation during intravenous injection may lead to cellulitis and phlebitis. If the amount of extravasation is great, sloughing may occur.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Vinblastine Sulfate (Vinblastine Sulfate Injection)

© Vinblastine Sulfate Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Vinblastine Sulfate Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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