Vinorelbine is a chemotherapy medicine used to treat breast cancer and advanced non-small cell lung cancer. This is a prescription already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vinorelbine helps slow and stops the growth of the cancer cells.
Breast cancer can happen in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women. This forms in the cells of the breasts. Breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate which forms a lump or mass. Cells may spread by your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
Breast cancer most frequently begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts or also called invasive ductal carcinoma. This type of cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
• Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
• A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
• Changes to the skin over the breast such as dimpling
• Scaling, peeling, crusting, or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple or breast skin
• Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast like the skin of an orange
Advanced non-small cell lung cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the lungs. Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Your lungs are 2 sponge-like organs in your chest. Your right lung has 3 sections called lobes. Your left lung has 2 lobes. The left lung is smaller because the heart takes up more room on that side of the body. Most lung cancers don’t cause symptoms until the disease has advanced in part because the lungs have few nerve endings. When lung cancer does cause signs in its early stages, they may vary from person to person but commonly include:
• A new cough that is persistent or worsens, or a change in an existing chronic cough
• Pain in the chest, back or shoulders that worsens during coughing, laughing or deep breathing
• Cough that produces blood
• Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly and occurs during everyday activities
• Feeling that you are tired or weak
• Hoarseness or wheezing
• Loss of appetite
• Unexplained weight loss
• Lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia that won’t go away
Less common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
• Swelling in the face or neck
• Changes in the appearance of fingers, called finger clubbing
• Difficulty swallowing or pain while swallowing
How does Vinorelbine work?
Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply abnormally and uncontrollably. These cells spread and destroys nearby tissues. Vinorelbine works by stopping the cancer cells from multiplying. Like normal healthy cells, cancer cells go through a continuous process of change. Each cell divides into two daughter cells. These cells grow, rest and then divide again. The medicines used in chemotherapy are now powerful chemicals designed to interupt this cycle and stop cells from growing and multiplying.
Vinorelbine belongs to a group of chemotherapy medicines called vinca alkaloids. These work by preventing the cancer cells from entering the dividing stage of their life cycle. This stops the cells from multiplying.
How to use Vinorelbine?
This is given by injection only into a vein by a doctor or healthcare professional. It is usually given over 6-10 minutes once a week or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to therapy, and body size.
If this medication comes into contact with your skin wash your skin right away and completely with soap and water. If the drug gets into your eyes, flush them right away completely with water, and contact the doctor.
Before using this product, check it visually for any particles or discoloration. Do not use if it is discolored or cloudy. Clean the injection site as well with a rubbing alcohol before injecting. To prevent dehydration, it is important to drink plenty of fluids while you are being treated with this drug. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.
What are the side effects of Vinorelbine?
Common side effects:
• Muscle or joint pain or aches
• Jaw pain
• Tumor pain
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Irritation at the injection site
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects including:
• Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
• Decreased reflexes
• Mouth sores
• Easy bruising or bleeding
• New or increased trouble breathing
• Severe constipation
• Stomach or abdominal pain
• Blood in the urine
• Mental/mood changes
Warnings and Precautions
• This medicine may be harmful to a developing baby. Women who could get pregnant should use effective contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, and men should use effective contraception to prevent fathering a child, both during treatment and for at least three months after treatment is finished.
• This drug should be used with caution in people with decreased liver function or in people with a history of heart disease.
• This should not be used in people with very low numbers of white blood cells in their blood, with very low numbers of platelets in their blood, or who are currently having radiotherapy treatment to the liver.
• Let your doctor know if you have any allergies. Do not use this if you had an allergic reaction to the drug before.
• You should never share this or any of your medications with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
• Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
• Keep this away from the direct heat, light, or from the reach of children/pets.