Oncovin (vincristine) Side Effects


Oncovin is a chemotherapy drug that is better known by its generic name, vincristine. It was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1963, and it is featured in several combination chemotherapy regimens, including widely used regimens such as R-CHOP (the O is Oncovin). It works by disrupting the ability of the cancer cells to grow by dividing. It affects both cancer cells and healthy cells.

Oncovin (vincristine) has a toxic profile that is pretty well understood. It is common for people to experience some side effects in receiving this drug, but not everybody will experience side effects. For those that do, whether the side effects are serious or less serious, the patient should always tell his or her doctor about them and allow the doctor to draw conclusions as to whether the drug should be continued or not.

Serious Side Effects of Oncovin

The following side effects are considered serious enough that, should they be experienced, it is important to notify one's doctor or health care professional as soon as possible.

  • Any indication of an allergic reaction: Hives, problems breathing; the swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of an infection: fever, chills, sore throat, mouth pain, development of white patches or sores inside the mouth or on the lips
  • Paleness of the skin, light-headedness, feeling short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (for example bleeding from the nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), or the appearance of purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Stomach tenderness or pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Constipation
  • Painful or difficult urination, urinating more or less frequently than usual, not urinating at all
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Vision problems, hearing problems, speech problems; problems swallowing, with balance, or with daily activities
  • Sudden numbness/weakness on one side of the body, or sudden headache or confusion
  • Chest pain, or heavy feeling spreading to the arm or shoulder, coupled possible with nausea or sweating

Less Serious Side Effects of Oncovin

The following is an incomplete list of less serious side effects associated with Oncovin. Just because they are less serious does not mean they should not be reported to one's doctor. All side effects should be reported when they occur.

  • Hair loss (temporary)
  • Weight loss, specifically in the muscle tissue
  • Jaw pain
  • Bone pain
  • Missed menstrual period
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness or fatigue

To reiterate, side effects from chemotherapy are normal, but they should always be reported to your doctor or health care professional.

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