DBL™ Vinblastine Injection
Vinblastine Sulfate (vin-BLAS-teen)
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about being given this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet in a safe place. You may need to read it again.
What DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is used for
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is used to treat some types of cancers.
This medicine works by killing cancer cells and stopping cancer cells from growing and multiplying.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection belongs to a group of medicines called antineoplastic or cytotoxic medicines. You may also hear of these being called chemotherapy medicines.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is classified as a ‘vinca alkaloid’ type of cytotoxic.
It may be given alone, or used in combination with other medicines to treat cancer.
Your doctor may have prescribed DBL™ Vinblastine Injection for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why DBL™ Vinblastine Injection has been prescribed for you. This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Before you are given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection
When you must not be given it
You must not be given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection if you have an allergy to vinblastine, or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may include:
- shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
You must not be given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection if you have any of the following conditions:
- any condition with a reduced number of red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets
- a bacterial infection.
Tell your doctor if you have an infection or high temperature. Your doctor may decide to delay your treatment until the infection has gone. A mild illness, such as a cold, is not usually a reason to delay treatment.
You must not be given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Like most cytotoxic medicines, this medicine is not recommended for use during pregnancy, unless you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may cause birth defects if either the male or the female is undergoing treatment at the time of conception. It is recommended that you use some kind of birth control while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
You should not breast-feed while you are being treated with DBL™ Vinblastine Injection. It is not known whether this medicine passes into breast milk. Therefore, breast-feeding is not recommended as there is a possibility that the breast-fed baby may be affected.
If you are not sure whether you should start treatment with DBL™ Vinblastine Injection, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have allergies to:
- any other medicines
- any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- liver disease
- chicken pox (including a recent exposure)
- kidney stones.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or using any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may interfere with each other. These include:
- some medicines used to treat serious infections, such as amphotericin B, flucytosine and chloramphenicol
- medicines that suppress your immune system, such as azathioprine, interferon and zidovudine
- colchicine, a medicine used to treat gout
- phenytoin, a medicine used to treat epilepsy (fits)
- some other cytotoxic agents such as cisplatin, bleomycin and mitomycin
- some vaccines (ask your doctor).
These medicines may be affected by DBL™ Vinblastine Injection, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take or use different medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while you are being treated with DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
How DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is given
How much is given
Your doctor will decide what dose you will receive. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your height, weight, and other chemotherapy medicines you are being given.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may be given alone or in combination with other drugs.
Several courses of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection therapy may be needed depending on your response to treatment.
Additional treatment may not be repeated until your blood cell numbers return to acceptable levels and any uncontrolled effects have been controlled.
Ask your doctor if you want to know more about the dose of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection you receive.
How it is given
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection should only be given by a doctor or nurse.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is only given into a vein (intravenously).
It may be given either as a slow injection or as an infusion (drip) into a vein.
How long it is given for
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is usually given once a week. Each treatment is called one cycle of chemotherapy. Your doctor will decide how many of these cycles you will need.
If you take too much (Overdose)
As DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is most likely to be given to you under the supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely that you will receive too much.
However, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much DBL™ Vinblastine Injection. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of a DBL™ Vinblastine Injection overdose include the side effects listed below in the ‘Side effects’ section, but are usually of a more severe nature.
While you are being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you have any concerns before, during or after the administration of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
Things you must do
Be sure to keep all your doctor’s appointments so your progress can be checked. Your doctor may want to check your blood pressure and do some blood and other tests from time to time to check on your progress and detect any unwanted side effects.
Keep follow up appointments with your doctor. It is important to have your follow-up cycles of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection at the appropriate times to get the best effects from your treatments.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor, dentist or pharmacist that you are being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
If you plan to have surgery that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
If you become pregnant while being treated with DBL™ Vinblastine Injection, tell your doctor immediately.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection can lower the number of white blood cells and platelets in your blood. This means that you have an increased chance of getting an infection or bleeding. The following precautions should be taken to reduce your risk of infection or bleeding:
- Avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you may be getting an infection, or if you get a fever, chills, cough, hoarse throat, lower back or side pain, or find it painful or difficult to urinate.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black stools, blood in urine or stools or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a toothbrush, dental floss or toothpick. Your doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your doctor before having any dental work done.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a razor or nail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where you may get bruised or injured.
Your body breaks down DBL™ Vinblastine Injection and uses it to fight cancer. The breakdown products may be excreted in body fluids and waste, including blood, urine, faeces, vomitus and semen.
In general, precautions to protect other people should be taken while you are receiving chemotherapy and for one week after the treatment period by:
- Flushing the toilet twice to dispose of any body fluids and waste.
- Wearing gloves to clean any spill of body fluid or waste. Use paper towels or old rags, a strong solution of non-bleaching detergent and large amounts of water to mop up the spill. Discard the towels or rags into a separate waste bag and dispose of fluids in the toilet.
- Wash linen or clothing that is heavily contaminated by body fluids or waste separately from other items. Use a strong solution of non-bleaching detergent and large amounts of water.
- Place soiled disposable nappies and other pads in a plastic bag, seal and dispose into the garbage.
- For sexual intercourse, use a barrier method such as a condom.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how DBL™ Vinblastine Injection affects you.
This medicine can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or drowsy.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection. Like other medicines that treat cancer, DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may have unwanted side effects, some of which may be serious. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- nausea and vomiting
- diarrhoea or constipation
- hair loss
- weight loss
- drowsiness, dizziness and general weakness.
These are the more common side effects of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection.
Tell your doctor immediately, or go to the Accident and Emergency department of your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
- signs of an infection, such as sore throat, fever or chills
- signs of an allergic reaction, such as those listed at the start of this leaflet
- severe pain or redness at the site of injection
- any signs of unusual bleeding or bruising, such as black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or red pinpricks under the skin
- numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
- mouth ulcers and/or anal ulceration
- severe stomach or abdominal pain
- jaw or bone pain
- convulsions (fits).
These may be very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
The benefits and side effects of DBL™ Vinblastine Injection may take some time to occur. Therefore, even after you have finished receiving your DBL™ Vinblastine Injection treatment you should tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the side effects listed in this section.
After being given DBL™ Vinblastine Injection
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. The injection is kept in the refrigerator where the temperature stays between 2 and 8°C. It should be protected from light.
What it looks like
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is a clear, colourless solution.
- vinblastine sulfate.
- sodium chloride
- Water for injections.
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Hospira Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 58 097 064 330
500 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
DBL™ Vinblastine Injection is available in the following strength:
- DBL™ Vinblastine Injection 10mg/10mL ONCO-TAIN™ vial. AUST R 16309.
Date of update of this leaflet:
Published by MIMS September 2015