Vincristine

Important Information for Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving this medication if you have:
 
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • A disorder of the nerves, brain, or spinal cord, including a rare genetic condition known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) syndrome
  • A muscular disorder
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Received radiation treatment
  • Leukemia in your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
   
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Vincristine to learn more, including information on who should not use the drug.)
 

How Does It Work?

Vincristine belongs to a group of medicines known as vinca alkaloids. Vinca alkaloids are also called antimicrotubule agents because they affect microtubules, proteins within cells that help cells divide and multiply.
 
Vincristine works by binding to tubulin, a protein that makes up microtubules. When bound to tubulin, it alters the structure of microtubules, preventing them from functioning normally. As a result, the altered microtubules cannot help cells divide. This stops cell growth and causes the cells to die.
 
Vincristine can kill both cancer cells and healthy cells, which is what causes many of the dangerous side effects. However, it has a greater effect on cells that rapidly multiply. Generally, cancer cells multiply more rapidly than healthy cells and are, therefore, more affected by this drug.
 
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Vincristine Drug Information

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