People who have acute leukemia may benefit from receiving vincristine. By preventing cancer cells from growing properly, this prescription medication can cause cancer cells to die and help slow down the progression of the disease. It can also be used in combination with other anticancer drugs to treat other types of cancer. Vincristine is given as an injection into a vein once a week.
Vincristine sulfate (Vincasar PFS®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of acute leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It is also approved to treat certain other types of cancer when used as part of a combination treatment regimen (treatment with more than one anticancer medication).
The active ingredient in this medicine, vincristine, is also available as Marqibo® (liposomal vincristine sulfate). Liposomal vincristine contains a form of vincristine trapped in tiny fat particles (liposomes). This changes the way the medication is processed in the body and may decrease side effects and improve the drug's effectiveness.
(Click What Is Vincristine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
Just like any medicine, vincristine can cause side effects. Although not everyone who uses the drug will have problems, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Common side effects of vincristine include but are not limited to:
- Hair loss
- Low white blood cell counts
- Numbness, tingling, pricking, or burning sensations of the hands or feet.
(Click Vincristine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)