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Navelbine ®Generic Name: Vinorelbine
Other Names: Vinorelbine Tartrate
Drug Type: Navelbine is an anti-cancer ("antineoplastic" or "cytotoxic") chemotherapy drug. Navelbine is classified as a "plant alkaloid." For more detail, see "How Navelbine Works" section below.
What Navelbine Is Used For:
Non-small cell lung cancer Some healthcare providers may also give Navelbine for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or Hodgkin's disease.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians sometimes elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it might be helpful.
How Navelbine Is Given:
Navelbine is given through a vein by intravenous injection (IV push) or infusion (IV). There is no pill form.
Navelbine is a vesicant. A vesicant is a chemical that causes extensive tissue damage and blistering if it escapes from the vein. The nurse or doctor who gives Navelbine must be carefully trained. If you notice pain, redness or swelling at the IV site while you are receiving Navelbine, alert your health care professional immediately.
The amount of Navelbine you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer being treated. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.
Navelbine Side Effects:
Along with its needed effects, Navelbine may cause some unwanted side effects. Important things to remember about the side effects of Navelbine include:
The following side effects are common (occu rring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Navelbine:
The following are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving Navelbine:
Not all side effects are listed above, some that are rare (occurring in less than 10% of patients) are not listed here. However, you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not emergency situations. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following.
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Before starting Navelbine treatment, make sure you tell your doctor, as well as all healthcare providers, about any other medications you are taking (including overthecounter, vitamins, or herbal remedies). Do not take aspirin or products containing aspirin unless your healthcare provider permits this.
Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (Navelbine may be hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus).
For both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking Navelbine. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
Do not breast feed while taking Navelbine.
Navelbine Self Care Tips:
Monitoring and Testing While Taking Navelbine:
Periodic blood work will be obtained to monitor your complete blood count (CBC). Your doctor will order blood tests and other tests as needed to monitor side effects and check your response to therapy.
How Navelbine Works:
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division. The process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous cells, is through the cell cycle. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through active growing phases, and then to mitosis (division). The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).
Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The "normal" cells will grow back and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur. The "normal" cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.
Navelbine belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs called plant alkaloids. Plant alkaloids are made from plants. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus rosea). The taxanes are made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (taxus). The vinca alkaloids and taxanes are also known as antimicro tubule agents. The podophyllotoxins are derived from the May apple plant. Camptothecan analogs are derived from the Asian "Happy Tree" (Camptotheca acuminata). Podophyllotoxins and camptothecan analogs are also known as topoisomerase inhibitors. The plant alkaloids are cell-cycle specific. This means they attack the cells during various phases of division.
Antimicrotubule agents (such as Navelbine), inhibit the microtubule structures within the cell. Microtubules are part of the cell's apparatus for dividing and replicating itself. Inhibition of these structures ultimately results in cell death.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:54|