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Precautions and Warnings With Vinorelbine

People who have problems with their liver or kidneys should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they may have an increased risk for complications from using vinorelbine. There are a number of other warnings and precautions to review before starting treatment with this chemotherapy drug, including possible drug interactions and concerns for women who are pregnant or nursing.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving vinorelbine (Navelbine®) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure
  • Low white blood cells
  • Lung disease
  • Problems with constipation
  • Had prior chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Vinorelbine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Like other chemotherapy medicines, vinorelbine can cause significant side effects and, therefore, requires close monitoring and careful dosage adjustments. Vinorelbine should only be given under the supervision of a healthcare provider experienced in using chemotherapy medicine.
You will need blood tests prior to treatment, before each dose, and after treatment ends to monitor your blood cell counts. Make sure to keep all of your healthcare and laboratory appointments.
  • Vinorelbine has been reported to cause lung and breathing problems, which may need to be treated with oxygen or medicines. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of lung problems, such as:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Coughing
    • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Vinorelbine can slow down the movement of food and liquids through your digestive tract, which could lead to severe constipation and blockage of the intestines. If not properly treated, these problems can cause part of the intestines to die or to tear. Your healthcare provider can give you certain medicines to help prevent or treat constipation from vinorelbine. Be aware of your bowel habits during treatment, and let your healthcare provider know if you have:
    • Constipation
    • Infrequent or difficult bowel movements
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain.
  • People receiving this medicine may experience nerve damage, known medically as neuropathy. Neuropathy usually causes feelings of numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands or feet. Let your healthcare provider know if you currently have a history of neuropathy, as you will need to be monitored more closely for this potential side effect.
  • This medication can cause severe irritation if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience stinging, burning, pain, redness, or swelling at your injection site, or if you believe the medicine may have accidentally gotten in your eye.
  • This medication should be used cautiously in people with liver disease.
  • Vinorelbine is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn child if used during pregnancy (see Navelbine and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown whether vinorelbine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Navelbine and Breastfeeding).
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Vinorelbine Drug Information

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