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Vinblastine alone or in combination with other anticancer medicines is used in the treatment of various cancers such as Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or a cancer of breast, placenta (histiocytosis X), kidney (renal cell carcinoma), testicle (testicular teratoma and seminoma), and methotrexate-resistant choriocarcinoma.

How it works

Vinblastine belongs to a group of medicines called vinca alkaloids. It works by interfering with the growth of cancer cells (inhibition of microtubule formation in the mitotic spindle) and slows their spread in the body by causing an arrest of cell division in metaphase.

Common side effects

Abdominal pain, Constipation, Muscle pain, Pain in ileus, Decreased white blood cell count


Expert advice

  • In males vinblastine may cause aspermia (lack of semen causing infertility); in females vinblastine may cause amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), which may recover after some duration.
  • Take precautions while taking vinblastine as it may cause inflammation of mouth and lips (stomatitis) and neurological toxicity.
  • Avoid even accidental contamination of eyes with vinblastine, as it may cause severe irritation.
  • Vinblastine may cause acute kidney disease (nephropathy) related to uric acid level.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is vinblastine a vesicant?
Vinblastine is a vesicant (irritant) and can cause damage to the blood vessels if it is not administered properly.
Q. Is vinblastine toxic?
Vinblastine is not toxic, however if given by other route or came in contact with eyes, can cause the harmful effects.
Q. How is vinblastine administered?
Vinblastine is administered by intravenous route only.
Q. Does vinblastine cause hair loss/infertility?
Vinblastine may cause hair loss/infertility.
Q. Where does vinblastine come from/ what plant does vinblastine come from?
Vinblastine is a plant alkaloid comes from the source called Vinca rosea Linn.
Q. How does vinblastine prevent mitosis?
Vinblastine prevents mitosis by inhibition of microtubule formation.

Content on this page was last updated on 03 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)