Why is cisplatin and vinorelbine prescribed?
Vinorelbine is in a class of medications called vinca alkaloids. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body. Cisplatin is in a class of medications known as platinum-containing compounds. These chemotherapy drugs work by destroying quickly dividing cells (cancer cells).
How should cisplatin and vinorelbine be used?
You will be given cisplatin and vinorelbine in the chemotherapy day unit. A chemotherapy nurse will give it to you.
The nurse will give you anti-sickness (anti-emetic) drugs before the chemotherapy. The chemotherapy drugs can be given through:
- a short thin tube the nurse puts into a vein in your arm or hand (cannula)
- a fine tube that goes under the skin of your chest and into a vein close by (central line)
- a fine tube that is put into a vein in your arm and goes up into a vein in your chest (PICC line).
The nurse will give you vinorelbine as a drip (infusion) for about 5 to 10 minutes. After this, you will have cisplatin as a drip for over 60 minutes. They usually run the drip through a pump. This will give you the treatment over a set time. You will be given extra fluids through your drip before and after the cisplatin to protect your kidneys.
Some people may take vinorelbine as capsules by mouth.
If you are taking vinorelbine as capsules, the nurse or pharmacist will give you these to take at home. Always take them exactly as they have been explained to you.
Take your capsules with a glass of water on an empty stomach. This means an hour before food or 2 hours after food. Take them at the same time every day. They should not be chewed, opened, or crushed.
If you forget to take the capsules, take the next dose when it is due. Do not take a double dose. If you take too many capsules, tell your doctor or nurse immediately.
If you are sick just after taking the capsules, contact your nurse. Do not take another dose.
Other things to remember about your capsules:
- Wash your hands after taking your capsules.
- Other people should avoid direct contact with the chemotherapy drugs.
- Keep them safe and out of sight and reach of children.
- Keep them in the original package and at room temperature, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- If your treatment is stopped, return any unused capsules to the pharmacist.
What side effects can cisplatin and vinorelbine cause?
Cisplatin and vinorelbine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Nervous system damage
In case of emergency/overdose
Contact your doctor or nurse immediately if you have signs of infection, including a temperature above 37.5C or below 36C.
What other information should I know?
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. Bring this list each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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