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What Is Vinorelbine?

Alex Tree
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Vinorelbine is a drug used in chemotherapy often employed against some types of cancer, primarily breast cancer and lung cancer other than small cell. This drug is called a mitotic inhibitor, which means that it disrupts cell division. The drug can negatively affect the reproductive systems of both men and women, halting sperm production, altering menstrual cycles, and potentially harming fetuses. Vinorelbine also causes certain physical side effects, many of them gastrointestinal or involving discomfort, with varying degrees of associated danger.

Drugs that inhibit mitosis are useful for fighting cancer because in order to spread out and strengthen in a human body, cancer cells must divide. If doctors use drugs that slow down the spread of cancer, there is a chance to suppress the cancer and give the patient more time to live and explore other treatment options. It is considered easier to inhibit the division of cancer cells by using these drugs than it is to inhibit the division of the other types of cells that make up the human body. This means that doctors can often reduce cancer cells’ ability to divide without substantially affecting other cells in same regard.

While all side effects can be dangerous if they are persistent or extreme, some common side effects of vinorelbine are not necessarily dangerous. Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation are all common and relatively minor, for example. Additionally, diarrhea is a common side effect of vinorelbine. A patient’s hair may also become brittle or thin, resulting in frequent breakage.

Certain side effects of vinorelbine are dangerous enough that it is generally recommended that a patient be asked to consult a physician immediately if he or she experiences one. For instance, if a patient experiences a severe bowel problem such as excessive constipation or an unusual amount of bowel movements for more than two days, it should be reported. Additionally, pain or physical reactions at the injection site can also have serious implications. Both the feeling of a high and low body temperature, as well as coughing and difficulty breathing can be dangerous as well.

A couple of side effects are not necessarily dangerous, but can be if they last for more than a few hours. Mouth discomfort as well as throat soreness can be dangerous if they persist. In addition, it can be a dangerous side effect if a sense of fatigue persists for too long.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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