Vinblastine (VBL), sold under the brand name Velban among others, is a chemotherapy medication, typically used with other medications, to treat a number of types of cancer.

This includes Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, brain cancer, melanoma, and testicular cancer.

It is given by injection into a vein.

Pregnancy category AU: D

Routes ofnadministration-intravenous

Metabolism-Liver (CYP3A4-mediated)

Elimination half-life

24.8 hours (terminal)


Bile duct and kidney

Most people experience some side effects: causes a change in sensation, constipation, weakness, loss of appetite, and headaches.

Severe side effects include low blood cell counts and shortness of breath.

Vinblastine works by blocking cell division.

Vinblastine is a component of a number of chemotherapy regimens, including ABVD for Hodgkin lymphoma.

It is also used to treat histiocytosis.

Adverse effects: hair loss, loss of white blood cells and blood platelets, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, excessive sweating, depression, muscle cramps, vertigo and headaches.

It is a vesicant, and can cause extensive tissue damage and blistering if it escapes from the vein from improper administration.

Vinblastine is a vinca alkaloid and a chemical analogue of vincristine.

The drug binds tubulin, thereby inhibiting the assembly of microtubules.

Treatment with vinblastine causes M phase specific cell cycle arrest by disrupting microtubule assembly and proper formation of the mitotic spindle and the kinetochore, each of which are necessary for the separation of chromosomes during anaphase of mitosis. 

Toxicities include dose limiting bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal toxicity, potent vesicant activity, and extravasation injury.

Vinblastine is an effective component of certain chemotherapy regimens, particularly when used with bleomycin and methotrexate in VBM chemotherapy for Stage IA or IIA Hodgkin lymphomas. 

The inclusion of vinblastine allows for lower doses of bleomycin and reduced overall toxicity with larger resting periods between chemotherapy cycles.

It is a microtubule-disruptive drug.

At very low concentrations it suppresses microtubule dynamics and at higher concentrations it reduces microtubule polymer mass. 

It also produces microtubule fragments.

Its enhanced microtubule detachment from spindle poles correlate best with cytotoxicity.

It has limited brain uptake caused by binding to P-glycoprotein.

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