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Information sheet about vinorelbine capsules



This leaflet provides information about a course of treatment called vinorelbine chemotherapy. The leaflet will explain what this means and how and when it will be given. It will also tell you about any common side effects you may experience. Contact telephone numbers and details of how to get more information about vinorelbine are at the end of this leaflet.


You should read this leaflet alongside the ' General information for patients undergoing chemotherapy' leaflet. If you have not received this leaflet, ask your nurse for a copy.



What is vinorelbine chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy treatment given in capsule form.



Why am I having vinorelbine chemotherapy?

Your doctor has recommended this chemotherapy as it is highly effective in treating the type of cancer you have.






How often will I have my chemotherapy?

You will need to take vinorelbine capsules once a week. Your doctor will discuss with you the exact number of weeks of treatment you will receive.


You will need to have a blood test every week. You may be given your capsules in advance. It is important that you do not take the capsules until your doctor or nurse tells you that your blood results are satisfactory.


Your doctor or nurse will explain the arrangements for taking your blood and how you will be informed of the results.



How should I take the vinorelbine capsules?

Vinorelbine capsules should be taken once a week on the same day each week. You must take your anti-nausea medication one hour before you take your vinorelbine capsules. The capsules should be taken immediately after a light snack and a glass of water. They must be swallowed whole. Do not chew or crush them.


To open the child safe package:

  • break the bubble along the broken black line
  • peel off the soft plastic foil
  • push the capsule through the aluminum foil.


Do not take any damaged or leaking capsules as they could irritate your mouth. You should place them in a waterproof bag or container and return them to the hospital.


It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling your capsules.


How should I store vinorelbine capsules?

You should store your capsules in the fridge in their original packaging. They are in a child safe cover but it is important to keep them away from children.


You should return any unused capsules to the hospital pharmacy or your local pharmacy for safe disposal.



What are the possible side effects?

There are a number of possible side effects that can arise with this chemotherapy. The doctors, nurses and pharmacists can give you advice or answer any questions you may have.



Loss of hair

This chemotherapy should not cause you to lose your hair. However, a small number of people may experience some thinning.


We have a leaflet that tells you more about coping with hair loss. Ask your nurse for a copy.



Nausea and vomiting are now uncommon as we will give you anti-nausea medicines, which are usually very effective. If you vomit more than once in 24 hours, even though you regularly take anti-nausea medication when you are home after your chemotherapy treatment, contact Felindre Cancer Center for advice. The phone number is on page 7.



Your risk of catching infections will be higher as this treatment can reduce your white blood cells which help fight infections. Contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately if you develop any signs of infection, for example, flu-like symptoms or a temperature above 37.5°. The telephone number is on page 7 of this leaflet.



Diarrhea is not common with this chemotherapy. However, if you open your bowel four times or more than is normal for you over a 24-hour period, contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately. The phone number is on page 7.


Fatigue and fatigue

Chemotherapy can make you feel more tired than usual. It is important to listen to your body and rest if you need to but you should continue with your normal activities if you feel able to do so. For some people, a little light exercise can be beneficial as well as rest.


Sore mouth

Your mouth may be sore or you may notice small ulcers. Follow the advice on looking after your mouth in the general chemotherapy leaflet. Your doctor may give you a prescription for mouthwash or medication to prevent or clear up any infection.


Effects on your nerves

Quite rarely, there can be an effect on the nerves in your fingers and toes. This will lead to a feeling of numbness or tingling. The nerves in your gut can also be affected. This could lead to constipation. If you develop any of these problems, tell your doctor or nurse at your next clinic visit.



Other side effects

Patients with fructose intolerance should not take vinorelbine capsules because they contain sorbitol.


Chemotherapy treatment sometimes affects women's periods. They could get heavier, lighter or even stop altogether.


It is important that you do not become pregnant or become a father while you are having chemotherapy treatment as chemotherapy could harm the unborn baby.











Patient information leaflets from manufacturers

Copies of patient information leaflets from drug manufacturers are available from Felindre Pharmacy, or on the internet at These leaflets give detailed information about individual drugs. We do not routinely distribute them as they can be difficult to read. Please ask if you would like a copy.



























Contact telephone numbers


Felindre Cancer Center 029 2061 5888

Ask for the chemotherapy pager if you get sick at home and need immediate attention at any time of the day or night. For example, you should call in the case of:

  • If you vomit more than once over a 24 hour period
  • That you have a temperature of 37.5°C or higher
  • That you have diarrhoea



Pharmaceutical department 029 2061 5888 ext. 6223

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm for inquiries about your medicines



Cancer helpline

Tenovus freephone 0808 808 1010

Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm for general cancer enquiries











This leaflet has been written by health professionals. The information in this leaflet is based on evidence. It was endorsed by doctors, nurses and patients. It is reviewed and updated every two years.