Vincristine is a chemotherapy drug that belongs to a group of drugs called vinca alkaloids.

The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus roseus).

Vincristine works by stopping the cancer cells from separating into 2 new cells. So, it stops the growth of the cancer.

On this page:


  • Diffuse large B- cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • Burkitt lymphoma (BL)
  • Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
  • Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)
  • Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL)
  • Nodal and extranodal T-cell and NK cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma (FL)


Vincristine is given into the bloodstream (intravenously).

Given over 5-10 minutes as a gravity infusion (not through an IV pump)

Vincristine is called a ‘vesicant’ as this drug can cause tissue damage if it leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissue.

The nurse will stay with the patient to watch the infusion to ensure there are no issues. Patients should advise the nurse or their support person if they feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

Possible side-effects

  • Increased risk of getting an infection is due to a drop in white blood cells.
  • Hair loss
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
  • Tiredness and weakness (fatigue) during and after treatment
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Tummy (abdominal) pain
  • Periods stopping
  • Changes to your eyesight
  • High temperature (fever) in children
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Muscle or bone pain
  • Sore mouth and throat
  • Swelling and pain at the drip site
  • Allergic reaction
  • Taste changes
  • Hearing changes
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Jaw pain
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Skin rash
  • Headaches


Note: the maximum dose is capped at 2mg regardless of height or weight.

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