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Hi there. It seems there are more than a few of us either currently receiving or about to start navalbine chemotherapy. So I thought it would be a good idea for others to share their experiences on this treatment. How long does the infusion take, how long have you been on it, side effects, etc. I've got the "sheet" on possible side effects but have always found it more useful to hear directly from patients who have been there done that.

Thanks in advance for sharing your "navalbine" experiences.


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Hi Sandra,

I had (4rnds) Navelbine. An easy one out of all the ones I had. No side effects at all. In my case they pushed (had to look it up to refresh my memory - injection into a vein (intravenously) through a fine tube (cannula) inserted into the vein) it through. They timed it and it took maybe ten (the chemo itself) minutes if that. They give you something also but it's been a while so my memory is fried. The whole thing from start to finish maybe 30 minutes or so.

Hope this helps,


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Debs first Chemo was Navelbine or Navy bean as it is affectionately called! Just for pronunciation is all though. Side effects were minimal to none but results were good! Lie rich said Bout a 1/2 hour for infusion Mixer and gone like the wind for the day!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure how helpful I can be, as I am just in the second round of my chemo and still trying to figure out the side effects myself.

I am getting --- 4week/rounds--28 day cycle --days 1 and 8 cisplatim and navelbine, day 15 is just navelbine---and day 22 was supposed to be navelbine too, but it looks like I may be getting that week off coz my blood counts are low and my onc doesn't think I will be able to handle it.

I get most of the side effects --- but the week with the navelbine was very mild compared to the previous week with both---just very tired the next day--but I do get a migraine like type headache every Thursday morning at about 3am (chemo is on Tuesday) that lasts pretty much all day, but is managable with Excedrine.


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Thanks guys for sharing your experiences.

My doctor kind of scared me yesterday. She said a certain percentage of navalbine patients develop flobitis (sp?) where the veins react badly and swell up. And then you need to get a pic line put in. The way she talked to me was almost like she was certain it was going to happen. I can only get IV's put in my left arm (they have never been able to find a useable one in my right arm) and my veins are pretty used up from previous chemo and my hospital stay in January. So I am a little worked up over that prospect.

And of course, there is a chance of hair loss which I am really not looking forward to.

I guess I am getting myself all worked up before I have even started. My last chemo was last fall and I just am not really looking forward to it. Guess I just need to suck it up!

Anybody had flobitis or hair loss from navalbine?

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for what its worth, I don't remember Deb getting a Port until couple rounds in after Navy bean or losing her hair. She did not suffer hair loss until Tarceva and that was Chemo #3..

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I have now been on Navelbine for quite a few months (5 -6??). Side effects are minimal altho I have been told that some people get pain in the arm that they get the infusion in..........I have never gotten that. The only side effect I get is an ulcer-type burning the night of chemo and the next morning I am just fine. I get Navelbine weeky for three weeks and then one week off - thats no fun going every week, but as you know, gotta do what you gotta do!!

Navalbine is a vessicant - which means it is extremely irritating. That is why they have to administer it as a push.....a HUGE hypo that they inject into the IV tubing with the saline turned up high to get it going into your system. Its a ten minute push and about every minute, they pull back the syringe to make sure there is a good blood flow and to check that its not leaking out. Should it leak out on your skin, you could get serious "burns" and possibly need plastic surgery to correct it. Now - don't let that scare you too much because the chances of that happening really are slim BUT OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO WARN YOU!!!. Thats why they prefer that people have a port for Navelbine. Of course, I have refused until my one last vein goes to hell but last week I was very dehydrated due to something else and my veins collapsed and it was quite a problem. Once they attempt to stick you, if they can't get it, they can't try to stick you again in that arm lower than the first stick in case it would leak out.

Hope this helps. As far as success on Navelbine........well, I still need to officially post, BUT....had a scan last week and for the first time since my initial carbo/taxol cycles 2 1/2 years ago -------- I had SHRINKAGE!!!!!!!!!

Let me know if you need more info!!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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I just happened to be wandering around here tonight, and saw your post. When I can't sleep, I roam.:)

We know that Bill began the Navelbine on this past Tuesday and all had gone quite well. The infusion took all of about a 1/2 hour.

This morning, Friday, he showed me a pinkish/red area just above the infusion point, and it seemed to be light in coloring. It was not there prior to this morning.

BUT, since we were told to call about anything unusual in the infusion area, I called.

Eileen, the nurse, told me that it should be watched and asked me when Bill was due in again. That would be next Tuesday. She said that we should look for any other areas of "coloring or blotches."

There have been none. I checked at intervals all day.

I checked it again tonight and that lone discoloring has all but disappeared.

Let us remember that Bill has had many chemo regimens, including radiation many times. He is not our robust young'un here. But, he has survived and come back to "save the day."

If that is all that Bill has experienced with his first infusion I think we may be in pretty good shape.

However, Sandra, I do think that if Bill's veins do fall apart, or some such other untoward event occurs, we can always get a port. That, I feel, would be the least of our concerns.

Being allergic to the Navelbine altogether would be my worst fear.

As to the hair, our oncologist said that it "might" happen. Did I tell you that previous to all the radiation and such, Bill was a sandy blonde with gray tones? It came back totally very dark brown with absolutely no gray.

Of course, who knows where this one will take us? :roll: It has been a trip, indeed.


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Sandra, if I remember correctly, if there is a rare side-effect, you got it. Recalling that, your doc is probably just trying to cover all the bases. The way my mind works is, you lost your hair when you weren't supposed to so if it's a possibility this time, you won't lose it. Can you follow that logic? LOL

I wish you well on the treatment and if the port is an option, I highly recommend it. But I'm not sure from reading a couple of the other posts, are they saying it has to be IV in arm?

Watching and waiting for updates. Crossing finger and toes and sending healthy energy your way.

Judy in Key West

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