Vinblastine (Velban) Side Effects and Stories | The Patient Story

Vinblastine (Velban) Side Effects and Patient Stories

Explore a full list of our patient experiences with vinblastine (Velban).

Vinblastine is a chemotherapy drug used to treat a range of cancers, including breast cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and Kaposi’s sarcoma1.

Patient Stories with Vinblastine (Velban)

Ashley W., Desmoid Tumor

“Methotrexate, vinblastine, navelbine were every Thursday. That entire process probably took about ten hours every Thursday, but the actual infusions themselves I would say took on average two hours.

With the first time, I remember feeling very strange when I left, but I wasn’t nauseous and I wasn’t feeling bad. In the middle of the night, so maybe eight hours later, I was very, very sick. I have always described it to people as a mixture of being very, very drunk and having food poisoning at the same time.”

→ Read more of Ashley’s story

Madi J., Hodgkin Lymphoma

“Once I got to the vinblastine, I was just so exhausted. I pretty much slept through that and had the dacarbazine. That was light-sensitive, and it was wintertime thankfully, but any time I would go out in the sun, it was so sensitive. I had to wear long sleeves and hats.”

→ Read more of Madi’s story

Mara T., Stage 2BX (Bulky)

1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, back pains, daily migraines
Treatment: 3 rounds of ABVD, 3 rounds AVD, Radiation
Topics: Self-advocacy, mental health

Erica H., Hodgkin's, Stage 3B

Cancer details: Staged at 3B
1st Symptoms: Intense itchiness, fatigue, night sweats, weight loss
Treatment:ABVD chemotherapy, 6 cycles (12 infusions)

Alicia B., Desmoid Tumor, Stage 4

Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: lump found in right armpit
Treatment: Chemo, radiation, targeted therapy, clinical trials, surgery, including forequarter amputation

Ashley W., Desmoid Tumor

Cancer details: Rare, <3% of all soft tissue tumors, more common in women
1st Symptoms: leg tightness, increased swelling in leg
Treatment: Chemo infusion (Methotrexate, Navelbene), oral chemo (Nexovar)

Lia S., Nodular Sclerosis, Stage 4A

Cancer details: Most common and most treatable form of Hodgkin's lymphoma
1st Symptoms:
Extreme lower back pain
ABVD chemotherapy

CC W., Hodgkin's, Stage 4

Cancer details: Diagnosed at 29, misdiagnosed as mono
1st Symptoms: Achiness, extreme fatigue, reactive rash on chest and neck. Later: chills, night sweats
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (6 cycles)

Kayla T., Hodgkin's, Stage 3A

Cancer details: Possibly misdiagnosed the first time; later diagnosed as grey zone lymphoma
1st Symptoms: Pulled muscle in chest
Treatment: ABVD chemo, radiation, high-dose chemo, stem cell transplant

Tylere P., Hodgkin, Stage 3

Cancer details: Mother is a nurse practitioner; suspected cancer
1st Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes in neck
Treatment: Clinical trial; Chemotherapy, BMT

Jade B., Hodgkin, Stage 2X

Cancer details: Diagnosed at 21 years old
1st Symptoms: Itchy legs and feet
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (4 treatments), AVD (remaining treatments)

Katee P., Hodgkin, Stage 2B

Cancer details: Accidentally found in x-ray after months of symptoms
1st Symptoms: Night sweats, fatigue, extreme itchiness, persistent cough
Treatment: AAVD chemo, clinical trial w/brentuximab (Adcetris) + nivolumab (Opdivo) immunotherapy

Stephanie O., Hodgkin's, Stage 2B

Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough
Treatment: Stanford V chemotherapy (12 weeks, 1 infusion each week), radiation (20 days)

Fabiola L., Hodgkin's, Stage 2BX

Cancer details: Stage 2 with bulky disease, relapsed after 1st chemo. Remission after 2nd chemo & bone marrow transplant
1st Symptoms: Shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue
Treatment: ABVD chemo (6 cycles), IGEV chemo, bone marrow transplant, BEAM chemo, brentuximab
Wade looking out over a lawn

Wade W., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A

Cancer details: Diagnosed at 18 years old
1st Symptoms: Enlarged lymph nodes (around neck), diagnosed at 18 years old
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (2 cycles), AVD chemotherapy (4 cycles)

Lauren C., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A

Cancer details: Diagnosed at 23 years old with nodular sclerosis, relapsed after 6 months of 1st-line treatment
1st Symptoms: Itchy body, enlarged lymph node over collar bone
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy and ICE, radiation, and stem cell transplant for relapse

Helicon K., Hodgkin's, Stage 2A

Cancer details: Found lymphoma cells in adenoid tissue
1st Symptoms: Difficulty breathing with blockage in nose, surgery to remove tissue resulted in discovery of Hodgkin lymphoma cells
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (4 cycles), radiation (20 sessions)

Lani S., Hodgkin's, Stage 2

Cancer details: Tumor pressing on heart
1st Symptoms: Appendicitis led to CT scan that found tumor
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy, 7 cycles

Danielle D., Hodgkin's, Stage 2

Cancer details: Diagnosed at age 25
1st Symptoms: Swollen lump on right side of neck/chest area, continued to grow
Treatment: ABVD chemotherapy (3 cycles = 6 infusions)

Madi J., Hodgkin's, Stage 1B

Cancer details: Most common and most treatable form of Hodgkin lymphoma
1st Symptoms:
Shortness of breath
3 rounds (6 infusions) of ABVD chemo

Vinblastine General Information

Cancers Treated

Vinblastine, brand name Velban, works by slowing or outright halting the growth of cancer cells in your body. It is used with other drugs in chemotherapy treatment, most commonly for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and testicular cancer2.

Vinblastine is also used for other cancers like breast cancer, bladder cancer, some lung cancer types, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and some brain tumors.

Side Effects

Some of the more commonly reported side effects of vinblastine include2:

  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite or weight
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • jaw pain, bone pain, and other aches
  • hair loss

There are some side effects that are more serious. If you experience any of them, make sure to inform and alert your medical care team. Those include:

  • fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • sores in the mouth
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • difficulty walking or unsteady walking
  • difficulty breathing
  • hearing loss
  • seizures
  • chest pain


  1. Compound Summary: Vinblastine. PubChem, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 02 Jan 2021,
  2. Vinblastine. MedLinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 June 2013,