What is Oncovin?
Vincristine () (marketed under the brandname Oncovin) is a chemotherapy medication used to treat a number of types of cancer. It is given intravenously and works by inhibiting mitosis (stopping cells from dividing properly), causing the cells to die. The drug accomplishes this by binding to the tubulin protein, stopping the cell from separating its chromosomes during the metaphase; the cell then undergoes apoptosis. Because cancer cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells, they are affected more by the drug.
Most people experience some side effects from vincristine treatment. Commonly it causes a change in sensation, hair loss, constipation, difficulty walking, and headaches. It will likely cause harm to an infant if given during pregnancy.
Vincristine is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system. It was formerly known as leurocristine, sometimes abbreviated "VCR", and is a vinca alkaloid from the Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus (formerly named Vinca rosea).