Vinblastine Injection

[29 May 2014]

Products Affected - Description

Vinblastine lyophilized powder for injection, Bedford
10 mg vial (NDC 55390-0091-10)

Reason for the Shortage

  • Ben Venue has stopped production in its plant in Bedford, Ohio and will close in 2014. Ben Venue supplies multiple sterile injectable products for Bedford Laboratories. Supplies of product that has already been manufactured will continue to be released until inventory is depleted. Bedford Laboratories has a small number of products manufactured elsewhere that are not affected by this closure.1
  • Fresenius Kabi (formerly APP) had their product in short supply due to increased demand for the product and a manufacturing delay.2

Available Products

Vinblastine sulfate injection, Fresenius Kabi (formerly APP)2
1 mg/mL, 10 mL vial (NDC 63323-0278-10)

Estimated Resupply Dates

Bedford has vinblastine lyophilized powder for injection on long-term back order and the company cannot estimate a release date. Ben Venue manufactured vinblastine for Bedford.1

Implications for Patient Care

Vinblastine is labeled to treat a number of disease states including Hodgkin disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, mycosis fungoides, advanced testicular carcinoma, Kaposi sarcoma, choriocarcinoma, and breast cancer.3 Vinblastine is also used to treat non-small cell lung carcinoma, bladder cancer, and refractory idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.3


  • Chemotherapy agents, such as vinblastine, pose additional safety risks both for patients and for healthcare workers handling these agents.3,4
  • Use additional caution when processing orders for chemotherapy drugs, especially when switching between chemotherapy agents or when processing orders for chemotherapy agents with which staff may be unfamiliar (eg, those not normally prescribed at a specific institution).3,4

Alternative Agents & Management

  • The choice of an alternative agent must be patient-specific and based on renal function, liver function, and the neoplasm type and location. No single agent can be substituted for vinblastine.3-5
  • Consider evaluating the health-care system’s total supply of vinblastine before beginning patients on combination chemotherapy regimens containing vinblastine. If adequate supplies are not available, select an alternative regimen.
  • Consult a Hematology/Oncology specialist for patient- and neoplasm-specific recommendations.
  • Refer to the ASHP Guidelines on Managing Drug Product Shortages for more guidance on developing a multidisciplinary plan when the supply must be allocated.

Related Shortages


  1. Bedford Laboratories, customer service (personal communications). January 11, February 16, March 20, May 3, July 11, August 30, December 4, 2012; February 25, April 19, May 29, June 18 and 28, August 7 and 14, October 21, December 2, 2013; and February 26 and May 27, 2014.
  2. Fresenius Kabi, customer service (personal communications). January 11 and 12, February 8 and 22, March 20, May 7, July 9, September 5, December 4, 2012; February 28, April 16, May 29, June 18, July 2 and 11, August 9 and 30, October 22, December 6, 2013; and February 28 and May 28, 2014. 
  3. Vinblastine. In.Beckwith, M. C. and L. S. Tyler, Eds. (2011). Cancer Chemotherapy Manual (eFacts). St. Louis, MO, Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
  4. Antineoplastic agents. In: McEvoy GK, ed. AHFS 2010 Drug Information. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists; 2010: 902-1260.
  5. Drug Facts and Comparisons Online. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc. September 2010.


Updated May 29, 2014 by Michelle Wheeler, PharmD, Drug Information Specialist. Created January 11, 2012 by Jane Chandramouli, PharmD, Drug Information Specialist. Copyright 2014, University of Utah, Drug Information Service


This information is provided through the support of Novation to ASHP solely as a service to its members, which shall not use this information for their further commercial use. The content was prepared by the Drug Information Center of University of Utah. Novation, ASHP, and the University of Utah make no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose, which respect to such information, and specifically disclaim all such warranties. Users of this information are advised that decisions regarding the use of drugs and drug therapies are complex medical decisions and that in using this information, each user must exercise his or her own independent professional judgment. Neither Novation, ASHP nor the University of Utah assumes any liability for persons administering or receiving drugs or other medical care in reliance upon this information, or otherwise in connection with this bulletin. Neither Novation, ASHP nor University of Utah endorses or recommends the use of any drug.

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