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ChlVPP

Find out what ChlVPP chemotherapy is, how you have it and other important information about having ChlVPP.

ChIVPP is the name of a combination of chemotherapy drugs which includes:

  • Chl - Chlorambucil
  • V - Vinblastine
  • P - Procarbazine
  • P- Prednisolone, which is a steroid

It is used for Hodgkin lymphoma. 

How it works

These chemotherapy drugs destroy quickly dividing cells, such as cancer cells.

How you have it

You have ChlVPP into your bloodstream (intravenously) and as tablets and capsules that you swallow.

Into your bloodstream

You can have the drug through a thin short tube (a cannula) that goes into a vein in your arm each time you have treatment.

Or you might have it through a long line: a central line, a PICC line or a portacath.

These are long plastic tubes that give the drug into a large vein in your chest. The tube stays in place throughout the course of treatment.

Taking your capsules and tablets

You must take tablets and capsules according to the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.

Whether you have a full or empty stomach can affect how much of a drug gets into your bloodstream.

You should take the right dose, not more or less.

Never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.

When you have it

You have ChlVPP chemotherapy as cycles of treatment. Each cycle lasts 4 weeks (28 days). You might have between 4 and 6 cycles, taking 4 to 6 months in total. 

You have:

  • chlorambucil as a tablet - swallow it whole with plenty of water 30 to 60 minutes before you eat any food (keep tablets in the fridge)
  • vinblastine as an injection into your bloodstream (intravenously) twice each cycle
  • procarbazine as capsules - swallow it whole with plenty of water
  • prednisolone as tablets - swallow it whole with plenty of water after breakfast

You have treatment for 2 weeks, and then you have 2 weeks with no treatment. 

Day 1
  • have vinblastine as an injection into your bloodstream (intravenously) via a fast running drip
  • take chlorambucil tablet
  • take procarbazine capsule
  • take prednisolone tablets in the morning
Day 2 to Day 7
  • take chlorambucil tablet
  • take procarbazine capsule
  • take prednisolone tablets in the morning
Day 8
  • have vinblastine as an injection into your bloodstream (intravenously) via a fast running drip
  • take chlorambucil tablet
  • take procarbazine capsule
  • take prednisolone tablets in the morning
Day 9 to Day 14
  • take chlorambucil tablet
  • take procarbazine capsule
  • take prednisolone tablets in the morning

When you finish the 2 week course of tablets and capsules you have 2 weeks with no treatment. This completes one cycle of treatment. 

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Pregnancy and contraception

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or father a child while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.

Fertility

You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after treatment with this drug. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future. Men may be able to store sperm before starting treatment. Women may be able to store eggs or ovarian tissue but this is rare.

Breastfeeding

Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drugs may come through in your breast milk.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

Immunisations

Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for at least 6 months afterwards.

In the UK, live vaccines include rubella, mumps, measles, BCG, yellow fever and Zostavax (shingles vaccine).

You can:

  • have other vaccines, but they might not give you as much protection as usual
  • have the flu vaccine
  • be in contact with other people who've had live vaccines as injections

Avoid contact with people who’ve had live vaccines taken by mouth (oral vaccines). This includes the rotavirus vaccine given to babies. The virus is in the baby’s urine for up to 2 weeks and can make you ill. So, you mustn't change their nappies for 2 weeks after their vaccination.

You also need to avoid anyone who has had oral polio or typhoid vaccination recently.

Food and alcohol

Procarbazine interacts with alcohol and some foods, causing sickness, headaches, difficulty breathing, sweating, faintness or drowsiness. You should not drink alcohol while you are taking procarbazine. Reactions to food are rare, so if you want to try a food on this list, you could have a little at a time until you are sure it won't upset you:

  • Mature cheeses (including processed cheeses)
  • Yeast or meat extracts such as Marmite, Oxo, and Bovril
  • Salami and pepperoni
  • Overripe fruit, broad beans
  • Foods which have been fermented, pickled, smoked, hung or matured

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

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