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All about: Etoposide

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Generic Name: Etoposide Injection (EH-toe-POE-side)
Brand Name: Etopophos and Toposar

Etoposide may decrease your body's ability to fight infections (due to bone marrow suppression). Immediately notify your doctor if you develop symptoms of an infection (persistent sore throat, fever), easy bruising or bleeding, or unusual fatigue. Your doctor will closely monitor you while you are using Etoposide .


Etoposide is used for:

Treating lung cancer and testicular tumors in patients who have not responded to other treatment. It is used in combination with other cancer medications.

Etoposide is an antineoplastic. It works by stopping the tumor cells from dividing (mitosis), which prevents the spread of certain types of cancer.

Do NOT use Etoposide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Etoposide

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Etoposide :

Some medical conditions may interact with Etoposide . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney disease, bone marrow depression, an infection, or a history of blood conditions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Etoposide . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because their actions and side effects may be increased by Etoposide
  • Cyclosporine because the actions and side effects of Etoposide may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Etoposide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Etoposide :

Use Etoposide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Etoposide is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Etoposide at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Etoposide contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • If Etoposide accidentally spills on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Etoposide , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Etoposide .

Important safety information:

  • Etoposide may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Etoposide . Using Etoposide alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Etoposide may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Etoposide may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Check with your doctor before having vaccinations while you are using Etoposide .
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Etoposide with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Etoposide is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Etoposide has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Etoposide during pregnancy. It is unknown if Etoposide is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Etoposide .

Possible side effects of Etoposide :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Appetite loss; back pain; blue or purple discoloration of the skin; diarrhea; hair loss; increased sweating; nausea; tightness in throat; voice changes; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chills; cough; decreased ability to fight infection; fever; leukemia; liver problems; loss of consciousness; low blood pressure; pain, redness, or swelling at injection site; sore throat; sores on the mouth or lips; temporary blindness; tingling of the fingers or toes; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Etoposide :

Etoposide is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Etoposide at home, store Etoposide as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Etoposide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Etoposide , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Etoposide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Etoposide . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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