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etoposide (injection)

Pronunciation: ee TOE poe side

Brand: Toposar

What is the most important information I should know about etoposide?

Multum nopreg

Do not use etoposide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Multum emt

Etoposide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum icon27

Etoposide can be harmful if it gets on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with etoposide. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

Using etoposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

What is etoposide?

Etoposide is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Etoposide is used to treat cancer of the lung or testicles. It is usually given with other cancer medicines in a combination chemotherapy.

Etoposide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving etoposide?

Multum donot

You should not use etoposide if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely receive etoposide, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease.

Using etoposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use etoposide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether etoposide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using etoposide.

How is etoposide given?

Etoposide is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Etoposide must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 60 minutes to complete.

Etoposide is usually given as part of a 4-day or 5-day treatment cycle every 3 or 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Multum icon27

Etoposide can be harmful if it gets on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water.

Multum emt

Etoposide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your etoposide injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving etoposide?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with etoposide. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of etoposide?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: fever, chills, sweating, fast heartbeats, fainting; hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • vision problems;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • diarrhea, constipation;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • numbness or tingly feeling;
  • mild itching or skin rash; or
  • temporary hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect etoposide?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with etoposide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about etoposide.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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