What is etoposide?
Etoposide is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Etoposide is used to treat cancer of the lung or testicles.
Etoposide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Before using etoposide, tell your doctor if you have:
- kidney disease; or
- a weak immune system (from disease or from taking certain medicines).
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use etoposide, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use etoposide without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.
It is not known whether etoposide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Using etoposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection.
Do not receive a "live” vaccine while you are being treated with etoposide.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of an etoposide overdose may include severe nausea and vomiting, fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising, or extreme weakness.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- fast heart rate;
- severe nausea and vomiting;
- feeling light-headed, fainting; or
- low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:
- mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- mild itching or skin rash; or
- temporary hair loss.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before using etoposide, tell your doctor if you are using cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf).
There may be other drugs that can affect etoposide. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Etopophos, etoposide, Etopophos (obsolete), Toposar, and VePesid
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