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Etoposide (By injection)

Etoposide (e-TOE-poe-side)

Treats cancer of the testicles and small cell lung cancer.

Brand Name(s):

Etopophos, Etoposide Novaplus, Toposar, Toposar Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to etoposide or etoposide phosphate, or you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how etoposide works. Tell your doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Cyclosporine
    • Levamisole
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine to treat seizures (including carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproic acid)
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Women should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Men should use condoms during sex while they are receiving this medicine and for at least 4 months after the last dose.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a history of low albumin (plasma protein).
  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Rarely, this medicine may cause leukemia (cancer of the blood or bone marrow). Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Hair loss
  • Redness, pain, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2017
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