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Your bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells may suffer significantly as a result of etoposide. Regular laboratory tests will be requested by your doctor both before and after your therapy. Your body may experience specific symptoms and be more susceptible to dangerous infections or bleeding if the amount of blood cells decreases. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, persistent cough and congestion, or other infection-related symptoms; unusual bleeding or bruising; bloody or black, tarry stools; bloody vomit; or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a specific form of lung cancer that is treated with etoposide in combination with additional drugs. Etoposide belongs to a group of drugs called podophyllotoxin derivatives. It functions by reducing or halting the development of cancer cells within your body.

How should this medicine be used?

Etoposide is available as a pill to swallow. It is typically taken once a day for four or five consecutive days. Depending on how your body responds to the drug, this cycle can be repeated once every three to four weeks. The sort of drugs you are taking, how well your body reacts to them, and the type of cancer you have will all affect how long your treatment will last. Etoposide should be taken every day at about the same time(s). Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Etoposide should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, ovarian cancer, which starts in the female reproductive system where eggs are made, is occasionally treated with etoposide. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking etoposide,

  • If you have an allergy to etoposide, any other medications, or any of the chemicals in etoposide capsules, let your doctor and chemist know right once. Request a list of the ingredients from your chemist.
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), and cisplatin (Platinol). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with etoposide.
  • If you have renal illness now or ever have, let your doctor know.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. While taking etoposide, you should not become pregnant or breastfeed. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking etoposide. The foetus may suffer from etoposide.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Etoposide might have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth- and throat-related sores
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Appetite loss or weight loss
  • Unexpected fatigue or weakened state
  • Light skin
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Hair fall
  • Hands or feet tingling, burning, or pain
  • Eye discomfort
  • Vision issues

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Stop taking etoposide and contact your doctor right away, or seek emergency medical attention if you have any of these symptoms or any of those mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Hammering, rapid, or erratic heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint

Etopside may make you more likely to get other malignancies. The dangers of using this drug should be discussed with your doctor.

Other side effects of etoposide are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you suffer a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this prescription tightly closed, in the original container it came in, in the refrigerator, and away from children. Avoid freezing.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the ideal approach to get rid of your medicines. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your chemist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to etoposide, your doctor will prescribe a few tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding prescription refills should be directed to your chemist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Vepesid
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