Severe lowering of blood counts (myelosuppression) may occur, which may cause infection or bleeding (sometimes fatal). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of infection (fever, chills, persistent sore throat) or unusually easy bruising or bleeding (see also Side Effects section).Who should not take etoposide intravenous?
Etoposide is used alone or in combination with other chemotherapies to treat testicular cancer that has not responded to other treatment and small cell lung cancer. Etoposide works by slowing cancer cell growth. It is also commonly known as VP-16.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to treat certain childhood cancers that have not responded to other treatment, certain types of leukemias, lymphomas, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, esophageal cancer, another type of lung cancer (non-small cell type), and a certain type of prostate cancer.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. It is usually given over 30-60 minutes or longer to avoid lowering of blood pressure, which occurs when etoposide is given too quickly. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Certain types of plastics (e.g., IV bags) have been known to crack or leak when undiluted etoposide is used. Consult your pharmacist for details.
(see also Warning section)
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, strange aftertaste, diarrhea, mouth sores, muscle aches, drowsiness, fatigue, or skin color changes may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be quite severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help decrease some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Etoposide can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection, such as fever, chills or persistent sore throat.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: tingling of hands or feet, yellowing of the eyes or skin, tarry or bloody stool, vision changes, abdominal pain, redness or swelling of your veins.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, sweating, chest tightness, fast or irregular heartbeat, skin turning blue, cough, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using etoposide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polysorbate 80), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured, use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
This drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcoholic beverages because drinking alcohol may increase your chances of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.
Caution is advised when using etoposide in children because they may be more sensitive to the allergic effects of this drug.
Etoposide should be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed. It may cause harm to an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Women of child-bearing age should use an effective form of birth control while using this medication. Discuss the use of birth control, the risks, the benefits and any other concerns about using this medication with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using etoposide is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: cyclosporine, glucosamine, levamisole, live vaccines, St John's wort.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin) that can increase your risk of bleeding. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory tests (e.g., complete blood cell counts, kidney function, liver function) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress and check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Keep all scheduled medical appointments.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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