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VePesid Side Effects

Generic Name: etoposide

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug etoposide. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name VePesid.

It is possible that some side effects of VePesid may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to etoposide: oral capsule, oral capsule liquid filled

As well as its needed effects, etoposide (the active ingredient contained in VePesid) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking etoposide, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • cough
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • hives
  • itching
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
  • pounding in the ears
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • skin rash
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
  • Bone pain
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain, severe
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • difficult breathing
  • drowsiness
  • joint or muscle pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle tremors
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rapid, deep breathing
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • stomach cramps
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some etoposide side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • weight loss
Incidence not known
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • constipation
  • cracked lips
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • heartburn
  • lack or loss of strength
  • pain or burning in the throat
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to etoposide: intravenous powder for injection, intravenous solution, oral capsule


Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia (up to 91%), neutropenia (up to 88%), anemia (up to 72%), thrombocytopenia (up to 23%)
Frequency not reported: Myelosuppression[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea and/or vomiting (up to 37%), anorexia (up to 16%), mucositis (including stomatitis and esophagitis) (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, taste alteration, abdominal pain, stomatitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Constipation
Rare (less than 0.1%): Dysphagia, dysgeusia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, transient systolic hypotension following rapid intravenous administration, hypertension
Rare (less than 0.1%): Congestive heart failure, arrhythmias[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anaphylactic type reactions (i.e., fever, shivering, tachycardia, bronchospasm, dyspnea, hypotonia)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (up to 33%), pigmentation
Common (1% to 10%): Rash, urticaria, pruritus
Rare (less than 0.1%): Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, radiation recall dermatitis, hyperpigmentation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hepatotoxicity[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Asthenia/malaise (up to 39%), chills and/or fever (up to 24%)
Common (1% to 10%): Extravasation, phlebitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial pneumonitis, bronchospasm, dyspnea[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Infectious complications[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyperuricemia[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Peripheral neuropathy
Rare (less than 0.1%): Seizure, neurotoxicity (e.g., somnolence, fatigue)[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Transitory loss of vision, optic neuritis, transient cortical blindness[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Vepesid (etoposide)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

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