Generic Name: etoposide phosphate (e TOE poe side FOS fate)
Brand Name: Etopophos
What is etoposide phosphate?
Etoposide phosphate is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Etoposide phosphate is used to treat cancer of the lung or testicles.
Etoposide phosphate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about etoposide phosphate?
Etoposide phosphate is a cancer medication.
Etoposide phosphate can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
Etoposide phosphate can cause a severe allergic reaction. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel light-headed or have a fast heart rate, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before using etoposide phosphate?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to etoposide.
To make sure etoposide phosphate is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease; or
a weak immune system (from disease or from taking certain medicines).
Using etoposide phosphate during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy, whether you are a man or a woman. Etoposide phosphate use by either parent may cause birth defects.
For women: Use effective birth control while you are using etoposide phosphate and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends.
For men: Use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using condoms for at least 4 months after you stop using etoposide phosphate.
Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either parent is using etoposide phosphate.
It is not known whether etoposide phosphate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are being treated with etoposide phosphate.
Using etoposide phosphate may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
How is etoposide phosphate given?
Etoposide phosphate is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Etoposide phosphate is usually given for 4 or 5 days in a row every 3 to 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when etoposide phosphate is injected.
Etoposide phosphate can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your etoposide phosphate injection.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while receiving etoposide phosphate?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using etoposide phosphate. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Etoposide phosphate side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: fever, chills, sweating, fast heartbeats, fainting; hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or
severe nausea and vomiting.
Common side effects may include:
mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
dizziness, feeling tired or weak;
temporary hair loss; or
altered sense of taste.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Etoposide phosphate dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Testicular Cancer:
(In combination with other approved chemotherapeutic agents) Initial dose: 50 to 100 mg/m2 IV once a day on days 1 through 5 or 100 mg/m2 IV once a day on days 1,3 and 5.
Usual Adult Dose for Small Cell Lung Cancer:
(In combination with other approved chemotherapeutic agents) Initial dose: 35 to 50 mg/m2 IV once a day for 4 to 5 days.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Testicular Cancer:
The manufacturer has stated that clinical studies of etoposide for the treatment of refractory testicular tumors did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years or over to determine if they respond differently from younger patients.
What other drugs will affect etoposide phosphate?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with etoposide phosphate, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with etoposide phosphate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about etoposide
- Etoposide capsules
- Etoposide injection
- Etoposide (Advanced Reading)
- Etoposide Oral, Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about etoposide phosphate.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.05.
Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: January 13, 2016