Generic Name: etoposide (injection) (ee TOE poe side)
Brand Name: Toposar
Medically reviewed on January 15, 2018.
What is etoposide?
Etoposide is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Etoposide is used to treat cancer of the lung or testicles. It is usually given with other cancer medicines in a combination chemotherapy.
Etoposide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Etoposide 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).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use etoposide if you are allergic to it.
To make sure etoposide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease.
Using etoposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
Using etoposide during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control while you are receiving this medicine
It is not known whether etoposide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using etoposide.
How is etoposide given?
Etoposide is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Etoposide is usually given as part of a 4-day or 5-day treatment cycle every 3 or 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Etoposide can be harmful if it gets on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water.
Etoposide 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 Toposar.
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?
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using etoposide. 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.
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.
Etoposide 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;
upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
a seizure (convulsions);
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack; or
severe skin reactionfever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
temporary hair loss;
unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
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)
What other drugs will affect etoposide?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with etoposide, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with etoposide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.06.
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- Drug class: mitotic inhibitors