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VePesid

Generic Name: etoposide (oral) (e TOE poe side)
Brand Name: VePesid

Medically reviewed on September 29, 2017

What is VePesid?

VePesid is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

VePesid is used to treat small cell lung cancer. It is usually given in combination with other cancer medicines.

VePesid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

VePesid 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 VePesid if you are allergic to it.

To make sure you can safely take VePesid, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease.

Using VePesid may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Do not use VePesid if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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 should I use VePesid?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take VePesid in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Do not break or open the VePesid capsule. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken.

The medicine from a broken capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Wear disposable rubber gloves when you handle a VePesid capsule. Throw the gloves away after one use.

VePesid 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.

Store VePesid capsules in the refrigerator, do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of VePesid.

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 taking VePesid?

VePesid can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). 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.

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.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using VePesid. 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), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

VePesid 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:

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • vision problems;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, 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:

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 VePesid?

Other drugs may interact with etoposide, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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