Etoposide (Eposin, Etopophos, Vepesid)
Brand name: Eposin, Etopophos, Vepesid
Other names: Etoposide phosphate, VP-16
alkaloid/topoisomerase II inhibitor
Etoposide is available by prescription only
Etoposide can be
taken by mouth or by injection into a vein
Etoposide is used to in the treatment of many
cancers such as:
- acute myelogenous
- acute lymphocytic
- chronic myelogenous leukemia
- ovarian germ-cell
- advanced breast
- Kaposi's sarcoma
related to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Etoposide may be prescribed for other
medical conditions that are not mentioned in this article. For more information on diseases for which Etoposide
is used to treat, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Etoposide should be stored
away from light and moisture. Keep the drug at room temperature out of
Etoposide can be taken intravenously or by mouth in capsule form
. Your doctor will base on several criteria to prescribe you the form and dosage more effective to treat your
condition. In general, treatment will be determined depending on your state of health, severity of the tumor, and
especially your body surface area (BSA)
. In addition, the reaction of your body to the drug can obligate your oncologist to adjust the treatment.
It is important to complete the therapy as indicated by your health
each treatment (chemo session), your doctor will inject the solution into your vein. You can receive the drug as
a short infusion or as a continuous infusion over 24 hours. In this case, Etoposide will be given with care,
under the supervision of a physician or a medical professional having experience in chemotherapy medication.
Etoposide injection is always given in a hospital or in a medical center.
Etoposide capsules should be taken on
empty stomach, once or many times per day, as recommended by your doctor. It is important to use Etoposide and
all chemotherapy drugs exactly as prescribed. Misusing of any drug can lead to death.
Overdose: when etoposide is given through
injection in hospital by professionals, the risk of overdose is very low. However, there is an increased risk of
overdose when the drug is taken by mouth at home. An Etoposide overdose can cause a decrease in the number of
blood cells in your bone marrow, severe health problems and even death among elderly and young children. If you
think you have taken or given an Etoposide overdose, contact your doctor or a poison control center as soon as
If for some valuable
reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date you
were scheduled to receive the injection. If you are recommended to take the medication at home, you can
easily forget. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If you forgot to take the medicine for
hours, and it is almost time for the nest dose, the best thing
to do is wait for the next dose; in any case, do not double the dose.
is contraindicated or should be used with precaution in the following conditions:
to etoposide or any of its ingredients
white blood cell count
blood platelet count
- Kidney dysfunction.
Mechanism of action (MOA): Etoposide is one of the
antineoplastics, a group of chemotherapy drugs widely used in cancer treatment. It slows or stops the growth of
cells by attacking the genetic material (DNA) required for their division.
Before taking etoposide
and all chemotherapy drugs, tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, whether prescription or
non prescription. Talk to your doctor before taking aspirin, vitamins or nutritional supplements.
Some drugs such as Cyclosporine and Vincristine can cause adverse reaction when taken with
some patients can
experience adverse effects when taking
etoposide. Common Etoposide side effects include:
doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- pain at
the injection site
(which can be characterized by fever, chills, sore throat, etc.)
or fast heart beat
of the face or tongue.