Etoposide injection is used in combination with other medications to treat cancer of the testicles that has not improved or that has worsened after treatment with other medications or radiation therapy. Etoposide injection is also used in combination with other medications to treat a certain type of lung cancer (small cell lung cancer; SCLC). Etoposide is in a class of medications known as podophyllotoxin derivatives. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Side Effects Of Etoposide Injection
Etoposide injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- swelling, pain, redness, or burning at the injection site
- sores in the mouth and throat
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite or weight
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- pale skin
- hair loss
- pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- eye pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Etoposide may increase the risk that you will develop other cancers. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Etoposide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before receiving etoposide injection:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to etoposide, etoposide phosphate (Etopophos), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in etoposide or etoposide phosphate injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: cisplatin (Platinol), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with etoposide, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should not become pregnant or breast-feed while you are receiving etoposide injection. If you become pregnant while receiving an etoposide injection, call your doctor. Etoposide may harm the fetus.
Dosage Of Etoposide Injection
Etoposide injection comes as a solution (liquid) or as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be slowly injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body’s response to etoposide.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.