HEALTH GUIDE REFERENCE FROM A.D.A.M
Treats cancer of the testicles, lung cancer, lymphoma, nonlymphocytic leukemia, and other kinds of cancer, often in combination with other medicines. Also called VP-16.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to etoposide.
How to Use This Medicine
- This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given.
- Your medicine will be given through a tube put in one of your veins, usually in your arm, wrist, or hand and sometimes in your chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV.
- A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.
- If you get your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or clinic that gives your treatments for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you get your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep your medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
- Do not get the medicine on your skin. If it this happens wash the area with soap and water, and tell your caregiver right away.
- If you get your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bag or bottles, and tubes. Put it where children or pets cannot reach it.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- You should not use aspirin or any product that has aspirin in it (such as some cold medicines) unless you have talked to your doctor.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
- Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.
- You may get infections more easily while you are getting etoposide. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
- This medicine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
- Do not get pregnant while you are being treated with etoposide. Use an effective form of birth control while you are getting this medicine.
- If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Bloody urine, bowel movement, or vomit
- Yellowing skin or eyes
- Redness, pain, or swelling where the IV is given
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint while the medicine is being given
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Muscle cramps
Source Doc: 45_0585