Why is it prescribed?

Etoposide is a first-line treatment option for small cell lung cancer when used in combination with another established antineoplastic agent.
Etoposide may be used second-line alone or in combination to treat small cell lung cancer that has not responded on other chemotherapeutic agents.
In the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, etoposide has shown to be effective alone or in combination with cisplatin.

Products that have this ingredient include •Teva-Etoposide injection •Vepesid® capsules •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •non-small cell lung cancer •small cell lung cancer •

Along with its therapeutic benefit, etoposide can cause the following side effects:

  • hair loss
  • shivering
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • weakness and fatigue
  • low white blood cell count
  • low platelet count
  • inflammation at injection site
  • metallic taste
  • poor appetite
  • mouth sores

Etoposide is a medication that treats various forms of cancer. Etoposide is a topoisomerase 2 inhibitor. The exact way that etoposide works is uncertain. It is known to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells by interrupting their DNA synthesis.

Etoposide is a toxic chemotherapeutic drug with significant risk of adverse effects. It should only be used in settings where patient response can be monitored and staff have experience in using cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Before starting etoposide treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).   Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.

Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor's approval while taking etoposide.

Etoposide can cause an anaphylactic reaction in some patients. Signs of an anaphylactic reaction such as chills, fever, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath and low blood pressure, will be monitored.

Etoposide should not be used by pregnant women.  Do not breastfeed if on this medication.

Liver and kidney function should be monitored during therapy.

Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015