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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antineoplastic


  • Treats testicle, lung and bladder cancer.
  • Treats Hodgkin's disease and some other forms of cancer.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Capsules--Swallow with liquid. If you can't swallow whole, open capsule and take with liquid or food. Instructions to take on empty stomach mean 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
Injection--Given under doctor's supervision.

When to take:
According to your doctor's instructions.

If you forget a dose:
Skip this dose. Never double dose. Resume regular schedule.

What drug does:
Inhibits DNA in cancer cells.

Time lapse before drug works:

Don't take with:
Any other medicines (including over-the-counter drugs such as cough and cold medicines, laxatives, antacids, diet pills, caffeine, nose drops or vitamins) without consulting your doctor.


Rapid pulse, shortness of breath, wheezing, fainting, coma.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose Section.


  • Appetite loss, nausea, vomiting.
  • Loss of hair.


    Symptoms of low white blood cell count and low platelet count: black, tarry stools; bloody urine; cough; chills or fever; low back pain; bruising.


    Mouth sores.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You have chicken pox.
  • You have shingles (herpes zoster).

Before you start, consult your doctor:
If you have liver or kidney disease.

Over age 60:
No special problems expected.

Risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits. Don't use.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Effect not documented. Consult your doctor.

Prolonged use:

  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check complete blood counts (white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit).
  • Check mouth frequently for ulcers.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you feel confused, drowsy or dizzy.

May still experience symptoms of bone marrow depression, such as: blood in stools, fever or chills, blood spots under the skin, back pain, hoarseness, bloody urine. If any of these occur, call your doctor right away.


  • Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.
  • May affect results in some medical tests.
  • Etoposide may be used in combinations with other antineoplastic treatment plans. The incidence and severity of side effects may be different when used in combinations such as doxorubicin, procarbazine and etoposide (APE); etoposide, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and vincristine (CAVE, ECHO, CAPO, EVAC, or VOCA); cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and etoposide (CAE or ACE); cisplatin, bleomycin, doxorubicin and etoposide; cisplatin, bleomycin and etoposide; cisplatin and etoposide. For further information regarding these combinations, consult your doctor.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
ACE inhibitors* May increase bone marrow depression
or make kidney damage more likely.
Antineoplastic May increase bone marrow depression
(cancer-treating) or make kidney damage more likely.
Clozapine Toxic effect on bone marrow.
Tiopronin Increased risk of toxicity to bone
Vaccines, live Increased likelihood of toxicity or
or killed virus reduced effectiveness of vaccine.
Wait 3 months to 1 year after etoposide
treatment before getting vaccine.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased likelihood of adverse
reactions. Avoid.
Beverages: No special problems expected.
Cocaine: Increased likelihood of adverse
reactions. Avoid.
Foods: No special problems expected.
Marijuana: Increased likelihood of adverse
reactions. Avoid.
Tobacco: No special problems expected.

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