IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

ETOPOSIDE - ORAL

(eh-TOE-poh-side)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Vepesid

WARNING: This medication may decrease your body's ability to fight infections (due to bone marrow suppression). Immediately notify your doctor if you develop symptoms of an infection (persistent sore throat, fever); easy bruising or bleeding, or unusual fatigue. Your doctor will closely monitor you while you are using this medication.

USES: Etoposide is used in combination with other medicines to treat various forms of cancer.

HOW TO USE: This is a potent medication. Take it exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medication, even if you feel nauseated or experience vomiting. If you vomit shortly after a dose or if you miss a dose, contact your doctor.

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or tiredness are common side effects. Taking the medication on an empty stomach with a full glass of water may help relieve vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Temporary hair loss is another common side effect. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended. Contact your doctor without delay if you experience any of the following symptoms: fever, chills, cough, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination, unusual bleeding or bruising, black/tarry stools, blood in urine or stools, small red spots on skin, sores in mouth or on lips, fast heartbeat, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling in fingers/toes, weakness. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially: any infections, blood disorders, liver or kidney problems, heart disease, any allergies. Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports in order to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured. This medication can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor if you develop any signs of an infection such as: fever, sore throat, rash, chills. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. Avoid touching your eyes or inside your nose without first washing your hands. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. Etoposide is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this medication. Etoposide is excreted into breast milk and may harm the nursing infant. Do not breast-feed without first consulting your doctor.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medications you may use, especially: cyclosporine, mibefradil, St John's wort. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

NOTES: Regular doctor visits are important. Frequent blood tests will be done to monitor your progress.

MISSED DOSE: Take any missed dose as soon as possible but not if it is almost time for the next dose. If it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. Contact your doctor.

STORAGE: Different brands of this medication may have different storage requirements. Refer to the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the brand you are using.

Developed by First DataBank, Inc., San Bruno, CA
Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.