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 - INJECTION

(ee-TOE-poe-side)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Toposar, 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: This medication is an anticancer drug. It is often used in combination with other medications for the treatment of certain tumors and cancers.

HOW TO USE: This medication is given as an injection into a vein (IV) usually over a 30 to 60 minute period. Your dosage depends on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not use this medicine if it is cloudy, discolored, or contains particles.

SIDE EFFECTS: This medication causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, reversible hair loss, itching, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, and skin rash. Notify your doctor if these symptoms persist or worsen. Notify your doctor if you develop any of the following while taking this medication: fever, chills, sore throat, rapid heartbeat, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe stomach ache, muscle pain. 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 of: infections, herpes, chickenpox (or exposure to it), blood disorders, liver problems, kidney problems, allergies (especially drug allergies). Do not get vaccinated without your doctor's approval and avoid people who have recently been vaccinated. A preservative (benzyl alcohol) which may be found in this product or in the liquid used to mix this product (diluent) can infrequently cause serious problems (sometimes death) if given by injection to an infant during the first months of life (neonatal period). The risk is greater with lower birth weight infants and is greater with increased amounts of benzyl alcohol. Symptoms include sudden gasping, low blood pressure, or a very slow heartbeat. Report these symptoms to the doctor immediately should they occur. If possible, a preservative-free product should be used when treating neonates. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug. Because this medication can affect the production of sperm in men, a reliable form of birth control is recommended. Etoposide is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor about pregnancy before using this medication. This medication is excreted into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, it is recommended you not breast-feed while using this medication.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of all medications you may use, (both prescription and nonprescription) especially of: cyclosporine, vaccines, other cancer medications, 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: This medication must be taken under close medical supervision. Understand the risks and benefits of this therapy. This medication affects your blood cells. It is important to have your blood checked frequently while taking this medication to see if changes in the dose are necessary.

MISSED DOSE: For optimal benefits, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. Do not use missed dose at all and do not "double-up" the dose to catch up. Resume your usual dosing schedule and check with your doctor.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

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Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.