Etoposide (VP-16) For the Treatment of Cancer
For the Treatment of Cancer
This medicine is given to treat cancer.
How It Is Given
It is injected into a vein or taken by mouth as a capsule. Capsules may need to be taken several times per day for several days.
Common Side Effects
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Hair loss may occur, but is not permanent.
- Reduced blood counts.
Rare Side Effects
- Some patients develop shortness of breath or hives when the drug is injected or shortly after. This occurs very rarely when the drug is given slowly over 30 to 60 minutes. Report any shortness of breath or itching to your nurse or doctor.
Less Common Side Effects
- Mouth sores.
When to call your Doctor
- Fever of 100.8° F or greater.
- Nausea that does not allow you to take your medicine.
- If you have had radiation, you may have increased skin problems (redness or itching) in those areas. If this happens tell your doctor.
- Capsules must be stored in the refrigerator.
- Avoid grapefruit juice/grapefruit while taking Etoposide. It may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
- Etoposide may increase INR levels in patients taking the blood thinner Warfarin. Careful monitoring is advised.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/23/2012
Copyright © 05/23/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5558
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