Etoposide (brand name- Vepesid) is an FDA-approved treatment combined with other medications for a certain type of lung cancer (small cell lung cancer; SCLC).
Etoposide is in a class of medications known as podophyllotoxin derivatives. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Etoposide.
Make sure you go through the IMPORTANT WARNING section at the end of this article
How should I take etoposide (vepesid)?
Etoposide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day for 4 or 5 days in a row. This cycle may be repeated once every 3 to 4 weeks, depending on your response to the medication.
Take etoposide at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take etoposide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Do not stop taking etoposide without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of etoposide (Vepesid)?
Common side effects
Etoposide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking etoposide (Vepesid)
- tell your doctor about your allergies.
- tell your doctor about other intakes.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You should not become pregnant or breast-feed while you are taking etoposide.
While you are on etoposide (Vepesid)
- If you become pregnant while taking etoposide, call your doctor. Etoposide may harm the fetus.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with etoposide.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
How should I safely store and dispose of etoposide (Vepesid)?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Do not freeze.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
¶This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
Last Revised – 06/13/2023, FDA updated-10/15/2017, SG
Etoposide can cause a severe decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. Your doctor will order laboratory tests regularly before and during your treatment. A decrease in the number of blood cells in your body may cause certain symptoms and may increase the risk that you will develop a serious infection or bleeding. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising; bloody or black, tarry stools; bloody vomit; or vomiting blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds.
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