Etoposide is a medicine used to kill cancer cells. It works by stopping cancer cells to further divide and make new cells. It is one of the active drugs against non-small-cell lung cancer. Doctors can also use it for treatment of other types of cancer like stomach. VP-16 is the trade name for Etoposide.
How is it given?
Etoposide is available as capsules by mouth or as an infusion into the vein. It is usually administrated at doctor’s clinic or hospital. If you are using it at home, you must carefully follow the injection procedures as taught by your doctor. In case, the medication escapes from vein, it can cause tissue damage. The amount of Etoposide that you will receive depends on many factors like the type of cancer, general health, severity of cancer and more.
What precautions should you take?
Before you start taking Etoposide, you should inform your doctor about any other medication you are taking. You should not take any another kind of vaccination without approval from your doctor. You should tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions like you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If case, you have kidney disease, bone marrow depression or a history of blood conditions; you should tell your doctor about the same before using Etoposide.
What are the side effects of Etoposide?
The common side effects that patients face while taking this medication are:
- Hair loss
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Low number of red blood cells
- Feeling sick
- Decrease of platelets
- Mouth sores
Less common side effects:
- Poor appetite
- Inflammation at injection site
- Eye problems
- Risk of developing another cancer
This is not a comprehensive list of side effects faced by people taking Etoposide. You should contact your doctor or health care provider in case of any side effects. The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.