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etoposide (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking etoposide (VePesid)?

Before using etoposide, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease; or
  • a weak immune system (from disease or from taking certain medicines).

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use etoposide, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby. Do not use etoposide without your doctor's consent if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.

It is not known whether etoposide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Using etoposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

How should I use etoposide (VePesid)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not break or open an etoposide capsule. The medicine from a broken capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or rinse the eyes thoroughly with plain water. If you must handle a broken capsule, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely dispose of the capsule.

Etoposide can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store etoposide capsules in the refrigerator. Do not allow them to freeze.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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