General Information
Brand names and manufacturer
Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

Etosid (Cipla)
Actitop (Khandelwal)

Etoposide is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Etoposide is pronounced as: EH-toe-POE-side

Etoposide is an anticancer drug.

Etoposide is used in the treatment of lung cancer and testicular cancer.

  • Take etoposide exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Etoposide is usually given by injection to vein by your doctor who is specialized in cancer treatment.
  • Etoposide vial should be inspected visually for particulate matter prior to administration. Preparations of etoposide containing visibly opaque particles should not be used.
  • It is preferable to take etoposide tablet on empty stomach if you experience stomach upset you can take it with food. 
  • Do not take the etoposide in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor or do not stop taking the medication with out consulting your doctor.
  • Always remember to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently taking any OTC drugs or prescription drugs like
    1. Oral anti coagulants like warfarin
  • This may not be the complete list of drugs interact with etoposide, ask your pharmacist if any other drugs interact with this medication.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any of the following medical conditions as etoposide should be cautiously used.
    1. Kidney disease
    2. Blood disorders like bone marrow depression

When not to take etoposide

Do not etoposide if you are suffering from severe bone marrow depression, low platelet count, WBC count.

What are the precautions I should follow for etoposide?


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Old people:
Pregnant woman: Etoposide belongs to FDA pregnancy category D. This means that etoposide can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use etoposide with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception. 

Lactating women: Etoposide passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use etoposide with out the consent from your doctor if you are breastfeeding your child.

Other: While taking etoposide do not take any immunization containing live vaccine.

What are the dosage forms etoposide is available in the market

Etoposide is available in the form of capsule and injection.

Doses for etoposide

Use etoposide as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease. Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

What about if I missed the dose of etoposide

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses of etoposide at same time to cover up the missed dose.

What should I do if I over dosage etoposide

In case of overdose of etoposide contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

What are the common side effects of etoposide?

The following are the side effects you may experience with etoposide

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Change in the color of the skin

When to consult the health expert about the side effects of etoposide

If you experience any of the following side affects stop the etoposide medication and consult your doctor immediately

  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Severe low blood count
  • Fever, chills and unusual bruising

How do I store etoposide?

Store etoposide at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely. 

What is the most important information I should know about etoposide

  • Laboratory tests like complete blood count need to do to monitor the adverse effects of etoposide
  • Etoposide lowers the immunity; avoid contact with the people who have cold and infections

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 04, 2012