VePesid - Etoposide Capsules

What is this medication?

ETOPOSIDE (e toe POE side) treats lung cancer. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): VePesid

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Infection
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low blood counts, such as low white cell, platelet, red cell counts
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to etoposide, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breastfeeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Take it as directed on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush, or chew this medication. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not take it more often than directed. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.

Handling this medication may be harmful. Wear gloves while touching this medication or bottle. Talk to your care team about how to handle this medication. Special instructions may apply.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Cyclosporine
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication.

This medication may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your care team tells you to stop.

This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your care team for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medication may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your care team if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Talk to your care team about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medication.

Talk to your care team if you may be pregnant. Serious birth defects can occur if you take this medication during pregnancy and for 6 months after the last dose. You will need a negative pregnancy test before starting this medication. Contraception is recommended while taking this medication and for 6 months after the last dose. Your care team can help you find the option that works for you.

If your partner can get pregnant, use a condom during sex while taking this medication and for 4 months after the last dose.

Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.

This medication may cause infertility. Talk to your care team if you are concerned about your fertility.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
  • Low red blood cell level—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain, redness, or swelling with sores inside the mouth or throat
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Get rid any unused medication after the expiration date.

To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:

  • Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
  • If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

© 2023 Elsevier/Gold Standard (2023-05-10 00:00:00)


Additional Information From Chemocare.com About VePesid

Self-Care Tips:

  • Apply warm compresses if you have any pain, redness or swelling at the IV site, and notify your doctor.
  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and/or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of water.
  • Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
  • To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.  
  • Avoid sun exposure.  Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely.  You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest. 
  • Maintain good nutrition.
  • If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team.  They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (possible signs of infection).

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency.  Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools or urine
  • Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
  • Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
  • Swelling, redness and/or pain in one leg or arm and not the other
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers or toes
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Pain, redness or swelling at the IV site

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.


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