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Vepesid Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
VePesid (etoposide) is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication used alone or in combination with other chemotherapies to treat cancer of the testicles or lung, or other types of cancer. It is also commonly known as VP-16. Generic forms of this medication may be available. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, or temporary hair loss.
The recommended dosage of VePesid is one capsule usually taken once a day for 4 or 5 days in a row. This cycle may be repeated once every 3 to 4 weeks. 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. VePesid may interact with cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf). Tell your doctor all medications you use. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Males and females using this drug should use birth control (e.g., birth control pills, condoms) during treatment; consult your doctor. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breastfeeding while using VePesid is not recommended.
Our VePesid (etoposide) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Vepesid in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: fever, chills, sweating, fast heartbeats, fainting; hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
- upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- vision problems;
- seizure (convulsions);
- sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack; or
- severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- diarrhea, constipation;
- trouble swallowing;
- unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;
- numbness or tingly feeling;
- mild itching or skin rash; or
- temporary hair loss.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Vepesid (Etoposide)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Vepesid Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
Pain or sores in the mouth and throat may occur. Brush your teeth carefully/gently, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water mixed with baking soda or salt. It may also be best to eat soft, moist foods.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, sudden vision changes, eye pain, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, painful/difficult swallowing.
Although etoposide may be used to treat certain leukemias, it may rarely cause acute leukemia. Ask your doctor for more details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, seizures.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Vepesid (Etoposide)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Vepesid FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The following data on adverse reactions are based on both oral and intravenous administration of VePesid (etoposide) as a single agent, using several different dose schedules for treatment of a wide variety of malignancies.
Myelosuppression is dose related and dose limiting, with granulocyte nadirs occurring 7 to 14 days after drug administration and platelet nadirs occurring 9 to 16 days after drug administration. Bone marrow recovery is usually complete by day 20, and no cumulative toxicity has been reported. Fever and infection have also been reported in patients with neutropenia. Death associated with myelosuppression has been reported.
The occurrence of acute leukemia with or without a preleukemic phase has been reported rarely in patients treated with VePesid (etoposide) in association with other antineoplastic agents. (See WARNINGS.)
Nausea and vomiting are the major gastrointestinal toxicities. The severity of such nausea and vomiting is generally mild to moderate with treatment discontinuation required in 1% of patients. Nausea and vomiting can usually be controlled with standard antiemetic therapy. Mild to severe mucositis/esophagitis may occur. Gastrointestinal toxicities are slightly more frequent after oral administration than after intravenous infusion.
Anaphylactic-like reactions characterized by chills, fever, tachycardia, bronchospasm, dyspnea, and/or hypotension have been reported to occur in 0.7% to 2% of patients receiving intravenous VePesid (etoposide) and in less than 1% of the patients treated with the oral capsules. These reactions have usually responded promptly to the cessation of the infusion and administration of pressor agents, corticosteroids, antihistamines, or volume expanders as appropriate; however, the reactions can be fatal. Hypertension and/or flushing have also been reported. Blood pressure usually normalizes within a few hours after cessation of the infusion. Anaphylactic-like reactions have occurred during the initial infusion of VePesid (etoposide) .
Facial/tongue swelling, coughing, diaphoresis, cyanosis, tightness in throat, laryngospasm, back pain, and/or loss of consciousness have sometimes occurred in association with the above reactions. In addition, an apparent hypersensitivity-associated apnea has been reported rarely.
Rash, urticaria, and/or pruritus have infrequently been reported at recommended doses. At investigational doses, a generalized pruritic erythematous maculopapular rash, consistent with perivasculitis, has been reported.
Reversible alopecia, sometimes progressing to total baldness, was observed in up to 66% of patients.
The following adverse reactions have been infrequently reported: abdominal pain, aftertaste, constipation, dysphagia, asthenia, fatigue, malaise, somnolence, transient cortical blindness, optic neuritis, interstitial pneumonitis/pulmonary fibrosis, fever, seizure (occasionally associated with allergic reactions), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, pigmentation, and a single report of radiation recall dermatitis.
Hepatic toxicity, generally in patients receiving higher doses of the drug than those recommended, has been reported with VePesid (etoposide) . Metabolic acidosis has also been reported in patients receiving higher doses.
The incidences of adverse reactions in the table that follows are derived from multiple data bases from studies in 2,081 patients when VePesid (etoposide) was used either orally or by injection as a single agent.
|ADVERSE DRUG EFFECT||PERCENT RANGE OF REPORTED INCIDENCE|
|Leukopenia (less than 1,000 WBC/mm3)||3-17|
|Leukopenia (less than 4,000 WBC/mm3)||60-91|
|Thrombocytopenia (less than 50,000 platelets/mm3)||1-20|
|Thrombocytopenia (less than 100,000 platelets/mm3)||22-41|
|Nausea and vomiting||31-43|
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Vepesid (Etoposide)
Additional VePesid Information
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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