Last updated on RxList: 5/21/2019
Etopophos Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 5/21/2019

Etopophos (etoposide phosphate), also commonly known as VP-16, is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication used alone or in combination with other chemotherapies to treat cancer of the lung or testicles. Common side effects of Etopophos include:

  • nausea and vomiting (may be severe),
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • stomach pain,
  • muscle aches,
  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • weakness,
  • loss of appetite,
  • changes in taste,
  • pain or redness at the injection site,
  • temporary hair loss,
  • pain or sores in the mouth or throat, or
  • skin rash.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Etopophos including:

  • numbness and tingling of arms or legs,
  • sudden vision changes,
  • eye pain,
  • yellowing eyes or skin,
  • dark urine,
  • painful or difficult swallowing, or
  • redness or swelling of your veins.

Dosage of Etopophos is determined by a physician and it is administered intravenously. Etopophos may interact with cyclosporine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Etopophos is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. 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 this medication is not recommended.

Our Etopophos (etoposide phosphate) 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.


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Etopophos Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • severe nausea and vomiting;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin; or
  • low white blood cell counts--fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • constipation;
  • fever;
  • trouble swallowing; or
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth.

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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Etopophos (Etoposide Phosphate)

Etopophos Professional Information


The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates, observed in the clinical trials of a drug, cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

ETOPOPHOS has been used as a single agent in clinical studies involving 206 patients with a variety of malignancies (including one non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and in combination with cisplatin in 60 patients with small cell lung cancer. The most common adverse reaction was neutropenia.

Other Important Adverse Reactions

Gastrointestinal Toxicity

Nausea and vomiting are the major gastrointestinal toxicities. The severity of nausea and vomiting is generally mild to moderate, with treatment discontinuation required in 1% of patients. Nausea and vomiting are managed with standard antiemetic therapy.

Other Toxicities

Other clinically important adverse reactions in clinical trials were:

Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, constipation, dysphagia

General: fever

Ocular: transient cortical blindness, optic neuritis

Respiratory: interstitial pneumonitis/pulmonary fibrosis

Skin: pigmentation, radiation recall dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis

Neurologic: seizure, aftertaste

Hepatobiliary disorder: hepatotoxicity

Post-Marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of ETOPOPHOS. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.


Extravasation, resulting in local soft tissue toxicity, was identified in postmarketing reports. Extravasation of ETOPOPHOS may result in swelling, pain, cellulitis, and necrosis including skin necrosis.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Etopophos (Etoposide Phosphate)

© Etopophos Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Etopophos Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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