Etoposide inhibits DNA synthesis by forming a complex with DNA and topoisomerase II, one of the enzymes necessary for its replication. This way, it induces breaks in DNA and prevents repair, thus promoting cell death.


What is Etoposide?

Etoposide is used in combination with other medications to treat lung cancer –Recurrent testicular small cell tumors. It can also be used to treat certain types of ovarian tumors, lymphoma, non-lymphocytic leukemia and glioblastoma multiforme.


How should Etoposide be taken?

Typically, Etoposide is administered orally,   in the form of capsules and by 1 dose per day for 4 or 5 consecutive days. Depending on the individual’s immune response, treatment can be repeated every 3 or 4 weeks. Another possible route of administration is via injection.


Side effects associated with Etoposide

Possible side effects of Etoposide include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • sores in the mouth and throat
  • stomach ache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • tiredness or weakness
  • pallor
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • hair loss
  • pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
  • eye pain
  • vision problems


It is important to contact your doctor at once if treatment triggers:

  • skin rash
  • urticarial
  • itch
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • rapid heart rate, irregular or heavy
  • jaundice


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Etoposide

Etoposide may increase the risk of developing other cancers.


Before starting treatment, it is important to inform your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to  Etoposide, its excipients or any other medication
  • If you are taking any other medicinal products, herbal supplements or sedatives. Mentioning in particular:  cisplatin and cyclosporine
  • If you suffer (or have suffered) from kidney disease
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding