Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Etoposide Injection. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Etoposide Injection against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.
This medicine is likely to be used while you are in hospital. If possible, please read this leaflet carefully before this medicine is given to you. In some cases this leaflet may be given to you after the medicine has been used.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
What Etoposide Injection is used for
Etoposide belongs to a group of anticancer drugs known as epipodophyllotoxins. Etoposide is active against a number of cancers, including small cell carcinoma of the lung, as well as cancers of blood cells such as acute monocytic and myelomonocytic leukaemia, Hodgkin's disease, and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
It works by preventing the growth of cancer cells and eventually destroying them.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you are given Etoposide Injection
When you must not be given it
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you have an allergy to:
- any medicine containing etoposide
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- liver disease
- severe bone marrow failure
- severe infection
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you are pregnant. It may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are having this medicine. It is not known if the active ingredient in Etoposide Injection passes into breast milk, and there is a possibility your baby may be affected.
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to:
- any other medicine
- any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
- You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
You and your partner must use a reliable method of contraception (birth control) during treatment with Etoposide Injection.
- You are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
- You are receiving or have received chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- You have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- low blood count
- bone marrow suppression
- kidney disease or poor kidney function
- liver disease or poor liver function
- any infections
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start having Etoposide Injection.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including:
- all prescription medicines
- all medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements or natural therapies you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket, naturopath or health food shop.
Some medicines may be affected by Etoposide Injection or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
If you are going to have a vaccination, tell your doctor you are being given Etoposide Injection. This medicine may affect how your immune system responds to the vaccine.
How Etoposide Injection is given
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Etoposide Injection is given by a slow injection into a vein over 30 to 60 minutes. Etoposide Injection must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
Your doctor will decide what dose, how often and how long you will receive Etoposide Injection. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your weight, age, blood tests and how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Etoposide Injection is always diluted in an intravenous fluid bag before being infused into a vein. Etoposide is usually given daily for 5 days This is known as a "cycle". Treatment cycles of etoposide may be repeated every 2-3 weeks.
If you are given too much (overdose)
Overdose is unlikely as Etoposide Injection is given in hospital under the supervision of a doctor.
However, if you are given too much Etoposide Injection, you may experience some of the effects listed under "Side effects" below.
Immediately telephone your doctor, or Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident or Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you may have been given too much Etoposide Injection.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using Etoposide Injection. Like other medicines, Etoposide Injection can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor or temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions that you may have.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- swelling, burning sensation, red skin, changes in skin colour, or hardness where you had the injection
- a rash or hives
- headache, dizziness or light-headedness especially if you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- breathlessness or shortness of breath
- fast heartbeat
- blurred vision or blindness
- mouth ulcers
- fever and chills, sore throat, sweats or are generally unwell
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they concern you:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain
- reduction or loss of appetite
- difficulty swallowing
- loss of hair
Other side effects may be only seen by blood tests. Your doctor will carry out any necessary tests.
What it looks like
Etoposide Injection is a clear, yellowish solution in a plastic ampoule.
Etoposide Injection can be identified by an Australian Register Number, which is found on the carton:
- AUST R 11365 - Etoposide Injection 100 mg in 5 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial (single pack).
- AUST R 11365 - Etoposide Injection 100 mg in 5 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial (10 pack).
- AUST R 52986 - Etoposide Injection 500 mg in 25 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial.
Etoposide Injection contains etoposide, macrogol 300, citric acid, polysorbate 80 and ethanol.
It does not contain a preservative.
Etoposide Injection is supplied in Australia by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Toll Free number: 1800 675 229
Date of preparation
This leaflet was prepared in April 2013.
Published by MIMS November 2014