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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
Patients being treated with etoposide Injection USP must be frequently observed for myelosuppression both during and after therapy. Myelosuppression resulting in death has been reported. Dose-limiting bone marrow suppression is the most significant toxicity associated with etoposide Injection USP therapy. Therefore, the following studies should be obtained at the start of therapy and prior to each subsequent cycle of etoposide Injection USP: platelet count, hemoglobin, white blood cell count, and differential. The occurrence of a platelet count below 50,000/mm3 or an absolute neutrophil count below 500/mm3 is an indication to withhold further therapy until the blood counts have sufficiently recovered.
Physicians should be aware of the possible occurrence of an anaphylactic reaction manifested by chills, fever, tachycardia, bronchospasm, dyspnea, and hypotension. Higher rates of anaphylactic-like reactions have been reported in children who received infusions at concentrations higher than those recommended. The role that concentration of infusion (or rate of infusion) plays in the development of anaphylactic-like reactions is uncertain. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.) Treatment is symptomatic. The infusion should be terminated immediately, followed by the administration of pressor agents, corticosteroids, antihistamines, or volume expanders at the discretion of the physician. For parenteral administration, etoposide Injection USP should be given only by slow intravenous infusion (usually over a 30- to 60-minute period), since hypotension has been reported as a possible side effect of rapid intravenous injection.
Etoposide Injection USP can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Etoposide has been shown to be teratogenic in mice and rats.
In rats, an intravenous etoposide dose of 0.4 mg/kg/day (about 1/20th of the human dose on a mg/m2 basis) during organogenesis caused maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, and teratogenicity (skeletal abnormalities, exencephaly, encephalocele, and anophthalmia); higher doses of 1.2 and 3.6 mg/kg/day (about 1/7th and 1/2 of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) resulted in 90 and 100% embryonic resorptions. In mice, a single 1 mg/kg (1/16th of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) dose of etoposide administered intraperitoneally on days 6, 7, or 8 of gestation caused embryotoxicity, cranial abnormalities, and major skeletal malformations. An IP dose of 1.5 mg/kg (about 1/10th of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) on day 7 of gestation caused an increase in the incidence of intrauterine death and fetal malformations and a significant decrease in the average fetal body weight.
Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Etoposide Injection USP should be considered a potential carcinogen in humans. The occurrence of acute leukemia with or without a preleukemic phase has been reported in rare instances in patients treated with etoposide alone or in association with other neoplastic agents. The risk of development of a preleukemic or leukemic syndrome is unclear. Carcinogenicity tests with etoposide Injection USP have not been conducted in laboratory animals.
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FDA Safety Alerts
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FDA Labeling Changes
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Etoposide Injection USP is indicated in the management of the following neoplasms:
Etoposide Injection USP in combination therapy with other approved chemotherapeutic agents in patients with refractory testicular tumors who have already received appropriate surgical, chemotherapeutic, and radiotherapeutic therapy.
Etoposide Injection USP in combination with other approved chemotherapeutic agents as first line treatment in patients with small cell lung cancer.
There is currently no drug history available for this drug.
Etoposide (also commonly known as VP-16) is a semisynthetic derivative of podophyllotoxin used in the treatment of certain neoplastic diseases. It is 4'-demethylepipodophyllotoxin 9-[4,6-O-(R)-ethylidene-β-D-glucopyranoside]. It is very soluble in methanol and chloroform, slightly soluble in ethanol and sparingly soluble in water and ether. It is made more miscible with water by means of organic solvents. It has a molecular weight of 588.58 and a molecular formula of C29H32O13.
Etoposide Injection USP is available for intravenous use as 20 mg/mL solution in 100 mg (5 mL), 500 mg (25 mL), and 1 g (50 mL) sterile, multiple-dose vials. The pH of the clear, colorless to pale yellow liquid is 3 to 4. Each mL contains 20 mg etoposide USP, 2 mg anhydrous citric acid, 30 mg benzyl alcohol, 80 mg polysorbate 80/tween 80, 650 mg polyethylene glycol 300, and 30.5 percent (v/v) dehydrated alcohol. Vial head space contains nitrogen.
The structural formula is: