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What happens if i miss a dose (vepesid)?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of etoposide.
Etoposide is a prescription medication used to treat small cell lung cancer and testicular cancer. Etoposide belongs to a group of drugs called podophyllotoxin derivatives, which slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.
This medication comes as a capsule and is taken by mouth. It is usually taken once a day for 4 or 5 days in a row. This cycle may be repeated once every 3 to 4 weeks, depending on your response to the medication.
This medication comes in an injectable form to be given directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare provider. It is usually given in cycles, once a day or every other day, for up to 5 days.
Some of the common side effects of etoposide include nausea, vomiting, hairloss, and low counts of certain blood cells.
- In small cell lung cancer, the recommended dose of etoposide capsules is 2 times the IV dose rounded to the nearest 50 mg
- For example: two times 35 mg/m2/day for 4 days to 50 mg/m2/day for 5 days.
- The dosage should be modified to take into account
- the effects of other drugs in combination, or
- the effects of prior x-ray therapy
- The etoposide dosage is highly individualized and is based on the cancer being treated, your height and weight, how well your body responds to the medication, and other medications and other medical conditions you have.
- Cancer of the Testicles
- The etoposide dose ranges from 50 to 100 mg per m² a day for 5 days to 100 mg per m² a day every other day for 3 doses (days 1, 3, and 5 of a treatment cycle).
- Small Cell Lung Cancer
- The etoposide dose ranges from 35 mg per m² a day for 4 days to 50 mg per m² a day for 5 days.
- Doses are reduced in patients with kidney disease.
If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
How should I use VePesid (etoposide)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Do not break or open the etoposide capsule. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken.
The medicine from a broken capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Wear disposable rubber gloves when you handle a etoposide capsule. Throw the gloves away after one use.
Etoposide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Store etoposide capsules in the refrigerator, do not freeze.
Vepesid Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- chest pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swollen glands
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Blurred vision
- cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills
- difficulty with swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- face is warm or hot to touch
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills
- numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
- pain or redness at the site of injection
- pale skin at the site of injection
- pounding in the ears
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness to face
- slow or fast heartbeat
- tightness in the chest
- Back pain
- difficulty with walking
- loss of consciousness
- swelling of the face or tongue
- tightness in the throat
- Abdominal or stomach pain, severe
- blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- blue-yellow color blindness
- dark urine
- decreased vision
- eye pain
- joint or muscle pain
- loss of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- red, irritated eyes
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- change in taste
- cracked lips
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- lack or loss of strength
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- weight loss
This medicine often causes a temporary loss of hair. After treatment with etoposide has ended, normal hair growth should return.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How is this medicine (VePesid) best taken?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
VePesid® (etoposide) Capsules
VePesid (etoposide) should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Severe myelosuppression with resulting infection or bleeding may occur.
VePesid - Clinical Pharmacology
VePesid has been shown to cause metaphase arrest in chick fibroblasts. Its main effect, however, appears to be at the G2 portion of the cell cycle in mammalian cells. Two different dose-dependent responses are seen. At high concentrations (10 µg/mL or more), lysis of cells entering mitosis is observed. At low concentrations (0.3-10 µg/mL), cells are inhibited from entering prophase. It does not interfere with microtubular assembly. The predominant macromolecular effect of etoposide appears to be the induction of DNA strand breaks by an interaction with DNA topoisomerase II or the formation of free radicals.
On intravenous administration, the disposition of etoposide is best described as a biphasic process with a distribution half-life of about 1.5 hours and terminal elimination half-life ranging from 4 to 11 hours. Total body clearance values range from 33 to 48 mL/min or 16 to 36 mL/min/m2 and, like the terminal elimination half-life, are independent of dose over a range of 100 to 600 mg/m2. Over the same dose range, the areas under the plasma concentration versus time curves (AUC) and the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) values increase linearly with dose. Etoposide does not accumulate in the plasma following daily administration of 100 mg/m2 for 4 to 5 days.
The mean volumes of distribution at steady state fall in the range of 18 to 29 liters or 7 to 17 L/m2. Etoposide enters the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) poorly. Although it is detectable in CSF and intracerebral tumors, the concentrations are lower than in extracerebral tumors and in plasma. Etoposide concentrations are higher in normal lung than in lung metastases and are similar in primary tumors and normal tissues of the myometrium. In vitro, etoposide is highly protein bound (97%) to human plasma proteins. An inverse relationship between plasma albumin levels and etoposide renal clearance is found in children. In a study determining the effect of other therapeutic agents on the in vitro binding of 14C-etoposide to human serum proteins, only phenylbutazone, sodium salicylate, and aspirin displaced protein-bound etoposide at concentrations achieved in vivo.
Etoposide binding ratio correlates directly with serum albumin in patients with cancer and in normal volunteers. The unbound fraction of etoposide significantly correlated with bilirubin in a population of cancer patients. Data have suggested a significant inverse correlation between serum albumin concentration and free fraction of etoposide (see PRECAUTIONS).
After intravenous administration of 14C-etoposide (100-124 mg/m2), mean recovery of radioactivity in the urine was 56% of the dose at 120 hours, 45% of which was excreted as etoposide; fecal recovery of radioactivity was 44% of the dose at 120 hours.
In children, approximately 55% of the dose is excreted in the urine as etoposide in 24 hours. The mean renal clearance of etoposide is 7 to 10 mL/min/m2 or about 35% of the total body clearance over a dose range of 80 to 600 mg/m2. Etoposide, therefore, is cleared by both renal and nonrenal processes, i.e., metabolism and biliary excretion. The effect of renal disease on plasma etoposide clearance is not known.
Biliary excretion of unchanged drug and/or metabolites is an important route of etoposide elimination as fecal recovery of radioactivity is 44% of the intravenous dose. The hydroxy acid metabolite [4'-demethylepipodophyllic acid-9-(4,6-O-(R)-ethylidene-β-D-glucopyranoside)], formed by opening of the lactone ring, is found in the urine of adults and children. It is also present in human plasma, presumably as the trans isomer. Glucuronide and/or sulfate conjugates of etoposide are also excreted in human urine. Only 8% or less of an intravenous dose is excreted in the urine as radiolabeled metabolites of 14C-etoposide. In addition, O-demethylation of the dimethoxyphenol ring occurs through the CYP450 3A4 isoenzyme pathway to produce the corresponding catechol.
After either intravenous infusion or oral capsule administration, the Cmax and AUC values exhibit marked intra- and inter-subject variability. This results in variability in the estimates of the absolute oral bioavailability of etoposide oral capsules.
Cmax and AUC values for orally administered etoposide capsules consistently fall in the same range as the Cmax and AUC values for an intravenous dose of one-half the size of the oral dose. The overall mean value of oral capsule bioavailability is approximately 50% (range, 25–75%). The bioavailability of etoposide capsules appears to be linear up to a dose of at least 250 mg/m2.
There is no evidence of a first-pass effect for etoposide. For example, no correlation exists between the absolute oral bioavailability of etoposide capsules and nonrenal clearance. No evidence exists for any other differences in etoposide metabolism and excretion after administration of oral capsules as compared to intravenous infusion.
In adults, the total body clearance of etoposide is correlated with creatinine clearance, serum albumin concentration, and nonrenal clearance. Patients with impaired renal function receiving etoposide have exhibited reduced total body clearance, increased AUC and a lower volume of distribution at steady state (see PRECAUTIONS). Use of cisplatin therapy is associated with reduced total body clearance. In children, elevated serum SGPT levels are associated with reduced drug total body clearance. Prior use of cisplatin may also result in a decrease of etoposide total body clearance in children.
Although some minor differences in pharmacokinetic parameters between age and gender have been observed, these differences were not considered clinically significant.
Patients being treated with VePesid 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 VePesid therapy. Therefore, the following studies should be obtained at the start of therapy and prior to each subsequent cycle of VePesid: 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.
VePesid 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 1.0 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 I.P. 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 warned of the potential hazard to the fetus.
VePesid 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 VePesid have not been conducted in laboratory animals.
In all instances where the use of VePesid is considered for chemotherapy, the physician must evaluate the need and usefulness of the drug against the risk of adverse reactions. Most such adverse reactions are reversible if detected early. If severe reactions occur, the drug should be reduced in dosage or discontinued and appropriate corrective measures should be taken according to the clinical judgment of the physician. Reinstitution of VePesid therapy should be carried out with caution, and with adequate consideration of the further need for the drug and alertness as to possible recurrence of toxicity.
Patients with low serum albumin may be at an increased risk for etoposide associated toxicities.
High-dose cyclosporin A resulting in concentrations above 2000 ng/mL administered with oral etoposide has led to an 80% increase in etoposide exposure with a 38% decrease in total body clearance of etoposide compared to etoposide alone.
Periodic complete blood counts should be done during the course of VePesid treatment. They should be performed prior to each cycle of therapy and at appropriate intervals during and after therapy. At least one determination should be done prior to each dose of VePesid.
In patients with impaired renal function, the following initial dose modification should be considered based on measured creatinine clearance:
|Measured Creatinine Clearance||>50 mL/min||15-50 mL/min|
|etoposide||100% of dose||75% of dose|
Subsequent VePesid dosing should be based on patient tolerance and clinical effect.
Data are not available in patients with creatinine clearances <15 mL/min and further dose reduction should be considered in these patients.
Carcinogenesis (see WARNINGS), Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Etoposide has been shown to be mutagenic in Ames assay.
Treatment of Swiss-Albino mice with 1.5 mg/kg I.P. of VePesid on day 7 of gestation increased the incidence of intrauterine death and fetal malformations as well as significantly decreased the average fetal body weight. Maternal weight gain was not affected.
Irreversible testicular atrophy was present in rats treated with etoposide intravenously for 30 days at 0.5 mg/kg/day (about 1/16th of the human dose on a mg/m2 basis).
PregnancyPregnancy Category D
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from VePesid, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Of more than 600 patients in 4 clinical studies in the NDA databases who received VePesid or etoposide phosphate in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), about one-third were older than 65 years. When advanced age was determined to be a prognostic factor for response or survival in these studies, comparisons between treatment groups were performed for the elderly subset. In the one study (etoposide in combination with cyclophosphamide and vincristine compared with cyclophosphamide and vincristine or cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and doxorubicin) where age was a significant prognostic factor for survival, a survival benefit for elderly patients was observed for the etoposide regimen compared with the control regimens. No differences in myelosuppression were seen between elderly and younger patients in these studies except for an increased frequency of WHO Grade III or IV leukopenia among elderly patients in a study of etoposide phosphate or etoposide in combination with cisplatin. Elderly patients in this study also had more anorexia, mucositis, dehydration, somnolence, and elevated BUN levels than younger patients.
In 5 single-agent studies of etoposide phosphate in patients with a variety of tumor types, 34% of patients were age 65 years or more. WHO Grade III or IV leukopenia, granulocytopenia, and asthenia were more frequent among elderly patients.
Postmarketing experience also suggests that elderly patients may be more sensitive to some of the known adverse effects of etoposide, including myelosuppression, gastrointestinal effects, infectious complications, and alopecia.
Although some minor differences in pharmacokinetic parameters between elderly and nonelderly patients have been observed, these differences were not considered clinically significant.
Etoposide and its metabolites are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see PRECAUTIONS: Renal Impairment for recommended dosing adjustments in patients with renal impairment).
How is VePesid Supplied
VePesid® (etoposide) CapsulesNDC 0015-3091-4550 mg pink capsules with “BRISTOL 3091” printed in black in blisterpacks of 20 individually labeled blisters, each containing one capsule.
Capsules are to be stored under refrigeration 2°– 8° C (36°– 46° F).
DO NOT FREEZE.
Dispense in child-resistant containers.
For information on package sizes available, refer to the current price schedule.