Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Vepesid


Etoposide (also known as VP-16) is used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat small cell lung cancer.

Etoposide belongs to the group of medicines known as antineoplastic agents. The exact way that etoposide acts against cancer is not known. However, it seems to interfere with the growth of the cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal body cells may also be affected by etoposide, other effects will also occur. Some of these may be serious and must be reported to your doctor. Other effects, like hair loss, may not be serious but may cause concern. Some effects may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used.

Before you begin treatment with etoposide, you and your doctor should talk about the benefits of this medicine as well as the risks of using it.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, etoposide is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)—associated Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of cancer of the skin and mucous membranes that is more common in patients with AIDS).
  • Cancer in the bone.
  • Cancer of the adrenal cortex (the outside layer of the adrenal gland).
  • Cancer of the endometrium.
  • Cancer of the lung (a certain type of lung cancer usually associated with prior smoking, passive smoking, or radon exposure).
  • Cancer of the lymph system (a part of the body's immune system) that affects the skin.
  • Cancer of the ovaries (a type of cancer found in the egg-making cells).
  • Cancer of the stomach.
  • Cancer of unknown primary site.
  • Cancers of the blood and lymph system.
  • Cancers of the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, connective tissues (tendons), vessels that carry blood or lymph, or fat.
  • Ewing's sarcoma (a type of cancer found in the bone).
  • Gestational trophoblastic tumors (tumors in the uterus or womb).
  • Hepatoblastoma (a certain type of liver cancer that occurs in children).
  • Multiple myeloma (a certain type of cancer of the blood).
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
  • Neuroblastoma (a cancer of the nerves that usually occurs in children).
  • Retinoblastoma (a cancer of the eye that usually occurs in children).
  • Thymoma (a cancer of the thymus, which is a small organ that lies under the breastbone).
  • Tumors in the brain.
  • Wilms' tumor (a cancer of the kidney that usually occurs in children).

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Capsule