It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant during treatment and for at least 6 months after your last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Etoposide may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Men using this medicine should use condoms as a form of birth control during treatment and for at least 4 months after the last dose of etoposide. A man intending to father a child should stop using this medicine and check with his doctor right away.
Etoposide can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of your getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or have painful or difficult urination.
Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have chills, fever, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, fast, pounding heartbeat, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, or trouble breathing after you receive the medicine.
Injection site reactions may occur while you are receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you notice swelling, pain, or redness at the injection site.
This medicine may cause leukemia (cancer of the blood or bone marrow) in rare cases. Talk with your doctor about any concerns you have about this.
Talk with your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine because there are certain vaccines that you should not receive.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.