This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

ETOPOSIDEThe U.S. FDA approved Etoposide as an anticancer medication to treat a certain type of cancer on 11th April 1983.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Etoposide works by inhibiting the activity of topoisomerase II (essential for cell replication) and DNA synthesis, which will prevent cancer cells from growing and multiplying, ultimately leading to cell death.

Uses of undefined

Etoposide treats testicular, small-cell lung, acute myeloid leukemia (blood cancer), Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and ovarian cancer. This medicine can prevent the proliferation of cancer cells and prevents cell division which ultimately leads to cell death.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Etoposide injection: 

It is an intravenous infusion drug that is injected through the veins. Your physician will choose the dosage and administration frequency based on your medical condition because it differs for each person.

Etoposide capsule: 

Etoposide capsule is taken on an empty stomach with a glass of water. Avoid chewing, breaking, or crushing it. Your physician will choose the dosage based on your medical condition because it differs for each person.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because this may cause harm to the unborn baby. If you are breastfeeding, it has stopped immediately. Consult a doctor for more information. Discuss your fertility problem with the doctor because, in men, it is advised not to father a child during and after the 6 months of treatment. So it is advised to get suggestions about fertility concerns. Inform your doctor if you have had any history of kidney or liver problems. 


You need regular blood tests while taking Etoposide to monitor your liver and kidney function. Notify your doctor immediately if you have undergone or are planning to take any radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Report to your doctor immediately if you have taken or planning to take the yellow fever vaccine or any live vaccines and other medications before starting with Etoposide because it might reduce the effectiveness of this medicine and may cause side effects. Inform your doctor if your blood has lower albumin (protein). 

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Etoposide are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, changes in skin color, weakness, asthenia (feeling weak), temporary hair loss, and high or low blood pressure, dizziness, redness of the skin, sore lips, throat, or mouth ulcers. 

Some serious effects that are likely to occur while you are on the treatment with Etoposide are severe allergic reactions (swelling of tongue, or throat, breathing difficulties, rash, flushing, fast heartbeat), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), a blood disorder, hepatotoxicity (damage to the liver), acute leukemia.

Word Of Advice

Both men and women use effective birth control during the treatment and at least six months after the last dose of Etoposide Injection. Keep the tablets away from light and moisture. Keep Etoposide out of sight and reach of children. Store at a controlled room temperature between 15°C to 30°C. Store in the original package. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Goodman & Gilman’s, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Cytotoxic agents, 12th edition, 2011, 1714 -1715.
  2. KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Anticancer drugs, 7th edition, 2013, 866.
  3. Neon Healthcare Limited, Electronic medicines compendium (emc), [ Revised on Sept 2022] [ Accessed on 29th - Mar- 2023 ], pil.10533.pdf (


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you are eligible to receive this treatment.