Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Etoposide Injection. It does not
contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your
doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking
Etoposide Injection against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
This medicine is likely to be used while you are in hospital. If possible, please
read this leaflet carefully before this medicine is given to you. In some cases this
leaflet may be given to you after the medicine has been used.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet.
You may need to read it again.
What Etoposide Injection is used for
Etoposide belongs to a group of anticancer drugs known as epipodophyllotoxins. Etoposide
is active against a number of cancers, including small cell carcinoma of the lung,
as well as cancers of blood cells such as acute monocytic and myelomonocytic leukaemia,
Hodgkin's disease, and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
It works by preventing the growth of cancer cells and eventually destroying them.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you are given Etoposide Injection
When you must not be given it
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you have an allergy to:
any medicine containing etoposide
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you have any of the following medical conditions:
severe bone marrow failure
Do not have Etoposide Injection if you are pregnant.
It may affect your developing baby if you are given it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are having this medicine.
It is not known if the active ingredient in Etoposide Injection passes into breast
milk, and there is a possibility your baby may be affected.
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if:
You have allergies to:
any other medicine
any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant
You and your partner must use a reliable method of contraception (birth control) during
treatment with Etoposide Injection.
You are breast-feeding or plan to breastfeed.
You are receiving or have received chemotherapy or radiotherapy
You have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
low blood count
bone marrow suppression
kidney disease or poor kidney function
liver disease or poor liver function
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start
having Etoposide Injection.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including:
all prescription medicines
all medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements or natural therapies you buy without a
prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket, naturopath or health food shop.
Some medicines may be affected by Etoposide Injection or may affect how well it works.
You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different
medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
If you are going to have a vaccination, tell your doctor you are being given Etoposide
This medicine may affect how your immune system responds to the vaccine.
How Etoposide Injection is given
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
Etoposide Injection is given by a slow injection into a vein over 30 to 60 minutes.
Etoposide Injection must only be given by a doctor or nurse.
Your doctor will decide what dose, how often and how long you will receive Etoposide
Injection. This depends on your condition and other factors, such as your weight,
age, blood tests and how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Etoposide Injection is always diluted in an intravenous fluid bag before being infused
into a vein. Etoposide is usually given daily for 5 days This is known as a "cycle".
Treatment cycles of etoposide may be repeated every 2-3 weeks.
If you are given too much (overdose)
Overdose is unlikely as Etoposide Injection is given in hospital under the supervision
of a doctor.
However, if you are given too much Etoposide Injection, you may experience some of
the effects listed under "Side effects" below.
Immediately telephone your doctor, or Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia
13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident or Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you
think that you may have been given too much Etoposide Injection.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor
if you have any concerns.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are using Etoposide Injection.
Like other medicines, Etoposide Injection can cause some side effects. If they occur,
most are likely to be minor or temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions that you may have.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they concern you:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain
reduction or loss of appetite
painful or difficulty swallowing
tiredness, looking pale
loss of hair
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
swelling, burning sensation, red skin, changes in skin colour, or hardness where you
had the injection
headache, dizziness or light-headedness especially if you get up suddenly from a lying
or sitting position
swelling of the feet or legs
blurred vision or blindness
fever and chills, sore throat, sweats or are generally unwell
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and
Emergency at your nearest hospital:
sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching, hives on the skin, swelling of the
face, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble
pressure, tightness or pain in the chest or arms that may spread to the neck, jaw
decreased, little or no urine
Other side effects may be only seen by blood tests. Your doctor will carry out any
What it looks like
Etoposide Injection is a clear, yellowish solution in a plastic ampoule.
Etoposide Injection can be identified by an Australian Register Number, which is found
on the carton:
AUST R 11365 - Etoposide Injection 100 mg in 5 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial (single pack).
AUST R 11365 - Etoposide Injection 100 mg in 5 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial (10 pack).
AUST R 52986 - Etoposide Injection 500 mg in 25 mL (sterile) Plastic Vial.
Etoposide Injection contains etoposide, macrogol 300, citric Acid, polysorbate 80
It does not contain a preservative.
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
Date of preparation
This leaflet was prepared in April 2022.