People who have certain types of testicular cancer or lung cancer may benefit from chemotherapy treatment with etoposide phosphate. This prescription medicine works by interfering with how cancer cells divide. Possible side effects may include hair loss, lack of energy, and low blood cell counts. This drug is given intravenously by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting.
What Is Etoposide Phosphate?Etoposide phosphate (Etopophos®) is a prescription injectable medication used in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Specifically, it is used in combination with other cancer medicines to treat:
- Testicular cancer (cancer of the testicles) that has not adequately responded to treatment with surgery, radiation, or other cancer medicines.
- Small cell lung cancer.
Etoposide phosphate is the salt form of the medication etoposide. Once it enters the body, etoposide phosphate is rapidly converted into etoposide. Etoposide also comes as a capsule taken by mouth and as an injection (Toposar® [etoposide injection]).
(Click What Is Etoposide Phosphate Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
Are There Side Effects?Just like any chemotherapy medicine, etoposide phosphate can cause side effects, some of which can be quite significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
Common side effects of etoposide phosphate include but are not limited to:
- Low blood cell counts
- Weakness or lack of energy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Loss of appetite.
(Click Etoposide Phosphate Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)