People with certain types of cancer may be prescribed a chemotherapy drug called etoposide. Also referred to as VP-16, etoposide was previously sold under the brand name Vepesid®; however, Vepesid is no longer being manufactured.
Etoposide is a podophyllotoxin derivative, meaning it is derived from the Mayapple tree (Podophyllum peltatum). It comes as a capsule that is taken by mouth and as an injection (Toposar®) that is given intravenously (by IV). Etoposide capsules are approved to treat small cell lung cancer. The injection is approved to treat small cell lung cancer and refractory testicular tumors (cancer of the testicles that has not adequately responded to other treatment).
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 26, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed July 26, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed July 20, 2012.
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