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Etoposide Side Effects

Most people who use etoposide will experience at least one side effect. Clinical trials have shown that some of the most commonly reported problems include nausea, hair loss, and diarrhea. Because this chemotherapy drug can also cause potentially dangerous problems, it is important to know which side effects need to be reported to your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Etoposide

Just like any medicine, etoposide can cause side effects. Like other chemotherapy medicines, the side effects can be significant. Most people who take this medicine will experience at least one side effect, and, for some people, the side effects may limit their etoposide dosage. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or manage reactions from this medication.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with etoposide. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Etoposide Side Effects

Some side effects of etoposide are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Signs of infection, such as:
    • Fever
    • Body aches
    • Chills
    • Sore throat
    • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Signs of anemia, such as:
    • Extreme weakness or fatigue
    • Pale skin
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dizziness
  • Severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Sores, ulcers, or swelling in the mouth or throat
  • Complete or partial loss of vision
  • Swelling, burning, pain, redness, or leakage of fluid around your infusion site (the site where you receive your intravenous dose)
  • Burning, tingling, numbness, or other unusual sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Upper-right abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Seizure
  • Sudden warmth or redness in the face, neck, or chest (flushing)
  • Coughing
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Feelings of tightness in the chest or throat
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face, lips, or throat
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
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Etoposide Drug Information

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