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Etoposide Dosing Guidelines for Small Cell Lung Cancer

The dosage of etoposide injection for treating small cell lung cancer is highly individualized and can range from 35 mg per m2 once a day for 4 days to 50 mg per m2 once a day for 5 days. The usual dosage of etoposide capsules is twice as much as the injection dose, rounded to the nearest 50 mg. People with kidney or liver disease are normally given lower doses.
After receiving etoposide for four to five days, you will be given a break in treatment. This will allow your body to recover from etoposide side effects. Etoposide doses and the break period together make up a cycle of treatment. Etoposide treatment cycles are normally repeated every three to four weeks. Your healthcare provider will determine how many treatment cycles you will need.

General Information on Using Etoposide

Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with etoposide include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a capsule or an injection. The capsule is taken by mouth. The injection is given slowly through a needle inserted into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, infusion).
  • Etoposide is normally given in combination with other chemotherapy medicines.
  • You will receive the intravenous infusion in a medical setting, such as a hospital or clinic, where a trained healthcare provider can closely monitor you.
  • If you are receiving this medication as an injection, it will take at least 30 to 60 minutes to receive your infusion.
  • Etoposide capsules can be taken with or without food. Try taking them with food if they seem to bother your stomach.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Although this medicine works best if taken on schedule, you may need to miss a dose if you experience serious side effects.
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or etoposide dosing in general, please talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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