Drugs Home > What Is Etoposide Used For?

Can Children Use It?

This medication is not approved for use in children, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. However, it is sometimes used off-label to treat certain cancers in children. Children may be at particular risk for allergic reactions from etoposide injections, especially if the medicine is given in high doses. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular benefits and risks of using etoposide in children.

Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Etoposide?

Although this medicine can be used in older adults, they may require careful monitoring. This is because older adults may have a higher risk for many etoposide side effects, such as:
  • Low blood cell counts
  • Infections
  • Mouth sores
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Drowsiness
  • Low energy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss.

What About Off-Label Etoposide Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for treating something other than the conditions discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. It is not uncommon for etoposide to be prescribed off-label to treat many types of cancer. Some of the cancers it may be used off-label to treat include but are not limited to:
    • Brain cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Neuroblastoma (tumors that form from nerve cells).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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