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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - VePesid

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 11/7/1999]
Question: Please send any avaiable info on the drug etoposide.

Answer: This drug is sold under the brand name VePesid. It is also called VP 16 among physicians and pharmacists. It is a synthetic derivate of podophyllotoxin and used to treat different malignancies. It is given either intravenously or orally. Its activity seems to derive from causing metaphase arrest and works at the G2 part of the cell cycle. (This is when cells divide.) Toxicity is mainly in depressing white cell function. Dosage needs to be adjusted for renal function. Adverse effects are nausea, vomiting, bone marrow suppression, low blood pressure, allergic reactions-like asthma, hair loss(usually reversible over time), and occasional peripheral neuropathy. A very useful drug for a lot of malignancies if used correctly in the correct dosage and monitoring of blood counts post treatment is followed closely.

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