Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Etoposide


Last updated on 14/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  



BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Lastet, Sintopozid

DRUG CLASS: Antineoplastics

SUB CLASS: Mitotic inhibitors

USED FOR: Treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), Treatment of testicular cancer, Cytotoxic chemotherapy

– 20 mg/ml, 100 mg/5ml (injections)
– 50 mg, 100 mg (capsules)

What is Etoposide for?

Etoposide is an antineoplastic that inhibits topoisomerase II to break DNA strands, stopping the cancer cells from dividing. Therefore, it can be used in the treatment of small cell lung, testicular and other cancers.

How to use it?

Etoposide is to be injected into the veins or taken orally in a capsule. Your body surface area will be estimated by the physician to calculate the appropriate dose for the intravenous injection.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)
Adult and elderly
Intravenous injection: 35-50 mg/m2 infusion once daily over 30-60 minutes for 4-5 days. May repeat course at 3-4 weekly intervals after recovering from any toxicity.
Oral: 70-100 mg/m2 infusion once daily over 30-60 minutes for 4-5 days. May repeat course at 3-4 weekly intervals after recovering from any toxicity. The dose is rounded off to the nearest 50 mg.

Testicular cancer
Adult and elderly
Intravenous injection: 50-100 mg/m2 infusion once daily over 30-60 minutes for 5 days or 100 mg/m2 at day 1, 3, 5. May repeat course at 3-4 weekly intervals after recovering from any toxicity.

What are the side effects of Etoposide?

Common side effects of Etoposide include, but not limited to, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia.

Who should not take Etoposide?

– People allergic to Etoposide or any component of the formulation.
– Patients with severe leukopenia or thrombocytopenia.
– Patients with severe liver or kidney impairment.

Pharmacist Tips:

– The injection formulation can be used for oral administration via extemporaneous compounding carried out by professionals.

Common dosing schedule:
Etoposide injections are prescribed in institutions by the physicians or as oral capsules taken at home.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs. 

Some common medications Etoposide may interact with:
– Baricitinib
– 5-aminosalicylic acid derivatives, e.g. Sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, Balsalazide
– CYP3A4 inducers, e.g. Diltiazem, Itraconazole, Ritonavir
– Palifermin
– Vaccines, e.g. BCG, Smallpox and Monkeypox, COVID-19

Etoposide may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Etoposide in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Etoposide is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Etoposide in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.