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oral vs IV etoposide

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  • oral vs IV etoposide

    Getting ready to start 3xBEP on Monday and found out from my Cancer Center today that there is a national shortage of etoposide and they don't have enough IV available so will administer it orally instead. My understanding is you get twice the dose due to absorption. I'm hearing there is no "known" additional risk / symptoms with oral. Anyone know anything about this?

  • #2
    Afraid I do not, also I was unaware of any shortage of IV etoposide.

    Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
    Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP


    • #3
      What did you do curious.
      Son Grant
      dx 12/21/16 at age 17

      BEP x3
      Post Chemo CT Scan on 3/28/17 still showed a few nodes over 2 cm
      2nd Post Chemo CT Scan on 4/27/17 showed all nodes still over 2cm
      Post Chemo RPLND 5/8/17: Periaortic Teratoma, Intraaorticaval Teratoma, and Paracaval Teratoma found.
      Grant is enjoying his senior year in High School Cancer Free!


      • #4
        Where are you being treated? If not at one already, have they consulted with a center of excellence on the appropriateness of oral instead of IV administration?

        Unfortunately, drug shortages are relatively common now a days and even in the most extreme shortages there is usually a way to get the medication needed (although sometimes it may not be). I spent 20 years working in hospital pharmacy departments and with some effort the meds are usually obtainable (but again, I am not personally familiar with the current situation).

        Do you know what the facility has done to try to obtain product for you? Have they called the specific manufacturer for a patient specific drop ship if they can't get it from their regular wholesaler? Have they called their wholesaler and asked for drop shipments? Have they tried alternative suppliers? Have they caledl all of the local facilities and asked to borrow the medication from their stock?

        At this point you need the drug every 3 weeks and the shortage appears to be short-term so there should be no reason that they can't obtain the drug in some manner. Here is the information about the Etoposide shortage according the the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the FDA

        If I can help in any way, I can also be reached at

        Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
        06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
        06.26.06 Left I/O
        06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
        06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
        Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
        6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary