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VIDE chemotherapy information sheet



This leaflet provides information about a chemotherapy course called VIDE. The leaflet will explain what this means and when and how it will be given. It will also tell you about common side effects you may experience. Contact telephone numbers and details of how to find out more about VIDE are at the end of this booklet.


You should read this leaflet alongside the ' General information for patients undergoing chemotherapy' leaflet. If you have not received this leaflet, ask your nurse for a copy.


What is VIDE chemotherapy?

VIDE chemotherapy consists of four drugs:

  • Vincristine
  • Ifosfamide
  • Doxorubicin
  • Etoposide


Together, these drugs are known as VIDE, for short.





Why am I having VIDE chemotherapy?

Your doctor has recommended this chemotherapy as it is highly effective in treating the type of cancer you have.



How often will I have my treatment?

In order for this treatment to be most effective, it is given at specific time intervals. These are called circles. It is usual to have a VIDE cycle every three weeks for up to six cycles. Your doctor will discuss with you the exact number of cycles you will have.



Will I need any tests before starting my chemotherapy?

Yes. Before starting your chemotherapy, you will have a series of blood tests and investigations. You will also have something called a MUGA scan to assess your heart function. Please ask if you would like more information.



Will I need to stay in hospital to have VIDE chemotherapy?

Yes. You will need to be taken to the chemotherapy ward for four days in order to receive your chemotherapy. This is also known as the Princess Margaret Ward.



How will my treatment be given?

In order to receive this chemotherapy, we will need to insert a small tube into one of the large veins in your upper arm. This tube is called a PICC line. Your PICC line is usually placed about a week before your chemotherapy starts. It will remain in place throughout your treatment. Your doctor will explain this in more detail.


We have a leaflet that tells you more about PICC lines. Please ask if you would like a copy.


The chemotherapy is given through a drip connected to your PICC line. Your trip will be attached to a portable stand with wheels so you will be able to move around the ward area. If you need help, nurses will be on hand to help you.


What are the possible side effects?

There are a number of possible side effects that can arise with this chemotherapy. The doctor, nurses and pharmacists can give you advice or answer any questions you may have.


Hair Loss
Unfortunately, you will lose your hair with this chemotherapy. This is only temporary. Your hair will grow back when your treatment is finished. We can arrange a wig if you would like one, ask your nurse for more information. We have a leaflet that tells you more about coping with hair loss. Ask your nurse for a copy.





Nausea and vomiting are now uncommon as we will give you anti-nausea medicines, which are usually very effective. If you vomit more than once over a 24-hour period, even though you regularly take anti-nausea medication when you are home after your chemotherapy treatment, contact Velindre Cancer Center for advice. The phone number is on page 7.



Your risk of catching infections will be higher as this treatment can reduce your white blood cells which help fight infections. Contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately if you develop any signs of infection, for example, flu-like symptoms or a temperature above 37.5°. The phone number is on page 7.



Diarrhea is not common with this chemotherapy. However, if you open your bowel four times or more than is normal for you over a 24-hour period, contact Velindre Cancer Center immediately. The phone number is on page 7.


Fatigue and fatigue

Chemotherapy can make you feel more tired than usual. It is important to listen to your body and rest if you need to but you should continue with your normal activities if you feel able to do so. For some people, a little light exercise can be beneficial as well as rest.


Sore mouth

Your mouth may be sore or you may notice small ulcers. Follow the advice on looking after your mouth in the general chemotherapy leaflet. Your doctor may give you a prescription for mouthwash or medication to prevent or clear up any infection.


Effects on your nerves

Vincristine can affect the nerves in your fingers and toes by giving you the sensation of numbness or tingling. It may also affect the nerves to your gut. This could lead to constipation. Some patients may also have pain in the mouth or a headache if there is an effect on the nerves to the head. If you develop any of these problems, tell your doctor or nurse at your next visit to the clinic.


Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)

Ifosfamide can sometimes irritate your bladder and cause cystitis. This means that you may notice burning and pain when passing water but you may need to pass water more often. This is not common as we will give you a drug called mesna which should prevent this from happening. If you get cystitis, tell your nurse or doctor.


Effects on your heart

Doxorubicin can cause heart problems. Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems or if you are taking any heart medicines. Before starting your chemotherapy treatment, a scan called a MUGA scan is usually carried out to check for any heart problems. This may be repeated later in your treatment.




Other side effects

Doxorubicin will harmlessly discolor your urine red for a day after your chemotherapy. If this lasts more than 24 hours, contact Velindre Cancer Center for advice.



A small number of patients receiving ifosfamide may experience drowsiness, confusion and hallucinations. These symptoms are very rare and usually disappear within 48 hours of stopping the treatment. If you have any of these symptoms or if your family notices any changes in your behaviour, tell your nurse or doctor.


Chemotherapy treatment sometimes affects women's periods. They could get heavier, lighter or even stop altogether.


It is important that you do not become pregnant or become a father while you are having chemotherapy treatment as chemotherapy could harm the unborn baby.



Patient information leaflets from manufacturers

Copies of patient information leaflets from drug manufacturers are available from Felindre Pharmacy, or on the internet at These leaflets give detailed information about individual drugs. We do not routinely distribute them as they do not usually provide information on drug combinations and can be difficult to read. Please ask if you would like a copy.






Contact telephone numbers


Felindre Cancer Center 029 2061 5888

Ask for the chemotherapy pager if you get sick at home and need immediate attention at any time of the day or night. For example, you should call in the case of:

  • If you vomit more than once over a 24 hour period
  • That you have a temperature of 37.5°C or higher
  • That you have diarrhoea
  • That you have red urine for more than 24 hours



Pharmaceutical department 029 2061 5888 ext. 6223

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm for inquiries about your medicines



Cancer helpline

Tenovus freephone 0808 808 1010

Monday – Friday 9am – 4.30pm for general cancer enquiries









This leaflet has been written by health professionals. The information in this leaflet is based on evidence. It was endorsed by doctors, nurses and patients. It is reviewed and updated every two years.





















Reviewed August 2013