Thiotepa - injection
Thiotepa - injection
This medication decreases bone marrow function, an effect that may lead to a low number of blood cells such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. This effect can cause anemia, decrease your body's ability to fight an infection, or cause easy bruising/bleeding. A certain lab test (complete blood count) should be done while you are using this medication. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, pale skin, signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills), easy bruising/bleeding. See also How to Use and Side Effects sections.
Although thiotepa is used to treat cancer, in some people this medication may also increase the risk of developing another form of cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Thiotepa is used to treat cancer. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. Thiotepa is often given into the bladder to treat bladder cancer.
Thiotepa is also used with other medications to prevent rejection of a stem cell transplant.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. Sometimes, thiotepa is injected directly into the tumor. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you experience pain, burning, or redness at the injection site.
For treatment of bladder cancer, thiotepa is usually given into the bladder through a tube (catheter). Your doctor may direct you to limit fluids for 8 to 12 hours before the medication is given. The solution is usually left in place for 2 hours and then drained out through the bladder tube. Your doctor may direct you to change positions every 15 minutes while the solution is in your bladder to make sure the solution treats all parts of your bladder.
If you are using this medication to prevent rejection of a stem cell transplant, you should receive 2 doses of this medication 12 hours apart. During treatment, skin problems may occur. To reduce the risk of skin problems, shower or bathe with water and change any bandages or dressings at least twice a day until 48 hours after stopping treatment. Also, change your bed sheets daily while receiving treatment. See also Side Effects section.
The dosage and how often the medication is given is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor will do blood tests (complete blood count) to find the right dose for you. Your next dose may need to be rescheduled if your white blood cell count or platelets are too low.
Learn how to handle, use, and discard chemotherapy and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist. Wear gloves and wash your hands carefully after handling this drug. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or on your skin. If the medication gets in your eye, wash the affected eye(s) well with water and contact your doctor. If the medication gets on your skin, wash the area well with soap and water.
See also Warning section.
Pain/redness at the injection site, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, or loss of appetite may occur. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. In some cases, drug treatment may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Temporary hair loss is another common side effect. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, your doctor has prescribed this drug because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Painful sores on the lips, mouth, and throat may occur. To decrease the risk, limit hot foods and drinks, brush your teeth carefully, avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, and rinse your mouth frequently with cool water.
This medication may also cause very serious bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if any signs of serious bleeding occur, including:
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
If you are using this medication to prevent rejection, tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
This medication can affect sperm production, an effect that may lower male fertility. Consult your doctor for more details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before using thiotepa, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially:
Thiotepa can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using thiotepa. Thiotepa may harm an unborn baby. Women should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 6 months after stopping treatment. Women should also take a pregnancy test before starting treatment. Men should ask about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 1 year after stopping treatment. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin) that may increase your risk of bleeding. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood counts, kidney tests, liver tests) should be performed while you are being treated with the medication and for several weeks after your last dose to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. Keep all medical/lab appointments. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised February 2017.
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