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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: bloody/black/tarry stools, coughing up blood, nosebleeds that are frequent or hard to stop, dizziness/fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, pale/gray/bluish skin, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe stomach/abdominal pain, lower back/side pain, painful/difficult urination, pink/dark urine.
If you are using this medication to prevent rejection, tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of skin problems (such as changes in skin color, skin peeling/blisters), signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin), mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations, changes in behavior).
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: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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: bone marrow problems (e.g., low white blood cell count/platelets from previous chemotherapy/radiation treatment), kidney disease, liver disease.
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.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aspirin and other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen), drugs that may harm the immune system (e.g., chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone), live virus vaccines (e.g., oral polio vaccine, flu vaccine inhaled through the nose), nalidixic acid.
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.
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.
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.
Selected from the Licensed Solutions data included with permission and copyrighted by FDB, inc., 2014. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data provider and is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any drug or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.