Precautions and Warnings With Thiotepa

If you have kidney disease, liver problems, or other medical issues, talk to your healthcare provider about whether thiotepa may increase your risk for certain problems. In some people, this drug may cause bone marrow depression or other types of cancer. There are also important precautions for women who are pregnant or nursing, along with warnings for potential thiotepa drug interactions.

 

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving thiotepa (Thioplex®) if you have:
 
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Bone marrow depression (when the bone marrow does not make adequate amounts of blood cells) or bone marrow disease
  • Any other allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
 
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Thiotepa Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
 
  • Like other chemotherapy medicines, thiotepa can cause significant bone marrow depression (when the bone marrow does not make adequate amounts of blood cells). As a result, people who receive this drug may develop potentially serious problems, including:
 
Bone marrow depression from thiotepa has been reported to cause death from bleeding and infection. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood cell counts, using simple blood tests, at least weekly during treatment and for three weeks after treatment ends. You may need a lower dose, or stop treatment altogether, if your blood cell counts drop too low.
 
  • People with liver disease, kidney disease, or bone marrow damage will be treated with lower thiotepa doses and monitored carefully during treatment.
 
  • Thiotepa may cause an irregular menstrual cycle in women or interfere with sperm production in men, which could affect your ability to have a child.
 
  • There have been reports of people developing other types of cancer, including certain types of leukemia, after being treated with thiotepa. These other cancers may develop years after treatment ends.
 
  • Thiotepa can be irritating to the skin, especially if it leaks from the vein during administration and comes into contact with skin tissue. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience stinging, burning, pain, redness, or swelling at your injection site. He or she will stop your injection and begin certain treatments to prevent skin damage.
   
  • Thiotepa is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn child if used during pregnancy (see Thioplex and Pregnancy).
 
  • It is unknown whether thiotepa passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Thioplex and Breastfeeding).
 
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Thiotepa Drug Information

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