This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, usually once a week or as directed by your doctor. Sometimes, thiotepa is injected directly into the tumor. Tell your doctor or nurse immediately 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.
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.
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.
Many people using this medication have serious side effects. However, remember that 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 can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Tell your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.
This medication may also cause very serious bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if any signs of serious bleeding occur, including: easy bruising/bleeding, bloody/black/tarry stools, coughing up blood, nosebleeds that are frequent or hard to stop, dizziness/fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, pale/gray/bluish skin, unusual tiredness/weakness, 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.
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.
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.
Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or 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 that you are using this medication.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if your partner becomes pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Males and females must use reliable forms of birth control (e.g., condoms and birth control pills) during treatment with this drug. Talk with your doctor about effective forms of birth control.
It is not known whether this drug 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.
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 overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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.
MEDICAL ALERT: 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 April 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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