Teniposide

Generic Name: teniposide (TEN-i-POE-side)
Brand Name: Vumon

Teniposide can cause bone marrow problems, which may lead to infections or bleeding. Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat) or unusual bruising or bleeding.

Severe allergic reactions may occur following the first dose of teniposide or with repeat doses. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; chills; fast heartbeat; fainting; fever; flushing of the face; severe dizziness or headache; shortness of breath; or wheezing.


Teniposide is used for:

Treating a certain type of leukemia. Teniposide is used in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Teniposide is an antineoplastic. It works by stopping cancer cells from growing and reproducing.

Do NOT use teniposide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in teniposide, including polyoxyethylated castor oil

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using teniposide:

Some medical conditions may interact with teniposide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are able to become pregnant
  • if you are able to father a child
  • if you have kidney or liver problems
  • if you have Down syndrome

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with teniposide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Salicylates, sulfamethizole, or tolbutamide because they may increase the risk of teniposide's side effects
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, or hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because they may decrease teniposide's effectiveness
  • Methotrexate because the risk of its side effects may be increased by teniposide
  • Certain cephalosporin antibiotics (eg, cefoxitin), disulfiram, furazolidone, or metronidazole because an acute alcohol intolerance reaction may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if teniposide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use teniposide:

Use teniposide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Teniposide is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • You may receive certain other medicines before teniposide to help decrease the risk of an allergic reaction. Discuss any questions with your doctor.
  • Your health care provider will monitor you for an allergic reaction for at least 60 minutes after the start of the infusion. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Do not use teniposide if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you spill teniposide on your skin, wash it off right away with soap and water.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of teniposide, contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use teniposide.

Important safety information:

  • If nausea or vomiting occurs, ask your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen these effects.
  • Teniposide may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use teniposide with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Teniposide may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Teniposide may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take teniposide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking teniposide. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts and kidney and liver function, may be performed while you use teniposide. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Teniposide has benzyl alcohol in it. Do not use it in NEWBORNS or INFANTS. It may cause serious and sometimes fatal nervous system problems and other side effects.
  • If you are able to become pregnant, you should use effective birth control (eg, condoms) while using teniposide. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
  • Teniposide may affect the ability to father a child. It may also cause birth defects if you father a child while taking it. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Teniposide may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using teniposide while you are pregnant. It is not known if teniposide is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking teniposide.

Possible side effects of teniposide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; hair loss; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; dark, tarry, or bloody stools; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, persistent sore throat, or cough; flushing of the face; mouth sores; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include fast breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; severe or unusual nausea, vomiting, or drowsiness; shortness of breath; sluggishness; symptoms of low blood pressure (eg, fainting, severe dizziness or light-headedness).

Proper storage of teniposide:

Teniposide is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep teniposide, as well as needles and syringes, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about teniposide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Teniposide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take teniposide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about teniposide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to teniposide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using teniposide.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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