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Etoposide Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Etoposide is also known as: Etopophos, Toposar, VePesid

Etoposide Pregnancy Warnings

This drug has been shown to be teratogenic in animal studies at one-twentieth of the human dose on a mg/m2 basis. It causes maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, and teratogenicity (skeletal abnormalities, exencephaly, encephalocele, and anophthalmia. At one-half of the human dose, it causes 90% and 100% embryonic resorptions. When administered as a single intraperitoneal injection in mice at dosages of 1, 1.5, and 2 mg/kg on days 6, 7, or 8 of gestation, it caused dose related embryotoxicity, cranial abnormalities and major skeletal malformations. AU TGA pregnancy category D: Drugs which have caused, are suspected to have caused or may be expected to cause, an increased incidence of human fetal malformations or irreversible damage. These drugs may also have adverse pharmacological effects. Accompanying texts should be consulted for further details. US FDA pregnancy category D: There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Use is not recommended. AU TGA pregnancy category: D US FDA pregnancy category: D Comments: -This drug can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. -Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.

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Etoposide Breastfeeding Warnings

Most sources consider breastfeeding to be contraindicated during maternal antineoplastic drug therapy. It may be possible to breastfeed safely during intermittent therapy with etoposide after an appropriate period of breastfeeding abstinence. A period of at least 24 hours is required after a dose of 80 mg/m2 or less. Other sources have suggested an abstinence period of 72 hours after etoposide use. Chemotherapy may adversely affect the normal microbiome and chemical makeup of breastmilk.

UK: Use is contraindicated (AU, US): A decision should be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Excreted into human milk: Unknown Excreted into animal milk: Unknown Comment: The effects in the nursing infant are unknown.

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References for pregnancy information

  1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  3. "Product Information. Vepesid (etoposide)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  3. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL:" ([cited 2013 -]):
  4. "Product Information. Vepesid (etoposide)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

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