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Generic Name: thiotepa (THYE oh TEP a)
Brand Name: Thioplex, Tepadina

Medically reviewed by on Aug 6, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is thiotepa?

See also: Imfinzi

Thiotepa is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Thiotepa is used to treat cancer of the breast, ovary, bladder, and others.

Thiotepa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving thiotepa, whether you are a man or a woman.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive thiotepa if you are allergic to it.

To make sure thiotepa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • heart disease; or

  • lung problems.

Tell your doctor about all other cancer treatments you have recently received, including chemotherapy and radiation.

Using thiotepa may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

Do not use thiotepa if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment.

Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving thiotepa, whether you are a man or a woman. Thiotepa use by either parent may cause birth defects.

It is not known whether thiotepa passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using thiotepa.

How is thiotepa given?

Thiotepa is injected into a vein through an IV, or injected directly into the bladder or other body cavity. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

When injected into the bladder, you will need to hold the medicine inside your bladder for 2 hours. Tell your caregivers if this causes you a great deal of discomfort. You may need to receive a smaller amount of the medicine to hold it comfortably in your bladder.

If any of this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Thiotepa is usually given once every 1 to 4 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Thiotepa can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often during treatment and for at least 3 weeks after you stop receiving thiotepa. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your thiotepa injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving thiotepa?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

thiotepa can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using thiotepa. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Thiotepa side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; wheezing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • skin lesions;

  • pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine;

  • little or no urinating;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • signs of infection--fever, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, fainting;

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Thiotepa dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg by rapid IV administration once.

Usual Adult Dose for Ovarian Cancer:

0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg by rapid intravenous administration once.

Usual Adult Dose for Serosal Cavity Neoplastic Disease:

0.6 to 0.8 mg/kg by intracavitary injection once

Usual Adult Dose for Bladder Cancer:

30 to 60 mg by intravesical instillation once, for the treatment of superficial bladder tumors

Usual Adult Dose for Lymphoma:

500 to 1000 mg intravenously once, for the treatment of refractory lymphomas

Usual Adult Dose for Malignant Disease:

0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg by rapid IV administration once.
0.6 to 0.8 mg/kg by intracavitary injection once.
0.6 to 0.8 mg/kg by intratumor injection once.
30 to 60 mg by intravesical instillation once.
10 to 15 mg by intrathecal injection once.
500 to 1000 mg IV once.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Malignant Disease:

Sarcomas: 25 to 65 mg/m2 IV as a single dose every 3 to 4 weeks.

Autologous bone marrow transplantation: 300 mg/m2 IV over 3 hours, repeat every 24 hours for 3 doses. The maximum tolerated dose is 1125 mg/m2 over 3 days.

What other drugs will affect thiotepa?

Other drugs may interact with thiotepa, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.