Thiotepa (Generic Name)

Other Names: Thio-Tepa, thio-Tepa

About This Drug

Thiotepa is used to treat cancer. This drug is given in the vein (IV).

Possible Side Effects

  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This may raise your risk of infection, make you tired and weak (fatigue), and raise your risk of bleeding.
  • Soreness of the mouth and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that hurt.
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours or many hours after your treatment. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.
  • Hair loss: Hair loss is often complete scalp hair loss and can involve loss of eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. You may notice this a few days or weeks after treatment has started.
  • Headache
  • Darkening of the skin or nails. This is often temporary and will fade when treatment is done.
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Decreased appetite

Treating Side Effects

  • Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of routine, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water. This should be done at least after each meal and at bedtime.
  • If you have mouth sores, avoid mouthwash that has alcohol. Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can bother your mouth and throat.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen nausea and throwing up.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse about getting a wig before you lose your hair.
  • Use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment.
  • Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.
  • Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of thiotepa and any food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking
  • Feeling dizzy

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain in your mouth or throat that makes it hard to eat or drink
  • Nausea that is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Headache that is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Lasting loss of appetite or weight loss

Reproductive Concerns

Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.

Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Infertility warning: Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may happen. In both men and women, this drug may affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your treatment. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations.

In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are getting this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.

Women may go through signs of menopause (change of life) like vaginal dryness or itching. Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.

Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.

Revised July 2014

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