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Thiotepa (By injection)

Thiotepa (thye-oh-TEP-a)

Treats cancer, including breast, ovary, and urinary bladder. Also treats malignant effusions, and lowers risk of graft rejection in stem cell transplants in children with class 3 beta-thalassemia.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to thiotepa, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given into a vein, a body cavity, or urinary bladder.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not receive live vaccines without your doctor's approval while you are using this medicine.
  • Some medicines can affect how thiotepa works. Tell your doctor if you are using clarithromycin, cyclophosphamide, itraconazole, phenytoin, rifampin, or ritonavir.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Women should not get pregnant for at least 6 months after treatment ends. Men should not father a child for at least 1 year after treatment ends.
  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bone marrow problems, bleeding problems, or seizures.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serious liver problem
    • Central nervous system (CNS) toxicity
    • Increased risk of other types of cancer
  • This medicine may cause skin reactions. Shower or bathe with water at least two times a day 48 hours after receiving this medicine. Change occlusive dressing and clean the covered skin at least two times a day 48 hours after receiving this medicine. Change bedsheets daily while receiving this medicine. If other skin reactions occur, wash it with water and soap immediately.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Cancer medicine can cause nausea or vomiting, sometimes even after you receive medicine to prevent these effects. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control any nausea or vomiting that might happen.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Headache, confusion, dizziness or drowsiness, seizures, problems with memory, seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Red or brown urine
  • Skin itching or discoloration in the groin, underarms, skin folds, neck and under dressings
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Yellow eyes or skin

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 1/7/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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