Brand Name(s):

  • Thioplex®

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Your doctor has ordered the drug thiotepa to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein; it also may be injected into the spinal cord space or instilled into the bladder.

This medication is used to treat:

  • bladder tumors
  • ovarian cancer
  • breast cancer
  • lymphomas
  • bronchogenic carcinoma
  • pleural, pericardial, or peritoneal infusions caused by metastatic tumors

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Thiotepa is in a class of drugs known as alkylating agents; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

Thiotepa is also used to prevent pterygium from returning after surgery and to treat malignant meningeal neoplasms. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking thiotepa,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to thiotepa or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or liver disease.
  • you should know that thiotepa may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Thiotepa may harm the fetus.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.
  • be aware that thiotepa has been associated with the development of other types of cancers. Talk with your doctor about the potential risk of developing a new cancer.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Side effects from thiotepa are common and include:

  • thinned or brittle hair
  • loss of appetite or weight
  • pain at the injection site
  • tightness of the throat

Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • headache
  • fatigue

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • painful urination or red urine
  • black, tarry stools
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • chills
  • shortness of breath or wheezing
  • pain or numbness in the lower limbs
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • hives, rash, or itching

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep thiotepa in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink about ten 8-ounce (240-milliliter) glasses of fluid and urinate frequently during the first 24 hours after treatment to keep your kidneys working.
  • The most common side effect of thiotepa is a decrease in the number of blood cells. Your doctor may order tests before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: February 1, 2009.