Treats leukemia in combination with other medicines.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to teniposide or Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil).
How to Use This Medicine
- 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.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins. This medicine is given slowly, so your IV tube will remain in place for 30 to 60 minutes.
- You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You may also receive other medicines to help prevent nausea or vomiting and allergic reactions.
If a dose is missed:
- 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.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking vincristine (Oncovin®), sodium salicylate, sulfamethizole (Thiosulfil®), or tolbutamide (Orinase®).
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Using this medicine may reduce a man's ability to have children, or increase the possibility of birth defects. Talk to your doctor if you would like information on how to store sperm for future use.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, any type of infection, or a history of low albumin (plasma protein).
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) may occur. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure while you are receiving this medicine.
- If teniposide accidentally leaks out of the vein into which it is injected, it may damage some tissue and could cause scarring. Tell the doctor right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to 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
- Painful mouth sores
- Pain, burning, or swelling where the needle was placed
- Uncontrollable nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
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 Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013