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teniposide

Pronunciation: ten IP oh side

Brand: Vumon

What is the most important information I should know about teniposide?

Do not receive teniposide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving teniposide, whether you are a man or a woman. Teniposide use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Before receiving teniposide, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, Down syndrome, bone marrow suppression, low albumin levels, or a weak immune system.

Teniposide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Using teniposide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, fast heart rate, trouble breathing, severe headache, severe nausea and vomiting, or feeling like you might pass out.

What is teniposide?

Teniposide is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Teniposide is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (a type of blood cancer) in children.

Teniposide is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this drug?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to teniposide or to a medication ingredient called Cremophor (synthetic castor oil).

To make sure you can safely receive teniposide, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • Down Syndrome;
  • bone marrow suppression;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • low albumin levels; or
  • a weak immune system (from disease or from taking certain medicines).

Do not receive teniposide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are receiving teniposide, whether you are a man or a woman. Teniposide use by either parent may cause birth defects.

This medication can decrease sperm count and may affect fertility in men (your ability to have children).

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

Using teniposide may increase your risk of developing other types of leukemia. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

How should I use teniposide?

Teniposide is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. The medicine is sometimes given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take up to 60 minutes to complete.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when teniposide is injected.

This medicine can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water right away.

You will be watched closely for at least 60 minutes after the start of your teniposide infusion, to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to the medication.

Teniposide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving teniposide?

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

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

This medicine 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.

What are the possible side effects of teniposide?

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, itching, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats, wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
  • severe headache, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, uneven heartbeats;
  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • severe nausea and vomiting.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild headache;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, feeling tired or weak;
  • mild nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • constipation, diarrhea;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • mild skin rash.

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.

What other drugs will affect teniposide?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially drugs that weaken the immune system, such as:

  • cancer medicine;
  • steroids; or
  • medicines to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with teniposide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about teniposide.


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.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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