Thioplex and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Thioplex (thiotepa) generally recommends that women stop breastfeeding during treatment. Although no studies have been done to determine if this drug passes through breast milk or if it would harm a nursing infant, potentially dangerous side effects are possible, which may pose a risk to a baby whose mother takes Thioplex while breastfeeding.


Can Breastfeeding Women Receive Thioplex?

Thioplex® (thiotepa) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. At this time, it is unknown whether Thioplex passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that breastfeeding women either stop breastfeeding or not use this medication.  

More Information on Thioplex and Breastfeeding

Thioplex has not been studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is unknown if the drug passes through breast milk, or if it would harm a nursing child.
While this lack of information is frustrating, it is important to keep in mind that studies of medications are rarely done in breastfeeding women, as this would usually expose an infant, who will not directly benefit from the medication, to possible risks.
Based on the properties of the medication, it is expected to pass through breast milk to some extent. Thioplex is associated with potentially serious side effects, such as infections and bleeding. Also, the medication has been associated with the development of tumors and other cancers. Because the risk for these side effects in a nursing infant cannot be excluded at this time, it is generally recommended that women receiving Thioplex not breastfeed.  

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Thioplex use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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