Teniposide (Injection)

Teniposide (Injection)

Teniposide (ten-i-POE-side)

Treats certain kinds of leukemia and other kinds of cancer.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to teniposide or Cremaphorreg; (polyoxyethylated castor oil).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.  
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or chemotherapy treatment center. A nurse or other caregiver trained to give cancer drugs will give your treatment.  
  • Your medicine will be given through a tube that is put in a vein, usually in your arm, wrist, or hand, and sometimes in your chest. This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV infusion.  
  • This medicine is given slowly, so your IV will remain in place for 30 to 60 minutes.  
  • You may also receive other medicines to help prevent nausea and vomiting.  
  • Do not get the medicine on your skin. If it does, wash the area well with soap and water, and tell your caregiver.

If a dose is missed::

  • This medicine needs to be given on a regular schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic where you get your treatments for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • If you have your treatments at a clinic, the staff at the clinic will keep your medicine there.  
  • If you have your treatments at home, you may need to store your medicine. Keep the medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.  
  • Any teniposide that has been mixed (with other liquid) for your IV is good for 4 hours if kept at room temperature.  
  • Throw away any unused teniposide after the expiration date has passed.  
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.  
  • If you have your treatments at home, you should be given a special container for the used needles, medicine bags or bottles, and tubes. Put it where children or pets cannot reach it.

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 also taking sulfamethizole for urinary tract infection.  
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while you are using this medicine.  
  • Avoid taking aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin (such as some cold medicines) unless you have talked to your doctor.  
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Do not breastfeed while you are being given this medicine.  
  • Before using teniposide, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or any kind of infection.  
  • It may be easier for you to get an infection while you are receiving teniposide. Avoid crowds or being near people who have colds, flu, or other infections.  
  • This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush or mouth swab.  
  • Chemotherapy causes 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.  
  • This medicine may cause birth defects if it is taken by the mother while she is pregnant, or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant.  
  • Use two forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. This is very important whether you are a man or a woman.  
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Painful mouth sores that keep you from drinking liquids  
  • Pain, burning, or swelling where the IV is given  
  • Skin rash, itching, or hives  
  • Swelling in the lips, face, or tongue  
  • Uncontrollable nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea  
  • Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat  
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising  
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing

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

  • Hair loss

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.