Although very little information is available on using Etopophos (etoposide phosphate) while breastfeeding, it is likely that the drug does pass through breast milk. Because of the potentially serious side effects, many healthcare providers recommend women not breastfeed during treatment with this drug or for them to wait at least 24 to 55 hours after each dose before nursing.
There is very little information available on the use of Etopophos during breastfeeding. It contains the phosphate salt form of the medicine etoposide. This form is rapidly converted into etoposide by the body.
Etoposide is known to pass through breast milk, and therefore Etopophos is likely to pass through breast milk as well. This is based on a report of a woman who took the etoposide while lactating. The woman's breast milk was collected and tested. The drug was detected in the breast milk, but only for up to 24 hours after each dose. The potential effects on a nursing child have not been studied.
Etopophos is associated with potentially serious side effects, including bone marrow suppression, which can increase the risk for bleeding, anemia, and infection. Because of the potential risk for these side effects in a nursing infant, the manufacturer recommends women not breastfeed during Etopophos treatment. Other experts generally advise women to not breastfeed for at least 24 to 55 hours after their last dose to give the medicine enough time to be removed from the body.
It should be noted, however, that Etopophos is normally given in combination with other cancer medicines. The safety of all the medicines a woman receives must be taken into account when considering breastfeeding during chemotherapy treatment.
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