Lung Cancer Home > Toposar and Breastfeeding

Although there is insufficient information on using Toposar (etoposide injection) while breastfeeding, one reported case showed the drug did pass through breast milk and remained in the breast milk for up to 24 hours. Because potentially serious side effects are associated with this drug, the manufacturer recommends that women avoid breastfeeding while undergoing chemotherapy treatment with this drug.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Toposar?

Toposar® (etoposide injection) is a prescription medication used in combination with other medicines to treat certain cancer of the lungs and testicles. It is also used "off-label" to treat a variety of other cancers. This medicine passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of Toposar recommends women not breastfeed during Toposar treatment.

More Information About Toposar and Breastfeeding

There is very little information available on the use of Toposar during breastfeeding. Toposar has been shown to pass through breast milk in one case report of a woman who received Toposar treatment while lactating. In this report, the drug was found in the woman's breast milk; however, it was only detected in the milk for up to 24 hours after each dose. The potential effects on a nursing child have not been studied.
However, Toposar is associated with potentially serious side effects, including bone marrow suppression, which can increase the risk for bleeding, anemia, and infections. An infant exposed to this medicine through breast milk could potentially develop these serious problems. Therefore, women are generally advised to not breastfeed for at least 24 to 55 hours after their last Toposar dose to give the medicine enough time to be removed from the body.
It should be noted, however, that Toposar 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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