Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Most sources consider breastfeeding to be contraindicated during maternal antineoplastic drug therapy. It appears possible to breastfeed safely during intermittent therapy with etoposide after an appropriate period of breastfeeding abstinence. A period of at least 24 hours is required after a dose of 80 mg/sq m or less. Longer periods of abstinence may be required after higher doses.

Drug Levels:

Maternal Levels.

A woman treated with etoposide, mitoxantrone and cytarabine for promyelocytic leukemia received 5 daily etopside doses of 80 mg/sq m intravenously. Etoposide milk levels reached a peaks of about 600, 580 and 800 mg/L immediately after the last 3 doses, respectively. Etoposide was undetectable (assay limit not specified) in milk 24 hours after each dose.[1]

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants:

One mother received with 5 daily doses of etopside 80 mg/sq m and cytarabine 170 mg/sq m intravenously as well as 3 daily doses of 6 mg/sq m of mitoxantrone intravenously. She resumed breastfeeding her infant 3 weeks after the third dose of mitoxantrone at a time when mitoxantrone was still detectable in milk. The infant had no apparent abnormalities at 16 months of age.[1]

Possible Effects on Lactation:

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider:

Dependent on the condition being treated.


1. Azuno Y, Kaku K, Fujita N et al. Mitoxantrone and etoposide in breast milk. Am J Hematol. 1995;48:131-2. Letter. PMID:7847330

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


CAS Registry Number:


Drug Class:

  • Antineoplastic Agents

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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