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Breastfeeding and chemo urine metabolite exposure

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  • Breastfeeding and chemo urine metabolite exposure

    I am a general medical nurse and with little experience with chemo drugs. I just had a patient who received chemo approx. 2 weeks ago. My concern is that the patient had biltaral nephrostomy tubes with urine collection bags that were never changed after she had chemo. She was emptying the bags herself into collection cylinders so her urine could be measured and the urine was sitting out in her bathroom for the majority of the day. I have read that some drugs can vaporize. Should I be concerned about possible exposure during my 8 hour shift and breastfeeding? Should stop breastfeeding for a certain period of time? Or would this risk be very minimal? The specific drugs she received among a few others were: vincristine and cyclophosphamide. Thank you.

  • #2
    Karie:

    I think it highly unlikely that any of this chemo would be volatilized from urine, as it would be quite dilute. In the pharmacy, we are extremely careful with these agents because they are HIGHLY concentrated. And you should always use caution when handling urine containing these products.

    But I do not think that the minuscule levels you "may" have been exposed to are any problem for a breastfeeding infant.

    I asked a chemo pharmacist and she agrees.

    Tom Hale Ph.D.

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