What is Mechlorethamine used for?
Mechlorethamine is used on the skin to treat a certain type of cancer (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma). Mechlorethamine belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells that cause the skin condition.
How should I take Mechlorethamine?
Use this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. After taking this medication out of the refrigerator, apply it within 30 minutes, and be sure to return it to the refrigerator right after each use. Apply a small amount of medication to completely dry skin at least 4 hours before or 30 minutes after showering or washing. Let the treated area(s) dry for 5 to 10 minutes before covering with clothing. You may apply moisturizers to the treated area(s) 2 hours before or 2 hours after applying mechlorethamine.
If someone helps you apply this medication, they must wear disposable gloves. If you are applying it to yourself, you can wear disposable gloves but you do not have to. After applying, wash your hands right away, even if you have worn gloves. Safely throw away any used gloves in the trash.
Do not cover the treated area with tight dressings or plastic bandages. Ask your doctor whether you may cover the treated area loosely with gauze.
Avoid getting this medication in or around the eyes or eyelids. It can cause pain, burns, blurred vision, and even blindness. Also, do not apply this medication inside the nose or mouth. If you accidentally get this medication in the eyes, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water, normal saline, or an eye wash solution and get medical help right away (including exam by an eye doctor). If you get this medication in the nose or mouth, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water and tell the doctor right away.
Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
This medication is flammable until dry. Let the medication dry before smoking or going near an open flame.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
How do I store Mechlorethamine?
Mechlorethamine is best stored in its original container (box) in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Avoid allowing this medicine to come into contact with food in the refrigerator. After use, put the medicine back into the refrigerator right away.
There may be different brands of Mechlorethamine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Mechlorethamine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Mechlorethamine?
Before using mechlorethamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: red/irritated/infected/open sores on skin.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using mechlorethamine. Mechlorethamine may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Mechlorethamine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Mechlorethamine. Mechlorethamine is pregnancy risk category D according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
What side effects can occur from Mechlorethamine?
Skin irritation, itching, blisters, burning, redness, pain, swelling, tenderness, or darkening of skin where you have applied medication may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (such as skin ulcers/pus, fever, chills).
Very rarely, people who are treated with or who have had contact with this medication have developed other skin cancers. Tell your doctor right away if you, or someone who has helped you apply this medication, notice any new skin lesions or unusual skin changes. Ask your doctor for details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Mechlorethamine?
Mechlorethamine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Mechlorethamine?
Mechlorethamine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Mechlorethamine?
Mechlorethamine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Mechlorethamine.
What is the dose of Mechlorethamine for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Mycosis Fungoides
Apply a thin film once daily to affected areas of the skin.
Use: The topical treatment of Stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in patients who have received prior skin-directed therapy
Stop treatment for any grade of skin ulceration, blistering, or moderately severe to severe dermatitis. If improvement occurs, treatment may be resumed at a reduced frequency of once every 3 days. If reintroduction of treatment is tolerated for at least one week, the frequency of application may be increased to every other day for at least one week and then to once daily application as tolerated.
Administration advice: Refer to the manufacturer’s product information for complete application instructions.
What is the dose of Mechlorethamine for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Mechlorethamine available?
Mechlorethamine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Topical gel
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Mechlorethamine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Mechlorethamine Topical Dosage. https://drugs.com/dosage/mechlorethamine-topical.html. Accessed July 18, 2018.
Mechlorethamine Gel. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-165198/mechlorethamine-topical/details. Accessed July 18, 2018.
Review Date: August 10, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019