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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Mustargen

Generic Name: mechlorethamine (Pronunciation: mech klor EH tha meen)

What is mechlorethamine (Mustargen)?

Mechlorethamine is a cancer (antineoplastic) medication. Mechlorethamine interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Mechlorethamine is used to treat several types of cancer, such as Hodgkin's Disease, lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lung cancer and mycosis fungoides. Mechlorethamine is also used to treat certain other blood disorders (polycythemia vera) and is sometimes injected into body spaces, such as the chest, abdomen or the sack containing the heart, to stop the accumulation of fluids caused by cancer.

Mechlorethamine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of mechlorethamine (Mustargen)?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
  • mouth sores;
  • a sensation of spinning or dizziness (vertigo);
  • diarrhea;
  • temporary hair loss;
  • rash;
  • a ringing in the ears or decreased ability to hear; or
  • weakness.

In some cases, second malignancies have been reported to occur during and following treatment with mechlorethamine. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about mechlorethamine (Mustargen)?

Mechlorethamine should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

Serious side effects have been reported with the use of mechlorethamine including: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; fever or chills; or signs of infection such as fever; chills, or sore throat); severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite; and others. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with mechlorethamine.

Mechlorethamine is highly toxic and both the powder and solution must be handled with care. Inhalation of dust or vapors and contact with skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) must be avoided.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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