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Mechlorethamine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to mechlorethamine: intravenous powder for solution

Along with its needed effects, mechlorethamine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Also, because of the way cancer medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other effects that may not occur until months or years after these medicines are used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking mechlorethamine:

Less Common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • pain or redness at place of injection
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Rare

  • Shortness of breath, itching, or wheezing

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking mechlorethamine:

More Common

  • Missing menstrual periods
  • painful rash

Less Common

  • Dizziness
  • joint pain
  • loss of hearing
  • ringing in ears
  • swelling of feet or lower legs

Rare

  • Numbness, tingling, or burning of fingers, toes, or face
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of mechlorethamine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More Common

Less Common

  • Confusion
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste
  • weakness

This medicine may cause a temporary loss of hair in some people. After treatment with mechlorethamine has ended, normal hair growth should return.

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mechlorethamine: injectable powder for injection

General

The most commonly reported side effect was hematopoietic system depression.[Ref]

Hematologic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hemolytic anemia

Frequency not reported: Lymphocytopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, hyperheparenemia, hematopoietic system depression[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Frequency not reported: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gum bleeding, gastrointestinal tract bleeding[Ref]

Dermatologic

Frequency not reported: Alopecia, maculopapular skin eruption, erythema multiforme, petechiae, small subcutaneous hemorrhages[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Frequency not reported: Thrombosis, thrombophlebitis[Ref]

Other

Frequency not reported: Vertigo, tinnitus, diminished hearing, chromosomal abnormalities, weakness, pain[Ref]

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Jaundice[Ref]

Genitourinary

Frequency not reported: Catamenia, oligomenorrhea, temporary or permanent amenorrhea, spermatogenesis, azoospermia, total germinal aplasia[Ref]

Immunologic

Frequency not reported: Herpes zoster[Ref]

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Anorexia, hyperuricemia[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Mustargen (mechlorethamine)." Merck & Co, Inc, West Point, PA.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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