Mechlorethamine may be used either as a solution or as an ointment. If you are using the solution, it must be mixed just before you use it since it breaks down quickly. Mix the solution carefully according to your doctor's or pharmacist's directions.
When preparing the solution, remember:
- Do not use the mechlorethamine if the solution is discolored or if droplets of water appear in the vial.
- Avoid inhaling the powder or any vapors. If some of the powder or solution accidentally gets on your skin, immediately wash that area of skin. Use a large amount of water and continue to wash for at least 15 minutes. If eye contact occurs, use an eyewash recommended by your doctor. Keep this eyewash on hand. Follow carefully any other instructions your doctor may have given you.
- All equipment used must be specially cleaned, even if it is to be thrown away. Follow carefully your doctor's instructions for doing this, using the special solution recommended.
Take a shower and rinse carefully just before you apply mechlorethamine solution or ointment, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying the ointment. Do not shower again until the next treatment.
Apply the solution or ointment all over the body, until the entire amount for a dose is used up. Wear rubber or plastic gloves if you are using your hands. To apply the solution, a 2-inch-wide soft brush or gauze may be used instead. Let the solution dry.
Mechlorethamine should be applied more lightly to the groin, armpits, inside the bends of the elbows, and behind the knees. These areas are more likely to get irritated.
Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Mechlorethamine is usually applied once a day. However, follow your doctor's instructions. Continue to use the medicine as long as you are told to. This may be months or years. However, do not use this medicine more often or for a longer time than ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage forms (ointment or solution):
- For mycosis fungoides:
- Adults—Apply to the entire skin surface once a day. Several months after this medicine has helped your problem, your doctor may decrease the treatments to several times a week.
- Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For mycosis fungoides:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
The solution should not be stored but instead should be freshly made just before it is used.