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Mechlorethamine (On the skin)

Mechlorethamine (me-klor-ETH-a-meen)

Treats skin cancer, including mycosis fungoides-type T-cell lymphoma.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use if you had an allergic reaction to mechlorethamine or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Gel:
    • Take the tube out of the refrigerator. Apply the medicine right away or within 30 minutes.
    • Apply a thin layer of this medicine to completely dry skin. Do this at least 4 hours before or 30 minutes after you shower or wash.
    • Place the medicine in the original box and return it to the refrigerator.
    • Allow the treated areas to dry for 5 to 10 minutes before you cover it with clothing.
    • Do not bandage or wrap the treated skin.
    • Avoid fire, flames, and smoking until the medicine has dried.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after you touch and apply the medicine.
    • Caregivers must wear disposable nitrile gloves when applying this medicine. Wash hands with soap and water after removing the gloves.
    • Moisturizers are permitted on the treated areas 2 hours before or 2 hours after the medicine has been applied.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Do not apply to skin that has cuts, scrapes, or burns. If this happens, use soap and water to wash the skin area for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing. Call you doctor right away.
  • Accidental eye exposure: Rinse right away for at least 15 minutes with water or an eye wash solution. Call your doctor.
  • Accidental nose, mouth, or skin exposure: Rinse right away for at least 15 minutes with water. Call your doctor.
  • Missed dose:Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Storage: Store in the refrigerator, away from food. Do not freeze. Throw the empty tube and used disposable gloves in the trash can. Make sure children and pets do not have contact with the tube and gloves. Discard any unused medicine after 60 days.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Injury to your eyes, nose, or mouth (if medicine accidentally gets on these areas)
    • Non-melanoma skin cancer
    • Serious skin reactions, such as dermatitis
  • This medicine can catch on fire. Keep it away from heat and flames. After you apply it to your skin, make sure it is dry before you smoke or are near fire.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Eye pain, burning, swelling, redness, light sensitivity, vision changes
  • Skin redness, swelling, itching, ulcers, blisters

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dark areas of your skin

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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