Generic Name : MECHLORETHAMINE
Pronunciation : (me klor eth' a meen)
Trade Name(s) : Mustine HCL
Why it is prescribed: Your doctor has ordered the drug mechlorethamine to help treat your illness. Mechlorethamine slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. In addition to mechlorethamine, your doctor may have ordered other cancer-fighting drugs; this treatment is called combination therapy.
When it is to be taken: The drug will be injected into a vein. Your doctor may measure the effectiveness of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. In general, the length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.
How it should be taken: The purpose of chemotherapy is to control your illness so that your own body can aid in your recovery. It is important to build up your body's defense system, and a balanced diet is needed to build a healthy body. Ask your doctor for advice on your diet.
Special Instruction :
1. Your doctor may order tests before, during and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.
2. It is especially important to prevent infection and injuries. Avoid people with contagious diseases such as the flu.
3. Keep all cuts and scratches clean.
4. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing and mouth care. To avoid injuries, shave with an electric razor instead of blades and wear protective clothing when working in the yard and garden.
5. Mechlorethamine may interfere with or stop the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop the production of sperm in men. However, you should not assume that cannot get pregnant or get someone else pregnant just because you are on chemotherapy.
Side Effects :
1. Although not everyone experiences side effects during chemotherapy, some people do. If any of the effects becomes intolerable, let your doctor know.
2. The most common discomforts are nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may last eight to 24 hours after your treatment. Your doctor may have ordered antinausea medications to prevent you from feeling sick. Avoid eating favorite foods, large meals, and spicy or hot foods when you feel nauseated.
3. You may lose your appetite, or your appetite may be greater in the morning or at different times during the day than usual. Take advantage of these times and eat. Frequent small meals or snacks throughout the day may be easier to tolerate and will help you get the nutrients your body needs.
4. Mechlorethamine may decrease the number of blood cells. These cells include white blood cells that fight infection, red blood cells that carry oxygen and energy, and platelets that help clot blood and promote healing.
Other Precautions :
1. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.
2. If you notice any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor as soon as possible: pain at the injection site, fever, chills, sore throat, bruising, unusual bleeding or rash, fatigue, and dizziness.
Storage Conditions : This drug is injected only under the supervision of a physician.