Lung Cancer Home > Mechlorethamine

If you have cancer, your healthcare provider may recommend chemotherapy treatment with mechlorethamine. It is specifically approved to treat certain cancers of the blood and bone marrow, lung cancer, and metastatic cancer that has caused fluid buildup in the body cavities. Possible side effects may include nausea, weakness, and vomiting. This drug is given intravenously or injected directly into a body cavity.

What Is Mechlorethamine?

Mechlorethamine (Mustargen®) is a prescription medication that is part of a group of chemotherapy medicines known as alkylating agents. It is approved to treat certain types of cancer, including:
 
  • Certain cancers of the blood and bone marrow, such as lymphoma and leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread from its original site) that has caused an abnormal collection of fluid in the body cavities (effusion).
 
Mechlorethamine is approved as palliative treatment. Palliative treatment is used to relieve symptoms of a condition and to reduce suffering; it does not cure the disease.
 
(Click What Is Mechlorethamine Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any chemotherapy medicine, mechlorethamine can cause side effects, some of which can be significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of side effect during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
 
Common side effects of mechlorethamine include but are not limited to:
 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Decrease in blood cell counts
  • Loss of fertility.
 
(Click Mechlorethamine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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