Valchlor Gel

Valchlor Gel
Valchlor Gel
Valchlor Gel is a medication used to treat skin conditions such as Stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides, a type of lymphoma. It is applied topically and works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells in the skin.
Active Ingredient: Mechlorethamine
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Side Effects

Skin irritation, itching, blisters, burning, redness, pain, swelling, tenderness, or darkening of skin where you have applied medication may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (such as skin ulcers/pus, fever, chills).

Very rarely, people who are treated with or who have had contact with this medication have developed other skin cancers. Tell your doctor right away if you, or someone who has helped you apply this medication, notice any new skin lesions or unusual skin changes. Ask your doctor for details.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

How long does it take for this medicine to take effect?

The onset of therapeutic effects of Valchlor Gel can vary among individuals. Improvement in lesions or symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may be observed within several weeks of consistent daily application. However, optimal therapeutic responses may take a few months to become evident, as the mechanism of action involves altering the DNA of rapidly dividing cancer cells.

How long do the effects of this medicine last?

The duration of the clinical effects of Valchlor Gel depends on the continued use of the medication and the individual's disease response. Continuous daily application as prescribed is necessary to maintain therapeutic levels of the drug on the skin and to exert its antineoplastic effects.

Is it safe to consume alcohol while taking this medicine?

There is no direct pharmacokinetic interaction between alcohol consumption and the topical application of Valchlor Gel. However, patients should be advised to use caution with alcohol intake due to the general health considerations and potential liver involvement in systemic treatments or underlying conditions.

Is this a habit forming medicine?

Valchlor Gel does not possess addictive properties and is not associated with habit formation. Its use is strictly for the medical treatment of specific stages of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and does not induce psychological or physiological dependency.

Can this medicine be taken during pregnancy?

Valchlor Gel falls under FDA Pregnancy Category D, indicating there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks. Given the genotoxic mechanism of mechlorethamine, its use during pregnancy should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, and if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Can this medicine be taken while breast-feeding?

It is unknown whether mechlorethamine is excreted in human milk. Due to the potential for serious adverse reactions from Valchlor Gel in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother's health. Given the potential for genotoxicity and systemic absorption, caution is advised.

Uses

This medication is used on the skin to treat a certain type of cancer (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma). Mechlorethamine belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells that cause the skin condition.

How to use Valchlor Gel

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using mechlorethamine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Use this medication as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. After taking this medication out of the refrigerator, apply it within 30 minutes, and be sure to return it to the refrigerator right after each use. Apply a small amount of medication to completely dry skin at least 4 hours before or 30 minutes after showering or washing. Let the treated area(s) dry for 5 to 10 minutes before covering with clothing. You may apply moisturizers to the treated area(s) 2 hours before or 2 hours after applying mechlorethamine.

If someone helps you apply this medication, they must wear disposable gloves. If you are applying it to yourself, you can wear disposable gloves but you do not have to. After applying, wash your hands right away, even if you have worn gloves . Safely throw away any used gloves in the trash.

Do not cover the treated area with tight dressings or plastic bandages. Ask your doctor whether you may cover the treated area loosely with gauze.

Avoid getting this medication in or around the eyes or eyelids. It can cause pain, burns, blurred vision, and even blindness. Also, do not apply this medication inside the nose or mouth. If you accidentally get this medication in the eyes, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water, normal saline, or an eye wash solution and get medical help right away (including exam by an eye doctor). If you get this medication in the nose or mouth, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water and tell the doctor right away.

Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

This medication is flammable until dry. Let the medication dry before smoking or going near an open flame.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.

Precautions

Before using mechlorethamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: red/irritated/infected/open sores on skin.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using mechlorethamine. Mechlorethamine may harm an unborn baby. Men and women using this medication should ask about reliable forms of birth control during treatment. If you or your partner becomes pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as hematocrit, complete blood counts) may be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Store in the refrigerator, but away from food. With clean hands, put this medication back in the original box and return it to the refrigerator right after each use. Use/discard this medication within 60 days. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

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