Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood clotting: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood. Platelets help the blood to clot, and a shortage could make you bleed more easily. Tell your doctor about any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly. Such symptoms may include black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding.
Gout: This medication may cause high levels of uric acid in the blood, making gout more likely to occur.
Infection: As well as killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). Avoid contact with people with contagious infections and tell your doctor if you begin to notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills.
Sperm counts: When taken by men, this medication may reduce sperm counts or cause sperm production to stop entirely, especially when used in conjunction with other chemotherapy medications. In some cases sperm production may resume after treatment, but this may happen only several years after intensive chemotherapy has been stopped.
Pregnancy: This medication may harm the baby if used during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester). It is best to use an effective method of birth control to avoid pregnancy while being treated with mechlorethamine. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if mechlorethamine passes into breast milk. Because mechlorethamine could cause serious problems for the baby if it did pass into breast milk, women taking this medication should not breast-feed.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.