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Active ingredient: Mechlorethamine - Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Drug Category

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Chemical Warfare Agents
  • Alkylating Agents
  • Irritants

Dosage Forms

  • Powdered vials for injection
  • Skin solution
  • Ointment

Brands / Synonyms

Caryolysin; Caryolysine; Chlorethazine; Chlormethine; Cloramin; Dichlor amine; Dichloren; Embichin; HN2; MBA; Mechloroethamine; Mecloretamina; Mustargen; Mustine; Mustine note; Mutagen; Nitrogen mustard


For the palliative treatment of Hodgkin's disease (Stages III and IV), lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera, mycosis fungoides, and bronchogenic carcinoma. Also for the palliative treatment of metastatic carcinoma resulting in effusion.


Mechlorethamine also known as mustine, nitrogen mustard, and HN2, is the prototype anticancer chemotherapeutic drug. Successful clinical use of mechlorethamine gave birth to the field of anticancer chemotherapy. The drug is an analogue of mustard gas and was derived from toxic gas warfare research. It belongs to the group of nitrogen mustard alkylating agents. Alkylating agents work by three different mechanisms all of which achieve the same end result - disruption of DNA function and cell death.

Mechanism of Action

Alkylating agents work by three different mechanisms: 1) attachment of alkyl groups to DNA bases, resulting in the DNA being fragmented by repair enzymes in their attempts to replace the alkylated bases, preventing DNA synthesis and RNA transcription from the affected DNA, 2) DNA damage via the formation of cross-links (bonds between atoms in the DNA) which prevents DNA from being separated for synthesis or transcription, and 3) the induction of mispairing of the nucleotides leading to mutations. Mechlorethamine is cell cycle phase-nonspecific.


Partially absorbed following intracavitary administration, most likely due to rapid deactivation by body fluids.


Symptoms of overexposure include severe leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and a hemorrhagic diathesis with subsequent delayed bleeding may develop. Death may follow. The intravenous LD50 is 2 mg/kg and 1.6 mg/kg in mouse and rat, respectively.

Biotrnasformation / Drug Metabolism

Undergoes rapid chemical transformation and combines with water or reactive compounds of cells, so that the drug is no longer present in active form a few minutes after administration.


The use of MUSTARGEN is contraindicated in the presence of known infectious diseases and in patients who have had previous anaphylactic reactions to MUSTARGEN.

Drug Interactions

No information provided.

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