Topical nitrogen mustard

Topical nitrogen mustard

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* Topical nitrogen mustard has been used for the treatment of mycosis fungoide, the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Nitrogen mustard (also known as mechlorethamine or mustine) is a medication known to slow the growth of cancer cells in the body. It's used to treat cutaneous lymphomas such as Hodgkin's disease, lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera, mycosis fungoides, bronchogenic carcinoma. It's also used to treat malignant melanoma.

However, Topical nitrogen mustard has been used for the treatment of mycosis fungoide.


Nitrogen mustard powder for injection is administered intravenously to treat certain types of cancers. Topical nitrogen mustard is formulated by mixing the injectable powder with either water or an ointment base. It is applied daily until lesions resolve completely, which often takes one or two months.

It is advisable to apply a small amount to the affected areas for seven to 10 days to ensure there is no irritation. If there is no significant irritation, new rash, redness or itching you can then start to apply the nitrogen mustard preparation as directed by your doctor to lesions. It is generally applied once a day after showering. Disposable gloves may be used to apply. If you don't use gloves, wash your hands right after application.

Side Effects

Side effects may include an allergic reaction that usually results in itching, rash, or redness. Darkening of the skin in the area where the nitrogen mustard was applied may also occur; it will go away after the medication is discontinued.

Notes of Precaution

* Do not apply topical nitrogen mustard to sensitive areas, such as the face or genitals.

* Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; topical nitrogen mustard should be used with caution in such instances.

* The risk of developing secondary skin cancers is increased in patients who have received multiple skin treatments, such as phototherapy or radiation in addition to topical nitrogen mustard.
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