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Accession NumberDB00888  (APRD00249)
TypeSmall Molecule

A vesicant and necrotizing irritant destructive to mucous membranes, mechlorethamine is an alkylating drug. It was formerly used as a war gas. The hydrochloride is used as an antineoplastic in Hodgkin’s disease and lymphomas. It causes severe gastrointestinal and bone marrow damage. [PubChem]

The FDA granted marketing approval for the orphan drug Valchlor (mechlorethamine) gel on August 23, 2013 for the topical treatment of stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who have received prior skin-directed therapy. Each tube of Valchlor contains 0.016% of mechlorethamine which is equivalent to 0.02% mechlorethamine HCL.

2,2'-dichloro-N-methyldiethylamineNot AvailableNot Available
beta,Beta'-dichlorodiethyl-N-methylamineNot AvailableNot Available
Bis(2-chloroethyl)methylamineNot AvailableNot Available
Bis(beta-chloroethyl)methylamineNot AvailableNot Available
ChlormethineNot AvailableINN
MechlorethamineNot AvailableNot Available
Methylbis(2-chloroethyl)amineNot AvailableNot Available
Methylbis(beta-chloroethyl)amineNot AvailableNot Available
MustineNot AvailableNot Available
N-methyl-bis(2-chloroethyl)amineNot AvailableNot Available
N-Methyl-bis(beta-chloroethyl)amineNot AvailableNot Available
Nitrogen mustardNot AvailableNot Available
β,β'-dichlorodiethyl-N-methylamineNot AvailableNot Available
External Identifiers Not Available
Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Mustargenpowder, for solution10 mg/10mLintracavitary; intravenousRECORDATI RARE DISEASES, INC.1949-03-15Not applicableUs 0a2ef1ad1c84951dc1392a8bbe1f3cb241c91ed59e44ad8268635315440d978c
Mustargenpowder for solution10 mgintravenousLundbeck LLC1951-12-312011-11-11Canada 5f16b84899037e23705f146ff57e3794121879cb055f0954756d94bc690476b4
Valchlorgel.012 g/60gtopicalCeptaris Therapeutics, Inc.2013-10-21Not applicableUs 0a2ef1ad1c84951dc1392a8bbe1f3cb241c91ed59e44ad8268635315440d978c
Valchlorgel.012 g/60gtopicalActelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.2013-10-21Not applicableUs 0a2ef1ad1c84951dc1392a8bbe1f3cb241c91ed59e44ad8268635315440d978c
Valchlorgel.012 g/60gtopicalActelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.2013-10-21Not applicableUs 0a2ef1ad1c84951dc1392a8bbe1f3cb241c91ed59e44ad8268635315440d978c
Generic Prescription ProductsNot Available
Over the Counter ProductsNot Available
International BrandsNot Available
Brand mixturesNot Available
Mechlorethamine hydrochloride
ThumbNot applicableDBSALT000904
CAS number51-75-2
WeightAverage: 156.054
Monoisotopic: 155.026854771
Chemical FormulaC5H11Cl2N
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as nitrogen mustard compounds. These are compounds having two beta-haloalkyl groups bound to a nitrogen atom.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganonitrogen compounds
ClassNitrogen mustard compounds
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentNitrogen mustard compounds
Alternative Parents
  • Nitrogen mustard
  • Tertiary aliphatic amine
  • Tertiary amine
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organochloride
  • Organohalogen compound
  • Amine
  • Alkyl halide
  • Alkyl chloride
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
IndicationFor 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.
PharmacodynamicsMechlorethamine 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 actionAlkylating 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.
AbsorptionPartially absorbed following intracavitary administration, most likely due to rapid deactivation by body fluids. When it is topically administered, systemic exposure was undetectable.
Volume of distributionNot Available
Protein bindingNot Available

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.

Route of eliminationNot Available
Half life15 minutes
ClearanceNot Available
ToxicitySymptoms of overexposure include severe leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and a hemorrhagic diathesis with subsequent delayed bleeding may develop. Death may follow. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) of the topical formulation are dermatitis, pruritus, bacterial skin infection, skin ulceration or blistering, and hyperpigmentation. The oral LD50 for a rat is 10 mg/kg.
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
PathwaysNot Available
SNP Mediated EffectsNot Available
SNP Mediated Adverse Drug ReactionsNot Available
Predicted ADMET features
Human Intestinal Absorption+0.987
Blood Brain Barrier+0.9735
Caco-2 permeable+0.754
P-glycoprotein substrateNon-substrate0.5964
P-glycoprotein inhibitor INon-inhibitor0.9388
P-glycoprotein inhibitor IINon-inhibitor0.8382
Renal organic cation transporterInhibitor0.6023
CYP450 2C9 substrateNon-substrate0.7811
CYP450 2D6 substrateNon-substrate0.6069
CYP450 3A4 substrateNon-substrate0.5986
CYP450 1A2 substrateNon-inhibitor0.6607
CYP450 2C9 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.9504
CYP450 2D6 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.9153
CYP450 2C19 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.8068
CYP450 3A4 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.9804
CYP450 inhibitory promiscuityLow CYP Inhibitory Promiscuity0.9421
Ames testAMES toxic0.9108
CarcinogenicityCarcinogens 0.6585
BiodegradationNot ready biodegradable0.9258
Rat acute toxicity4.1619 LD50, mol/kg Not applicable
hERG inhibition (predictor I)Strong inhibitor0.5662
hERG inhibition (predictor II)Non-inhibitor0.792
ADMET data is predicted using admetSAR, a free tool for evaluating chemical ADMET properties. (23092397 )
  • Lundbeck inc
Dosage forms
Powder for solutionintravenous10 mg
Powder, for solutionintracavitary; intravenous10 mg/10mL
Geltopical.012 g/60g
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Mustargen 10 mg vial178.71USD vial
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
CountryPatent NumberApprovedExpires (estimated)
United States78385642013-08-232026-03-07
United States78720502013-08-232029-07-08
United States84503752013-08-232026-03-07
United States85018182013-08-232026-03-07
United States85018192013-08-232026-03-07
Experimental Properties
melting point108 - 110°CMSDS
boiling point87°C at 1.80E+01 mm HgPhysProp
water solubilityVery solubleFDA label
logP0.91SELASSIE,CD ET AL. (1990)
pKa6.43 (at 25°C)PERRIN,DD (1965)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility33.4 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Basic)6.08ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area3.24 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count4ChemAxon
Refractivity38.67 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability15.84 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Mass Spec (NIST)Download (8.14 KB)
Synthesis Reference

Paul Siedlecki, “Preparation of nitrogen mustard derivatives.” U.S. Patent US20030162990, issued August 28, 2003.

General References
  1. FDA label
External Links
ATC CodesL01AA05
AHFS Codes
  • 10:00.00
  • 84:92
PDB EntriesNot Available
FDA labelDownload (306 KB)
MSDSDownload (37.2 KB)
Drug Interactions
ClozapineMyelosuppressive Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Clozapine. Specifically, the risk for agranulocytosis may be increased.
DenosumabMay enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Immunosuppressants. Specifically, the risk for serious infections may be increased.
LeflunomideImmunosuppressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Leflunomide. Specifically, the risk for hematologic toxicity such as pancytopenia, agranulocytosis, and/or thrombocytopenia may be increased.
MetamizoleMay enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Myelosuppressive Agents. Specifically, the risk for agranulocytosis and pancytopenia may be increased
NatalizumabImmunosuppressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Natalizumab. Specifically, the risk of concurrent infection may be increased.
PimecrolimusMay enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Immunosuppressants.
RoflumilastMay enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Immunosuppressants.
Sipuleucel-TImmunosuppressants may diminish the therapeutic effect of Sipuleucel-T.
TofacitinibImmunosuppressants may enhance the immunosuppressive effect of Tofacitinib.
TrastuzumabMay enhance the neutropenic effect of Immunosuppressants.
Food InteractionsNot Available


1. DNA

Kind: nucleotide

Organism: Human

Pharmacological action: yes

Actions: intercalation


Name UniProt ID Details


  1. Overington JP, Al-Lazikani B, Hopkins AL: How many drug targets are there? Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Dec;5(12):993-6. Pubmed
  2. Imming P, Sinning C, Meyer A: Drugs, their targets and the nature and number of drug targets. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Oct;5(10):821-34. Pubmed
  3. De Alencar TA, Leitao AC, Lage C: Nitrogen mustard- and half-mustard-induced damage in Escherichia coli requires different DNA repair pathways. Mutat Res. 2005 Apr 4;582(1-2):105-15. Pubmed
  4. Loeber RL, Michaelson-Richie ED, Codreanu SG, Liebler DC, Campbell CR, Tretyakova NY: Proteomic analysis of DNA-protein cross-linking by antitumor nitrogen mustards. Chem Res Toxicol. 2009 Jun;22(6):1151-62. Pubmed

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Drug created on June 13, 2005 07:24 /Updated on November 11, 2013 19:10