Valchlor treats a type cancer that begins with skin rashes, called mycosis fungoides. Caregivers must wear disposable nitrile gloves when applying Valchlor gel.
Valchlor is a type of chemotherapy used to treat mycosis fungoides (a type of immune system cancer that begins with skin rashes). Valchlor belongs to a group of drugs called alkylating agents. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
This medication is also available as a topical gel that is applied to the affected skin area once a day on completely dry skin.
Common side effects of Valchlor may include redness, swelling, itching, and skin ulcers or blisters.
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Uses of Valchlor
Valchlor is a prescription medication available as a topical (applied to the skin) form.
Valchlor is used in the treatment of Stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (a type of immune system cancer that begins with skin rashes). Valchlor is given to patients who have received prior skin-directed therapy.
Valchlor Drug Class
Valchlor is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Valchlor
Common side effects of the Valchlor include the following:
- skin ulcers or blisters
- skin infection
- darkening of skin areas
This is not a complete list of Valchlor side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
No drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.
The following serious side effects have been reported with the Valchlor topical gel:
- risk of secondary exposure to Valchlor. You may have a risk of inflammation of your skin (dermatitis), injury to your eyes, mouth, or nose, and certain types of cancers. Caregivers who accidentally come into contact with Valchlor gel must wash the affected area with soap and water right away for at least 15 minutes and remove any contaminated clothing. Get medical help right away if Valchlor gel gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- inflammation of your skin (dermatitis). It is common and may sometimes be severe. Your risk for dermatitis is increased if Valchlor gel is applied to your face, genital area, anus, or skin folds. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop skin reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, blisters, ulcers, and skin infections.
- increased risk of certain types of skin cancers. Certain types of skin cancer can develop on areas of your skin that are treated with Valchlor gel and areas of your skin that are not treated with Valchlor gel. Your healthcare provider will check your skin for skin cancers during and after your treatment with Valchlor gel. Tell your healthcare provider if you get any new skin lesions.
Do not use Valchlor if you are allergic to Valchlor or any of its ingredients.
Valchlor Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Valchlor, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Valchlor, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Valchlor or to any of its ingredients
- have an infection
- have previously received or will be receiving radiation (x-ray) therapy or other chemotherapy
- are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Valchlor and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories -A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Valchlor falls into category D. It has been shown that use of Valchlor in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby. Please refer to the FDA warning section for more information.
Valchlor and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known if Valchlor crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Valchlor.
Use Valchlor exactly as prescribed.
Please follow these instructions when using Valchlor gel:
- Keep this medicine away from your eyes, mouth, and nose. If Valchlor gel gets in your eyes, rinse your eyes out right away for at least 15 minutes with a large amount of water, normal saline, or an eye wash solution. If Valchlor gel gets in your mouth or nose, rinse the affected area right away for at least 15 minutes with a large amount of water. Get medical help right away if Valchlor gel gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Caregivers must wear disposable nitrile gloves when applying Valchlor gel.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after touching or applying Valchlor gel.
- Safely throw away used disposable nitrile gloves in household trash.
- Apply Valchlor gel right away or within 30 minutes after you take it out of the refrigerator.
- Return Valchlor gel to the refrigerator right after each use.
- Apply a thin layer of Valchlor gel to completely dry skin at least 4 hours before or 30 minutes after showering or washing.
- Let the treated areas dry for 5 to 10 minutes after applying Valchlor gel before covering with clothing.
- Moisturizers may be applied to the treated areas 2 hours before or 2 hours after applying Valchlor gel.
- You should not use air or water-tight bandages on areas of the skin treated with Valchlor gel.
- Valchlor gel is flammable so fire and flame sources should be avoided until it has dried.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Valchlor at the same time.
Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
Valchlor gel is applied as a thin film of gel once a day to affected skin areas. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling while you are taking the gel. Your doctor may stop the medication for a time or tell you to apply it less often if you experience side effects. See the "Drug Usage" section for additional information on using Valchlor gel.
If you use too much Valchlor, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store Valchlor gel in the refrigerator and keep away from food.
- With clean hands, place Valchlor gel back in the box it came in and return it to the refrigerator right after each use.
- Talk with your pharmacist before you use Valchlor gel that has been out of the refrigerator for more than one hour a day.
- Safely throw away Valchlor gel that is not used after 60 days. Unused Valchlor gel, empty tubes, and used disposable nitrile gloves should be safely thrown away in household trash.
- Keep this and all medicines out of reach of children.
Valchlor FDA Warning