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Side Effects


The following adverse reactions are described in greater detail in other sections:

  • Psychiatric Events Including Suicidality [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Weight Decrease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Adverse Reactions in Clinical Studies

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The safety data described below reflect exposure of 4438 patients to valchlor 500 mcg once daily in four 1- year placebo-controlled trials, two 6-month placebo-controlled trials, and two 6-month drug add-on trials [see Clinical Studies]. In these trials, 3136 and 1232 COPD patients were exposed to valchlor 500 mcg once daily for 6 months and 1-year, respectively.

The population had a median age of 64 years (range 40-91), 73% were male, 92.9% were Caucasian, and had COPD with a mean pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of 8.9 to 89.1% predicted. In these trials, 68.5% of the patients treated with valchlor reported an adverse reaction compared with 65.3% treated with placebo.

The proportion of patients who discontinued treatment due to adverse reaction was 14.8% for valchlortreated patients and 9.9% for placebo-treated patients. The most common adverse reactions that led to discontinuation of valchlor were diarrhea (2.4%) and nausea (1.6%).

Serious adverse reactions, whether considered drug-related or not by the investigators, which occurred more frequently in valchlor-treated patients include diarrhea, atrial fibrillation, lung cancer, prostate cancer, acute pancreatitis, and acute renal failure.

Table 1 summarizes the adverse reactions reported by ≥ 2% of patients in the valchlor group in 8 controlled COPD clinical trials.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported by ≥ 2% of Patients Treated with valchlor 500 mcg daily and Greater Than Placebo

Adverse Reactions (Preferred Term) Treatment
n (%)
n (%)
Diarrhea 420 (9.5) 113 (2.7)
Weight decreased 331 (7.5) 89 (2.1)
Nausea 209 (4.7) 60 (1.4)
Headache 195 (4.4) 87 (2.1)
Back pain 142 (3.2) 92 (2.2)
Influenza 124 (2.8) 112 (2.7)
Insomnia 105 (2.4) 41 (1.0)
Dizziness 92 (2.1) 45 (1.1)
Decreased appetite 91 (2.1) 15 (0.4)

Adverse reactions that occurred in the valchlor group at a frequency of 1 to 2% where rates exceeded that in the placebo group include:

Gastrointestinal disorders - abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastritis, vomiting

Infections and infestations - rhinitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infection,

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders - muscle spasms

Nervous system disorders - tremor

Psychiatric disorders - anxiety, depression

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified from spontaneous reports of valchlor received worldwide and have not been listed elsewhere. These adverse reactions have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of seriousness, frequency of reporting or potential causal connection to valchlor. Because these adverse reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to valchlor exposure: hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema, urticaria, and rash.

Read the Valchlor (mechlorethamine gel) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


A major step in roflumilast metabolism is the N-oxidation of roflumilast to roflumilast N-oxide by CYP3A4 and CYP1A2 [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Drugs That Induce Cytochrome P450 (CYP) Enzymes

Strong cytochrome P450 enzyme inducers decrease systemic exposure to roflumilast and may reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of valchlor. Therefore the use of strong cytochrome P450 inducers (e.g., rifampicin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and phenytoin) with valchlor is not recommended [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Drugs That Inhibit Cytochrome P450 (CYP) Enzymes

The co-administration of valchlor (500 mcg) with CYP3A4 inhibitors or dual inhibitors that inhibit both CYP3A4 and CYP1A2 simultaneously (e.g., erythromycin, ketoconazole, fluvoxamine, enoxacin, cimetidine) may increase roflumilast systemic exposure and may result in increased adverse reactions. The risk of such concurrent use should be weighed carefully against benefit. [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Oral Contraceptives Containing Gestodene and Ethinyl Estradiol

The co-administration of valchlor (500 mcg) with oral contraceptives containing gestodene and ethinyl estradiol may increase roflumilast systemic exposure and may result in increased side effects. The risk of such concurrent use should be weighed carefully against benefit [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/6/2013

Side Effects

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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