Dimercaprol

Dimercaprol injection

What is dimercaprol injection?
DIMERCAPROL (BAL in Oilreg;) treats arsenic, mercury, gold, and lead poisoning. It should be used within 1 or 2 hours after exposure to the poison. Dimercaprol was developed during World War II in an attempt to discover an antidote to a war gas containing arsenic. Generic dimercaprol injection is not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive dimercaprol?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease or problems passing urine
  • liver disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to dimercaprol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?
Dimercaprol is for injection into a muscle or into a vein. It is given by a health-care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with dimercaprol?

  • auranofin
  • aurothioglucose
  • iron salts

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving dimercaprol?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • choking, or pain in the throat or chest
  • fever
  • headache
  • increase in saliva
  • pain or irritation at the site of injection
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • sweating

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • burning sensation of the lips, mouth, throat, or penis
  • eye irritation or inflammation of the eyelids
  • nausea, vomiting
  • painful sensations in the teeth
  • runny nose
  • stomach pain
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • watery eyes (tears)

What should I watch for while taking dimercaprol?
Your condition will be monitored closely while you receive dimercaprol.

Do not take with iron preparations. Iron can cause serious damage to your kidneys when taken with dimercaprol.

Your prescriber or health care professional may give you instructions to make your urine basic by eating or drinking certain foods or drinks. Follow these instructions carefully.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.