Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018
- Stay under the care of your doctor. Report any side effects right away.
Uses of Penicillamine:
- It is used to treat Wilson's disease.
- It is used to get rid of a protein called cystine from the body.
- It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Penicillamine?
For all patients taking penicillamine:
- If you have an allergy to penicillamine or any other part of penicillamine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have had low blood cell counts while taking penicillamine in the past.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take penicillamine.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Drugs used to treat malaria, gold products, oxyphenbutazone, or phenylbutazone.
- If you are taking any drugs that can damage cells in your body. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients:
- If you have ever had kidney problems.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take penicillamine if you are pregnant.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with penicillamine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take penicillamine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Penicillamine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take penicillamine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your urine checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- Take vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) as you were told by your doctor.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- This medicine may lower the ability of your bone marrow to make blood cells that your body needs. This can lead to needing a blood transfusion and very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems or infections. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Deaths from certain diseases like aplastic anemia, Goodpasture's syndrome, and myasthenia gravis have happened with penicillamine. Talk with your doctor.
- Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
- If you are 65 or older, use penicillamine with care. You could have more side effects.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking penicillamine.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- If you are a woman and you miss a period, have unprotected sex, or think that your birth control has not worked, call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using penicillamine while you are pregnant.
How is this medicine (Penicillamine) best taken?
Use penicillamine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking penicillamine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
- Do not take other drugs within 1 hour of starting penicillamine. Talk with your doctor about how to take your other drugs with penicillamine.
- Do not take dairy products, bismuth (Pepto-Bismol), calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or antacids within 2 hours of penicillamine.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
For all patients taking penicillamine:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Any skin change.
- Swollen gland.
- Shortness of breath.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Mood changes.
- Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
- Joint pain.
- Change in eyesight.
- Back pain, belly pain, or blood in the urine. May be signs of a kidney stone.
What are some other side effects of Penicillamine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Change in taste.
- Not hungry.
- Belly pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Penicillamine?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about penicillamine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about penicillamine
- Penicillamine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- En Español
- 1 Review
- Drug class: antirheumatics