Definition: A chelating agent, developed as an antidote for lewisite and other arsenical poisons. It acts by competing for the metal with the essential —SH groups in the pyruvate oxidase system of the cells and forms, with arsenic, a stable, relatively nontoxic cyclic compound, the metal having a greater affinity for it than for the —SH groups of the cell proteins; also used as an antidote for antimony, bismuth, chromium, mercury, gold, and nickel.
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