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Generic name: dimercaprol [ DYE-mer-KAP-rol ]
Brand name: BAL In Oil
Dosage form: injectable solution (10%)
Drug class: Antidotes

Medically reviewed by on Apr 12, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is dimercaprol?

Dimercaprol is a chelating (KEE-late-ing) agent that is used to remove a heavy metal (such as lead or mercury) from the blood.

Dimercaprol is used to treat arsenic, gold, or mercury poisoning. It is also used together with another medicine called edetate disodium (EDTA) to treat lead poisoning.

Dimercaprol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Dimercaprol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

Common side effects include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


In a poisoning situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received dimercaprol.

Before taking this medicine

If possible before you receive dimercaprol, tell your doctor if you have:

This medicine contains peanut oil. Tell your doctor if you have a peanut allergy.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether dimercaprol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether dimercaprol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with dimercaprol to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received this medicine.

How is dimercaprol given?

Dimercaprol is injected into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Dimercaprol is most effective when used within 1 or 2 hours after a sudden poisoning. dimercaprol may not be as effective in treating long-term poisoning (slow poisoning that has occurred over a long period of time).

Dimercaprol is sometimes given for several days, depending on the type of poisoning being treated.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive dimercaprol in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since dimercaprol is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving dimercaprol?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect dimercaprol?

Other drugs may interact with dimercaprol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

More about dimercaprol

Patient resources

Other brands

BAL In Oil

Professional resources

Other brands

BAL In Oil

Related treatment guides

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.