Generic Name: dimercaprol (DYE mer KAP rol)
Brand Name: BAL In Oil
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.
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:
liver or kidney disease;
an allergy to any drugs; or
if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
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.
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:
severe drowsiness, severe headache;
pain or pressure in your throat or chest;
anxiety, restless feeling, rapid heartbeats;
pain, tingling, or tight feeling in your hands;
burning sensation in your mouth and throat;
burning sensation in your penis;
red or watery eyes, twitching eyelids;
runny nose, increased salivation; or
signs of a kidney problem--little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired or short of breath.
Common side effects include:
fever (especially in children); or
pain or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.
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.
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.
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.
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