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.
What is the most important information I should know about dimercaprol?
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 this medicine.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving dimercaprol?
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. This medicine 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 this medicine 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;
severe nausea or vomiting, stomach pain;
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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.
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about dimercaprol.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: April 22, 2014