Generic Name: succimer (SUCK sih mer)
Brand Name: Chemet
What is succimer?
Succimer is a chelating (KEE-late-ing) agent that is used to remove a heavy metal (such as lead) from the body. Succimer binds to lead in the blood and allows it to be passed out in the urine.
Succimer is used to treat lead poisoning.
Succimer may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about succimer?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking succimer?
You should not use succimer if you are allergic to it.
To make sure succimer is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver disease; or
if you have been treated with dimercaprol or edetate calcium disodium in the past month.
It is not known whether succimer will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether succimer passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take succimer?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
To make swallowing easier, you may open the succimer capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of soft food. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.
You may also open the capsule and empty the medicine beads into a spoon, swallow all of the beads, and then drink a glass of juice or fruit-flavored drink.
Drink plenty of liquids to keep your kidneys working properly so they can help eliminate the lead from your body.
Succimer is usually given daily for 19 days in a row. You may need to receive more than one course of treatment. Use succimer regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the lead is completely cleared from your body.
While using succimer, you may need frequent blood tests. Your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with succimer. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using succimer.
Succimer can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood cells may need to be tested often.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking succimer?
Once it has been determined how or where you got lead poisoning, avoid coming into contact with that source or location.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Succimer side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
fever, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
skin sores, rash; or
swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
metallic taste in your mouth.
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)
Succimer dosing information
Usual Pediatric Dose for Lead Poisoning -- Severe:
1 year or older:
Initial dose: 10 mg/kg or 350 mg/m2 orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 10 mg/kg or 350 mg/m2 orally every 12 hours for 14 days
8 kg to 15 kg:
Initial dose: 100 mg orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 100 mg orally every 12 hours for 14 days
16 kg to 23 kg:
Initial dose: 200 mg orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 200 mg orally every 12 hours for 14 days
24 kg to 34 kg:
Initial dose: 300 mg orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 300 mg orally every 12 hours for 14 days
35 kg to 44 kg:
Initial dose: 400 mg orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 400 mg orally every 12 hours for 14 days
45 kg or greater:
Initial dose: 500 mg orally every 8 hours for five days
Maintenance dose: 500 mg orally every 12 hours for 14 days
Repeated courses may be administered if indicated by weekly blood lead concentration levels, with a minimum of two weeks between courses unless blood lead levels indicate the need for more rapid treatment.
What other drugs will affect succimer?
Other drugs may interact with succimer, 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 succimer
- Other brands: Chemet
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about succimer.
- 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: 2.03.
Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: January 25, 2016