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Generic name: trientineTRYE-en-teen ]
Drug class: Chelating agents

Medically reviewed by on Dec 6, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Syprine?

Syprine is a chelating (KEE-late-ing) agent. A chelating agent works by removing a heavy metal (such as lead, mercury, or copper) from the blood.

Wilson's disease is a genetic metabolic defect that causes excess copper to build up in the body.

Syprine is used to treat this inherited condition in people who cannot take penicillamine.

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


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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Syprine.

To make sure Syprine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • anemia (low red blood cells); or

  • a liver condition called biliary cirrhosis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Syprine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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

How should I take Syprine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take Syprine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take Syprine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Do not drink milk, eat food, or take any other medications for at least 1 hour after you take Syprine.

Do not chew, break, or open a Syprine capsule. Swallow it whole.

The medicine from a broken pill can be irritating if it gets on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with water right away. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken capsule.

Your doctor may have you take extra iron while you are taking Syprine. Take only the amount of iron that your doctor has prescribed.

Call your doctor if you have a fever or a skin rash while taking this medicine. You may need to take your temperature every night for the first month of treatment with Syprine.

While using Syprine, you may need frequent blood and urine tests. You should remain under the care of a doctor during treatment.

Store in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

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 Syprine?

Ask your doctor before using a vitamin or mineral supplement, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some minerals can make it harder for your body to absorb Syprine.

Syprine 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.

Syprine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever or skin rash;

  • problems with speech, balance, walking, lifting, chewing, or swallowing;

  • muscle pain or stiffness;

  • muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, double vision; or

  • symptoms of lupus (an autoimmune disorder)--joint pain or swelling, headaches, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, skin sores, or numbness, cold feeling, or pale appearance of your fingers or toes.

Common side effects of Syprine may include:

  • heartburn, stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • black, tarry stools;

  • general ill feeling;

  • mouth sores; or

  • skin flaking, cracking, or thickening.

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 Syprine?

Other drugs may interact with trientine, 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?

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.

Further information

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