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Generic name: pentetate calcium trisodium (systemic)
Drug class: Antidotes

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 12, 2023.

Some commonly used brand names are: In the U.S. - Pentetate Calcium Trisodium
Other commonly used names are: - Ca-DTPA


  • Chelating agent


Pentetate Calcium Trisodium (PEN-te-tate Kal-see-um try-SOE-dee-um)is used to remove harmful substances, such as plutonium, americium, or curium from your body.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Inhalation
    Inhalation solution (U.S.)
  • Parenteral
    Injection (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For pentetate calcium trisodium, the following should be considered:

Allergies? Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to pentetate calcium trisodium. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy? Pentetate calcium trisodium has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that pentetate calcium trisodium causes birth defects. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding? It is not known if pentetate calcium trisodium passes into breast milk. However, women with known exposure to harmful substances should not breast feed, whether or not they are receiving pentetate calcium trisodium.

Children? Although there is no specific information comparing use of pentetate calcium trisodium in children with use in other age groups, this medicine when given by injection is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults? Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of pentetate calcium trisodium in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medical problems? The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of pentetate calcium trisodium. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma? May be worsened by pentetate calcium trisodium given by inhalation.
  • Hemochromatosis (iron disorder)? May increase the chance for serious side effects.
  • Kidney disease? May lower the rate at which the harmful substances can be removed. Dialysis may be needed to increase removal of these harmful substances.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Harmful substances may accumulate in your bladder. Therefore, to increase the flow of urine and decrease the time your bladder contains these harmful substances, your doctor may instruct you to drink plenty of liquids and urinate often while being treated with pentetate calcium trisodium to help eliminate the harmful substances.

Dosing? The dose of pentetate calcium trisodium will be different for different patients. pentetate calcium trisodium will be given by your doctor. The following information includes only the average doses of pentetate calcium trisodium.

  • For inhalation dosage form
  • To help with the removal of harmful substances in individuals breathing in the harmful substances
    • Adults? 1 gram once a day.
    • Children? Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For parenteral dosage form
  • To help with the removal of harmful substances in individuals exposed by some other way than breathing in the substances
    • Adults? 1 gram once a day.
    • Children? 14 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) once a day.

Missed dose? Contact your doctor right away.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

To prevent radiation contamination of other persons or environment:

  • Using a normal toilet instead of a urinal
  • Flushing toilet several times after each use
  • Completely cleaning up any spilled urine with a tissue and flushing it away
  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap after urinating or a bowel movement
  • Immediately laundering clothes and linens soiled with urine, feces or blood; washing them separately from other clothes

Avoid swallowing any solid substances that may be coughed up. Dispose of solid substances in sink or toilet. Flush several times if put in toilet or flush sink by washing hands thoroughly with soap after disposal.

Extra precaution in handling urine, feces, and substances coughed up by children to avoid additional exposure to the care-giver or to the child.

If you are breast-feeding your baby, talk to your doctor about how long you must formula feed your baby and how to dispose of the breast milk containing harmful substances..

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia or bladder cancer. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence unknown

Chest pain; cough; difficulty swallowing; dizziness; fast heartbeat; hives; itching; puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; shortness of breath; skin rash; tightness in chest; unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

Incidence unknown

Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at site; blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of skin; cracked, dry, scaly skin; diarrhea; headache; lightheadedness; metallic taste; nausea; swelling

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Further information

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