Penicillamine
all information

Penicillamine

Trade Names
  • Cuprimine, Depen

The drug penicillamine is primarily used to treat Wilson's disease (an inherited disorder affecting copper metabolism, causing cirrhosis and brain and eye problems) and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Copper

Avoid in Cases of Wilson's Disease

When used to treat Wilson's disease, penicillamine works by removing copper from the body. Taking copper supplements while you are using penicillamine for this condition is not a good idea.

Vitamin B6

Possible Need for Supplementation

Penicillamine might increase the need for vitamin B 6 . 1 Taking 25 to 50 mg of supplemental B 6 daily is often recommended. 2

Zinc

Supplementation Possibly Helpful, but Take at a Different Time of Day

Long-term use of penicillamine can cause zinc deficiency. 3 However, zinc can impair penicillamine absorption, so do not take zinc supplements during the 2 hours before or after your penicillamine dose. 4

Iron

Take at a Different Time of Day

Penicillamine attaches to the mineral iron, which impairs the absorption of both substances. 5,6 The solution: If you need iron supplements, do not take them during the 2 hours before or after your penicillamine dose.

References

1.   Rumsby PC and Shepherd DM. The effect of penicillamine on vitamin B 6 function in man. Biochem Pharmacol 30: 3051–3053, 1981.

2.   Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.

3.   Multicentre Trial Group. Controlled trial of D(-) penicillamine in severe rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1: 275–280, 1973.

4.   Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.

5.   Campbell NR and Hasinoff BB. Iron supplements: a common cause of drug interactions. Br J Clin Pharmacol 31(3): 251–255, 1991.

6.   Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.



Last reviewed October 2007 by EBSCO CAM Review Board

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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