Health Guide
Drug Guide

Penicillamine (Oral route)



Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:


Oral route(Capsule;Tablet)

Physicians planning to use penicillamine should thoroughly familiarize themselves with its toxicity, special dosage considerations, and therapeutic benefits. Patients should be warned to report promptly any symptoms suggesting toxicity .




Uses of This Medicine:

Penicillamine is used in the treatment of medical problems such as Wilson's disease (too much copper in the body) and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, it is used to prevent kidney stones. Penicillamine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

In addition to the helpful effects of this medicine, it has side effects that can be very serious. Before you take penicillamine, be sure that you have discussed the use of it with your doctor.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a product has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, penicillamine is used in certain patients with the following conditions:

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 this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Although there is no specific information about the use of penicillamine in children, it is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults

This medicine has been tested in a limited number of patients 65 years of age or older. In clinical trials, elderly people may have an increased chance for getting a skin rash.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersDStudies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Since penicillamine is taken in different ways for different medical problems, it is very important that you understand exactly why you are taking this medicine and how to take it. See below for information on specific medical problems. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

For patients taking this medicine to prevent kidney stones:

For patients taking this medicine for rheumatoid arthritis :

For patients taking this medicine for Wilson's disease :

For patients taking this medicine for lead poisoning :

For all patients:


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine does not cause unwanted effects.

Before having any kind of surgery (including dental surgery), tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are taking this medicine.

Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.

Do not take iron preparations or vitamin preparations containing iron without checking with your healthcare provider. If your doctor tells you to take iron preparations, or vitamin preparations containing iron, do not take them within 2 hours of the time you take this medicine. Taking the two medicines too close together may keep the penicillamine from working properly.

Tell your doctor right away if you get a fever, sore throat, chills, bruising, or bleeding. These may be symptoms of a serious blood problem.

Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing, noisy breathing, or an unexplained cough. These may be symptoms of a serious lung problem.

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.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
joint pain
lesions on the face, neck, scalp, and/or trunk
skin rash, hives, or itching
swollen and/or painful glands
ulcers, sores, or white spots on lips or in mouth
Less common
Bloody or cloudy urine
shortness of breath, troubled breathing, tightness in chest, or wheezing
sore throat and fever with or without chills
swelling of face, feet, or lower legs
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
weight gain
Abdominal or stomach pain (severe)
blisters on skin
bloody or black, tarry stools
chest pain
coughing or hoarseness
dark urine
difficulty in breathing, chewing, talking, or swallowing
eye pain, blurred or double vision, or any change in vision
general feeling of discomfort or illness or weakness
lower back or side pain
muscle weakness
painful or difficult urination
pale stools
pinpoint red spots on skin
redness, tenderness, itching, burning, or peeling of skin
red or irritated eyes
red, thick, or scaly skin
ringing or buzzing in the ears
spitting blood
yellow eyes or skin

Some 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. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
lessening or loss of sense of taste
loss of appetite
nausea or vomiting
stomach pain (mild)

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

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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