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Med Toxicol Adverse Drug Exp. 1988 Nov-Dec;3(6):499-504.

2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic acid treatment of heavy metal poisoning in humans.

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Department of Clinical Toxicology, Fernand Widal Hospital, Paris, France.


14 patients with heavy metal poisoning received 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). 12 subjects were given 30 mg/kg/day for 5 days; 1 subject was started on a lower dose because of a history of atopy; another subject was treated for 15 days because of very high initial blood lead concentrations. In the 9 subjects who had lead poisoning, DMSA decreased blood lead concentrations by 35 to 81%, and induced a 4.5- to 16.9-fold increase in mean daily urinary excretion of the metal. In the acutely arsenic-poisoned case, the plasma arsenic concentration on day 7 was half the pretreatment value, while no clear decrease was observed in a chronically exposed subject. In 3 mercury cases, DMSA increased daily mercury urinary excretion 1.5-, 2.8- and 8.4-fold, respectively, while blood mercury concentrations remained below detection limits. No serious side effects were observed and 3 weeks after administration of the drug the clinical condition of all subjects was either stable or improved. These results indicate the efficacy of DMSA for lead poisoning in humans and provide a rationale for further investigating its usefulness in mercury and arsenic poisoning cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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