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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1997;35(6):653-5.

Urinary mercury in twelve cases of cutaneous mercurous chloride (calomel) exposure: effect of sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate (DMPS) therapy.

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Departamento de Farmacología y Toxicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Auntónoma de Nuevo León, México.



To evaluate clinical symptoms and urinary mercury before and after chelation therapy in subjects with chronic cutaneous mercurous chloride (HgCl; calomel) exposure.


Twelve women from 19-45 years who had used a facial cream which contained HgCl (5.9%) for 2 to 10 years.


Twenty-four hour urine samples were collected for basal urine mercury. All the subjects received a 5-day cycle of oral sodium 2,3 dimercaptopropane-l-sulfonate (Dimaval capsules 100 mg) 200 mg/d on an outpatient basis. The urine mercury excretion was monitored 24 hours after the first dose and 72 hours after the last dose in eight subjects.


Exanthem and tremor were detected in two of 12 subjects. The range of urine mercury was 180 to 1876 micrograms/g creatinine. A significant increase in the urinary mercury excretion was observed in the first 24 hours after beginning sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate.


Chronic topical application of 5.9% HgCl cream was associated with clinical mercurialism in two subjects and with high urinary mercury level in all the cases. Sodium 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate was effective in increasing urine mercury.

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