Last reviewed 01/2018

Penicillamine is a product of penicillin which chelates copper and other metals.

It is used in the treatment of Wilson's disease, in the emergency treatment of lead and copper poisoning, and as a second line disease modifying drug in active progressive rheumatoid arthritis and systemic sclerosis.

Side effects are common and include hypersensitivity reactions, mouth ulcers, skin reactions, nausea and anorexia, oedema, proteinuria and blood dyscrasias including agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and aplastic anaemia.

The nature of the side effects dictates that urinalysis and FBC's including platelet counts should be carried out every 1-2 weeks for the first 2 months and then every month.