This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Dimercaprol was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 06/05/1946 during the Second World War as an antidote for lewisite, an arsenic-based chemical warfare agent.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Dimercaprol contains special parts known as sulfhydryl groups that bind to harmful metals in your body. This prevents these metals from attaching to enzymes with similar sulfhydryl groups, which are essential substances in your body. Once attached, your body eliminates this combination of metal and dimercaprol, effectively treating heavy metal poisoning.

Uses of undefined

Dimercaprol is an effective antidote for treating arsenic, gold, and mercury poisoning, as well as acute lead poisoning as an adjunct with other treatments. This injection is especially useful for acute poisoning caused by mercury salts if you reach the hospital within one or two hours of mercury poisoning. However, it's not very effective for chronic mercury poisoning. Treatment is most successful when started shortly after metal exposure.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Dimercaprol  is available as a 100mg injection for deep intramuscular use (injected deep into your muscle) by your healthcare provider. Your physician will decide the correct dosage and duration based on age, body weight, and disease condition.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Dimercaprol is not advised for iron, cadmium, or selenium poisoning since it can produce compounds that are more poisonous than the metals themselves, potentially resulting in kidney damage. It is also not recommended if you have severe liver issues except in cases of post-arsenic jaundice. Additionally, if you have a peanut allergy, inform your doctor because this injection contains peanut oil. Engaging in transparent communication with your doctor regarding your medical history and medications is crucial to ensure the safe and proper use of dimercaprol.


During your dimercaprol treatment, it is vital to prioritise your safety. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using this medication. Additionally, inform your physician about any existing lung or liver conditions, as dimercaprol may pose risks. Avoid alcohol consumption while undergoing treatment, as it can harm your liver. If you experience dizziness, refrain from driving or operating machinery. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance to ensure your well-being throughout the course of your treatment.

Side Effects

Dimercaprol can cause some side effects like any other drug. When you receive this injection, your blood pressure might increase, and your heart may beat faster. The increase in blood pressure and heart rate is usually related to the injection amount you receive. If you get a larger dose than necessary, you might experience some temporary symptoms. These can include feeling nauseous and sometimes even vomiting, having a headache, or sensing a burning feeling in your lips, mouth, and throat. If you ever experience any of these, make sure to let your healthcare provider know. They can adjust your treatment to make you more comfortable.

Word Of Advice

During the treatment with dimercaprol for kids, there is a chance of having a fever during the treatment which subsides overtime. The medication is usually eliminated through bile, making it safe for kidney disease patients. The duration of treatment varies based on your response, ranging from two to seven days, so prompt initiation is crucial. If you encounter any issues, consult your doctor immediately and heed their advice.

To safeguard your kidneys during dimercaprol therapy, your doctor might prescribe a urinary alkalizer to maintain a balanced urine pH. This helps preserve kidney function. Your healthcare team will monitor factors like blood and urine levels, symptom improvement, and potential side effects. It's vital to closely follow your doctor's instructions as they keep a close watch on these factors to ensure the treatment's effectiveness and your kidney's safety. Stay informed and maintain open communication with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Taylor Pharmaceuticals, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), [Revised on Oct 2006] [Accessed on 11th Oct 2023]
  2. Dawn L, et al., Dimercaprol; Treasure Island (FL); National Library of Medicine; Published on 29/08/2022; Accessed on 11/10/2023;
  3. KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Chelating agents, 8th edition, 2019, 964-965
  4. Goodman & Gilman’s, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Environmental Toxicology: Carcinogens and Heavy Metals, 2018, 131


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice. It is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.