The drug penicillamine is primarily used to treat Wilson's disease (an inherited disorder affecting copper metabolism, causing cirrhosis and brain and eye problems) and rheumatoid arthritis.
Avoid in Cases of Wilson's Disease
When used to treat Wilson's disease, penicillamine works by removing copper from the body. Taking copper supplements while you are using penicillamine for this condition is not a good idea.
Possible Need for Supplementation
Penicillamine might increase the need for vitamin B 6.1 Taking 25 to 50 mg of supplemental B 6 daily is often recommended.2
1. Rumsby PC and Shepherd DM. The effect of penicillamine on vitamin B 6 function in man. Biochem Pharmacol 30: 3051–3053, 1981.
2. Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.
3. Multicentre Trial Group. Controlled trial of D(-) penicillamine in severe rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1: 275–280, 1973.
4. Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.
5. Campbell NR and Hasinoff BB. Iron supplements: a common cause of drug interactions. Br J Clin Pharmacol 31(3): 251–255, 1991.
6. Pronsky Z (ed.). Powers and Moore's food medication interactions, 10th ed. Pottstown, PA: Food-Medication Interactions, 1997: 182.
Last reviewed December 2015 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Last Updated: 12/15/2015
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