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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
Supplementation Possibly Helpful, but Take at a Different Time of Day
Long-term use of penicillamine can cause zinc deficiency.3However, zinc can impair penicillamine absorption, so do not take zinc supplements during the 2 hours before or after your penicillamine dose.4
Take at a Different Time of Day
Penicillamine attaches to the mineral iron, which impairs the absorption of both substances.5,6 The solution: If you need iron supplements, do not take them during the 2 hours before or after your penicillamine dose.
Last reviewedSeptember 2014by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.