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Editorials |

Penicillamine: Twenty-Five Years Later

JOHN C. CRAWHALL, M.D., PH.D.
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Department of Medicine, McGill University, and Royal Victoria Hospital; Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(2):367-368. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-2-367
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It has been 25 years since the first patient was given penicillamine for the treatment of Wilson's disease. The International Symposium on Penicillamine, recently held in Miami, reviewed the present scope of its therapeutic uses. Penicillamine remains the preferred treatment for Wilson's disease, with only one other drug, triethylethylene tetramine dihydrochloride, as a second line of treatment. Less information is available on penicillamine as a chelating agent for other metals, but in limited applications it seems to have some value in the treatment of lead poisoning and mercury poisoning.

In 1962, Crawhall and colleagues (1) introduced use of penicillamine for

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