GEORGE J. BREWER, M.D.; GRETCHEN M. HILL, Ph.D.; ANANDA S. PRASAD, M.D., Ph.D.; ZAFRALLAH T. COSSACK, Ph.D.; PARVIZ RABBANI, Ph.D.
Wilson's disease is an inherited disorder of copper accumulation that is fatal if untreated. Because penicillamine, the established treatment, is toxic in a substantial number of patients, we studied the efficacy of zinc treatment. We induced a negative or neutral copper balance in five out of five patients with Wilson's disease who were receiving no therapy other than zinc. Zinc acetate was given every 4 hours during the day, and the patient was not allowed to eat for 1 hour before and 1 hour after each dose. Oral zinc therapy, used according to our regimen, may now be considered in the treatment of patients with penicillamine intolerance. However, it is premature to convert patients to zinc therapy if they tolerate penicillamine well. The efficacy of zinc therapy in the initial removal of the copper burden in acutely ill patients with Wilson's disease has not yet been evaluated.
BREWER GJ, HILL GM, PRASAD AS, et al. Oral Zinc Therapy for Wilson's Disease. Ann Intern Med. 1983;99:314–320. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-99-3-314
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(3):314-320.
Encephalopathy, Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease, Neurology.
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