Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Since penicillamine is taken in different ways for different medical problems, it is very important that you understand exactly why you are taking this medicine and how to take it. See below for information on specific medical problems. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

For patients taking this medicine to prevent kidney stones:

  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals) and at least 1 hour before or after any other food, milk, or medicine.
  • You should drink 2 full glasses (8 ounces each) of water at bedtime and another 2 full glasses (8 ounces each) during the night.
  • It is very important that you follow any special instructions from your doctor, such as following a low-methionine diet. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

For patients taking this medicine for rheumatoid arthritis :

  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals) and at least 1 hour before or after any other food, milk, or medicine.
  • After you begin taking this medicine, 2 to 3 months may pass before you feel its effects. It is very important that you keep taking the medicine, even if you do not feel better, in order to give it time to work.

For patients taking this medicine for Wilson's disease :

  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals).
  • It is very important that you follow any special instructions from your doctor, such as following a low-copper diet. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
  • After you begin taking this medicine, 1 to 3 months may pass before you notice any improvement in your condition.

For patients taking this medicine for lead poisoning :

  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach (2 hours before meals or at least 3 hours after meals).

For all patients:

  • Take this medicine regularly as directed. Do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor, since stopping the medicine and then restarting it may increase the possibility of side effects.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (capsules or tablets):
    • For Wilson's disease (too much copper in the body):
      • Adults and teenagers—At first, 250 milligrams (mg) four times a day. After a while your doctor may need to increase the dose, depending on the amount of copper in your urine. Most people do not need more than 2000 mg a day (two 250-mg capsules or tablets four times a day).
      • Children (older than 6 months of age)—At first, 250 mg a day. After a while your doctor may need to increase the dose, depending on the amount of copper in your urine. Older children may need the same dose as adults.
    • For rheumatoid arthritis:
      • Adults—At first, 125 or 250 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase the dose after a few months, depending on how well the medicine is working and whether it causes any side effects. The largest dose is not more than 1500 mg a day (two 250-mg capsules or tablets three times a day).
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For preventing kidney stones:
      • Adults—At first, 500 mg (two 250-mg capsules or tablets) four times a day. After a while your doctor may need to change the dose, depending on the results of your urine tests. Some people may need as much as 4000 mg a day (four 250-mg capsules or tablets four times a day).
      • Children—The dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 7.5 mg per kilogram (kg) (about 3.5 mg per pound) of body weight four times a day. After a while your doctor may need to change the dose, depending on the results of your urine tests.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.