CUPRIMINE® (penicillamine) is a type of medicine called a copper-chelating (pronounced “key-lating”) agent.1 This means the medication binds to copper in body tissues where it has built up and carries it into the bloodstream, which carries the bound copper to the kidneys, which filter it into the urine.2
- Wilson’s disease (WD) may be managed effectively when you take your medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s advice on diet and other health issues
- If you feel better once you start taking your medications, that’s great! It means they’re working. It does not mean your disease is cured and you can stop taking the drugs, because WD is a chronic condition that must be managed throughout your lifespan3
CUPRIMINE® may be right for you if you have been diagnosed with WD, whether or not you have symptoms.1 Consult your healthcare professional and tell him or her about any history of kidney disease or if you’re pregnant or nursing or planning to become pregnant. You should not take CUPRIMINE® if you have ever had aplastic anemia (anemia due to lack of all blood cells) or agranulocytosis (lack of certain white blood cells) and it was related to taking CUPRIMINE®.1
Penicillamine, the active ingredient in CUPRIMINE®, has been shown to improve neurological symptoms (such as tremor and shakiness), cause Kayser-Fleischer rings to fade, and gradually lessen liver symptoms and psychic disturbances. Noticeable improvement may not occur for 1–3 months. In patients with no WD signs or symptoms, disease effects appear to be prevented indefinitely if daily treatment with CUPRIMINE® is continued.1
Don’t forget, it is very important to take CUPRIMINE® and all your other medications as prescribed. Your doctor will determine the right dose for you, which may be between 0.75 and 1.5 g of medicine per day, and which you’ll take for at least 3 months. After that, your doctor may reduce your dose or make other changes to your medication regimen based on how your body responds.1 Be sure to tell your doctor about any side effects while you’re taking CUPRIMINE® or any other medicines.
If your doctor prescribes CUPRIMINE®, just remember it’s one of the most important tools you have to ensure your own long-term health!
For patients with WD, in the absence of any drug reaction, a dose between 0.75 and 1.5 g that results in an initial 24-hour excretion of copper in the urine of over 2 mg should be continued for about 3 months. Adequately treated patients will usually have less than 10 μg free copper/dL of serum. It is seldom necessary to exceed a dosage of 2 g/d. In patients who cannot tolerate as much as 1 g/d initially, initiating dosage with 250 mg/d and increasing gradually to the requisite amount gives closer control of the effects of the drug and may help to reduce the incidence of adverse reactions.1