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Learn more about Dimercaprol

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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 59-52-9
ATC code V03AB09
PubChem 3080
Chemical data
Formula C3H8OS2
Mol. weight 124.227
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Half life  ?
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status
Routes  ?
Image:Nfpa h2.png Image:Nfpa f1.png Image:Nfpa r0.png

Dimercaprol (INN) or British anti-Lewisite (abbreviated BAL), is a compound developed by British biochemists at Oxford University during World War II. It was developed secretly as an antidote for Lewisite, the now-obsolete arsenic-based chemical warfare agent. Today, it is used medically in treatment of arsenic, mercury and lead, and other heavy metal poisoning. In addition, it is used for the treatment of Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder in which the body tends to retain copper.

[edit] Biochemical function

Heavy metals act by chemically reacting with adjacent sulfhydryl residues on metabolic enzymes, creating a chelate complex that inhibits the affected enzyme's activity. Dimercaprol competes with the sulfhydryl groups for binding the metal ion, which is then excreted in the urine.

Dimercaprol is itself toxic, with a narrow therapeutic index and a tendency to concentrate arsenic in some organs. Other drawbacks include the need to administer it by painful intramuscular injection.

[edit] See also

[edit] References



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