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Penicillamine for Kidney Stones

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
penicillamine Cuprimine, Depen

How It Works

Penicillamine helps keep cystine dissolved in the urine, which makes cystine kidney stones less likely to form.

Why It Is Used

Penicillamine may be used to prevent kidney stones in people who have high levels of cystine in their urine.

How Well It Works

Penicillamine may help prevent the formation of cystine kidney stones.1

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Hives.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Muscle weakness or tingling.
  • Skin rash and itching.
  • Sore throat or coughing and wheezing not caused by a cold.
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Take this medicine on an empty stomach.

Make sure you get enough water when taking this medicine. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine light yellow or clear like water (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day). Drinking extra water before bed and during the night can reduce the amount of medicine you need to prevent kidney stones.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant. If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy.

Checkups

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Citations

  1. Ferrandino MN, et al. (2012). Evaluation and medical management of urinary lithiasis. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1287–1323. Philadelphia: Saunders.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Last Revised May 2, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 02, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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