Overview

EDTA is a prescription medicine, given by injection into the vein (intravenously) or into the muscle (intramuscularly).

Intravenous EDTA is used to treat lead poisoning and brain damage caused by lead poisoning; to see how well therapy for suspected lead poisoning is working; to treat poisonings by radioactive materials such as plutonium, thorium, uranium, and strontium; for removing copper in patients with a genetic disease called Wilson's disease; and for reducing levels of calcium in people whose levels are too high.

EDTA is also used intravenously for heart and blood vessel conditions including irregular heartbeat due to exposure to chemicals called cardiac glycosides, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and blood circulation problems

Other intravenous uses include treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, an eye condition called macular degeneration, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and skin conditions including scleroderma and psoriasis.

EDTA is used in the muscle for lead poisoning and related brain damage.

EDTA is sometimes used as an ointment for skin irritations produced by metals such as chromium, nickel, and copper.

Eye drops containing EDTA are used to treat calcium deposits in the eye.

In foods, EDTA bound to iron is used to “fortify” grain-based products such as breakfast cereals and cereal bars. EDTA is also used to help preserve food; and to promote the color, texture, and flavor of food.

In manufacturing, EDTA is used to improve stability of some pharmaceutical products, detergents, liquid soaps, shampoos, agricultural chemical sprays, contact lens cleaners and cosmetics. It is also used in certain blood collection tubes used by medical laboratories.

How does it work ?

EDTA is a chemical that binds and holds on to (chelates) minerals and metals such as chromium, iron, lead, mercury, copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, calcium, cobalt, manganese, and magnesium. When they are bound, they can't have any effects on the body and they are removed from the body.

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