1 What is Zn-DTPA?

Brand: Zn-DTPA

Generic: Pentetate Zinc Trisodium

Zn-DTPA is used for the removal of harmful substances, such as plutonium, americium, or curium from your body. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Zn-DTPA, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

This drug is not anticipated to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults. It is still unknown whether this drug works exactly the same way in younger adults or if it causes different side effects or problems in older people.

Data comparing the use of pentetate zinc trisodium in the elderly with use in other age groups are still unavailable. Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate.

Infant risk is still undetermined when taking this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of this drug before breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as asthma, or kidney disease.

3 Proper Usage

To use Zn-DTPA properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. It is recommended to increase fluid intake and urine out to flush out the harmful substances that may accumulate in your bladder while taking this drug.

The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed.

The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. 1 gram once a day is given to aid in the removal of harmful substances in adults breathing in the harmful substances.

Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional. The dose in children is usually 14 milligrams per kilogram once a day. Call your healthcare professional for instructions if you miss a dose.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Zn-DTPA, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. The following measures should be done to prevent radiation contamination of other persons or the environment.

  • A normal toilet must be used instead of a urinal and it must be flushed several times after each use.
  • Any spilled urine should completely be cleaned up with a tissue and flushed away.
  • The hands must be washed thoroughly with soap after urinating or a bowel movement.
  • Clothes and linens soiled with urine, feces or blood should be washed immediately and separately from other clothes.
  • Swallowing any solid substances that may be coughed up should be avoided.
  • Solid substances should be disposed in the sink or toilet and flushed several times if put in toilet or flush sink by washing hands thoroughly with soap after disposal.
  • Urine, feces, and substances coughed up by children should be handled with extra care to prevent any additional exposure to the caregiver or to the child.
  • Consult with your healthcare professional about the duration you must formula feed your baby and the proper disposal of the breast milk containing harmful substances if you are breastfeeding your baby.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Zn-DTPA. Unwanted effects such as leukemia or bladder cancer may have delayed onset from months or years after the drug is used. 

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.