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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: BAL In Oil

Generic Name: dimercaprol (Pronunciation: DYE mer KAP rol)

What is dimercaprol (BAL In Oil)?

Dimercaprol is a chelating (KEE-late-ing) agent. A chelating agent is capable of removing a heavy metal, such as lead or mercury, from the blood.

Dimercaprol is used to treat poisoning with arsenic, gold, or mercury. It is also used together with another medication called edetate disodium (EDTA) to treat lead poisoning.

Dimercaprol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of dimercaprol (BAL In Oil)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast heart rate, feeling anxious or restless;
  • pain or tightness in your throat, chest, or hands;
  • burning sensation of your throat, mouth, or lips; or
  • burning sensation in your penis.

Less serious side effects include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  • numbness or tingling (especially around your mouth);
  • headache;
  • eye redness, swelling, or watering;
  • twitching of your eyelid;
  • runny nose;
  • increased sweating;
  • mild fever; or
  • pain, redness, or swelling where the needle is placed.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about dimercaprol (BAL In Oil)?

If possible, before you receive dimercaprol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver or kidney disease.

Dimercaprol may contain peanut oil. Tell your caregivers if you have a peanut allergy.

In a poisoning situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

Dimercaprol is most effective when used within 1 or 2 hours after a poisoning. It may not be as effective in treating long-term poisoning.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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