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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Syprine

Generic Name: trientine (Pronunciation: TRYE en teen)

What is trientine (Syprine)?

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

Trientine is used to treat Wilson's disease in people who cannot take penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen).

Wilson's disease is a genetic metabolic defect that causes excess copper to build up in the body.

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

What are the possible side effects of trientine (Syprine)?

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.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • cough, trouble breathing;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness;
  • tired feeling, muscle or joint pain, swollen glands;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • muscle weakness, dropping eyelids, double vision; or
  • problems with speech, balance, walking, lifting, chewing, or swallowing;

Less serious side effects include:

  • skin rash;
  • muscle spasm or contractions;
  • heartburn;
  • stomach pain;
  • loss of appetite; or
  • skin flaking, cracking, or thickening;

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 trientine (Syprine)?

Before using trientine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis, a kidney or bladder condition called cystinuria, or a liver condition called biliary cirrhosis.

Take the trientine capsule with water. Do not take trientine with milk.

Take trientine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal or snack or taking any other medicines.

Do not chew or open a trientine capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

Do not use a capsule that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a broken capsule can be dangerous if it gets on your skin. If skin contact occurs, rinse the area thoroughly with plain water. Watch for signs of skin irritation and call your doctor if you develop a rash.

You may need to take your temperature every night for at least the first month of treatment with trientine. Call your doctor if you have a fever.

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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