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Succimer (By mouth)

Succimer (SUX-i-mer)

Treats lead poisoning.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to succimer.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • If you cannot swallow the capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of soft food such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing. You can also pour the medicine beads into a spoon, swallow the beads, and then drink some fruit drink.
  • Most people will use this medicine for a few weeks. If your symptoms come back after you stop using the medicine, you might need to wait a short time and then use the medicine again for a few weeks.
  • The amount of medicine you take each day might change as your treatment proceeds. Make sure you understand how much medicine to take each day and when to take it.
  • Drink plenty of water while you are using this medicine. Most people should drink 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Ask your doctor if that is a proper amount of water for you.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using any other medicines to lower the amount of metal in your body, such as penicillamine (Cuprimine®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or blood problems.
  • You must also get rid of the lead or other heavy metal that made you sick. Find out how you have been exposed to a heavy metal. This medicine will not protect you from a heavy metal that you are still being exposed to. Ask your health caregiver about the best ways to get rid of or avoid the heavy metal that caused the problem.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding. You probably should not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine, because the metal in your body and the medicine will both be in your breast milk.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments. Your doctor will also need to check your blood after you stop using the medicine, to make sure the metal is gone from your body.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever used succimer before, especially if you had any side effects to it.
  • For people who have diabetes: This medicine may affect the results of some urine tests for ketones (such as Ketostix®). Ask your doctor what kind of ketone test you should use while you are using succimer.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Seizures, trouble breathing, clumsiness.
  • Skin rash or blisters.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness, sleepiness.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 10/6/2020

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