Edetate disodium (EDTA)

    • What type of medicine is this?

    • This medicine is only available to you when your healthcare provider prescribes it.

      Edetate disodium is helpful in the treatment of specific conditions. They include:

      • When you have been poisoned by heavy metals in your environment (e.g. food, water, air), including metals such as lead or iron.
      • To treat abnormal heart rhythms caused by digoxin poisoning.
      • Your healthcare provider may use it to treat life-threatening levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) or apply it to your eyes to remove excess calcium during an eye operation.

      Your healthcare provider may also prescribe this medicine for other conditions when they think it is best for you.

    • What is the medicine used for?

    • Edetate disodium is a type of drug that treats poisoning from metals such as lead, calcium, copper and iron. The poisonous substances may come from contaminated food, water or polluted air. It may also be used in poisoning caused by digoxin, a medicine used to treat various heart conditions. This medicine reacts with these metals and medicines to neutralize them by forming a different substance that does not have a poisonous or damaging effect on the body.

      This medicine is injected into the vein or a muscle. This medicine is prescription-only and does not work for all poisons.

    • How to take this medicine?

      • Edetate disodium is available as an injection. Your healthcare provider will usually inject this medicine into your blood or muscle.
      • It is also available as an eye-drop.
      • This medicine is usually administered to you by a healthcare provider.
    • What are the side-effects?

    • You may experience some side-effects while taking this medicine. They usually do not last for a long time. They include:

      • You may feel like vomiting and vomit.
      • You may feel pain or redness at the place where you were given the injection.
      • You may pass frequent watery or soft stools.
      • You may find it difficult to breathe normally.
      • You may experience a headache.
      • You may also experience muscle pain.
    • What to know before taking this medicine?

    • Before you take this medicine, inform your healthcare provider:

      • If you have any kidney or heart disease.
      • If you are currently using some other medications, especially insulin, blood-thinning drugs (e.g. warfarin) or water pills (diuretics).
      • If you have any serious head injury.
      • If you have been told that you have a low level of the mineral potassium in your blood.