The major focus of detoxification for most people involves the liver and digestive system but astute patients look further to what is known as metabolic detoxification and chelation to reduce toxins in the organs, soft tissue, nerve and muscle tissue. One such chelator is DMPS.
What is DMPS? It is a chelator named Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid that binds to specific metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic and forms stable complexes allowing them to be eliminated by the body. It may be administered by prescription only. It is used world wide for mercury poisoning by doctors and hospitals. Additionally, a group of doctors who practice alternative medicine administer the substance to reduce heavy metal burden in patients who suffer from chronic illness. It may be taken by IV or oral forms, however oral forms are usually reserved for children. More recently the transdermal form was introduced. DMPS does not strip minerals from the body but weakly bonds to zinc and copper. It may also reduce vitamin B-6. There are no known interactions between DMPS and any pharmaceutical, vitamin, mineral or herbal formulations. It is advised not to take minerals within two hours of oral administration.
DMPS is created through a series of complex chemical reactions which has very low toxicity systemically and is generally well tolerated with long term use. One should not use the chelator if pregnant or if intention is to get pregnant.
Symptoms may include mild itching, nausea, dizziness, fever, weakness, hives, mucous membrane reactions, or shivering. In the case of inflammation of the mucous membranes, one should immediately discontinue the use of DMPS.
Patients who suffer chronic illness often turn to doctors who treat heavy metal burden in an effort to reduce symptoms. Typically there is an event or history of exposure that makes this a candidate for consideration. The duration of treatment typically is ten IVs once or twice per week for a total of 10 treatments and then levels are retested to monitor progress. The ability to detoxify efficiently has a great deal to do with liver function and the ability to package up toxins in the pathway of Phase I detoxification. Substances known as xenobiotics and metals can impair this pathway, making it extremely difficult to make progress. DMPS is mainly detoxified through the kidney, at approximately 90%. The remainder is eliminated through the bile and GI tract. If a patient has a history of poor nutrition, some of the circulating metals may be reabsorbed through the intestinal wall. The longest reported continuous use of DMPS was four and one half years in some literature. In some clinics oral chelation is reserved for children.
There has been a great deal of misinformation about DMPS and safety. One should visit the official FDA website for proper information on its status at http://www.fda.gov