What is Wilson’s Disease?

Wilson’s disease is a rare disease and only affects about 1 in 30,000 people around the world. Normally, copper is absorbed through food and the liver helps get rid of the excess, but in people with Wilson’s disease, the liver doesn’t eliminate extra copper as it should. This causes copper to build up in the liver, brain, and other organs, which can cause life-threatening damage over time.

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CUPRIMINE® (Penicillamine) Capsules are used to treat Wilson's disease (a disease where there is too much copper in the body), cystinuria (a disease where an excess amount of certain proteins are in the urine) and in patients with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis who have not had a response to other therapy. Not enough evidence is available to see an effect on treatment of ankylosing spondylitis.


WARNING: You should be under the close supervision of your doctor when you are taking CUPRIMINE®. Report any side effects promptly to your doctor.

  • Do not take CUPRIMINE® if you are pregnant unless you are taking CUPRIMINE® to treat Wilson’s disease (too much copper in the body) or cystinuria (too much protein in the urine). Mothers on therapy with penicillamine should not nurse their infants.
  • CUPRIMINE® can cause serious blood disorders, and some can be fatal. If you have had aplastic anemia (anemia due to lack of all blood cells) or agranulocytosis (lack of certain white blood cells) and it was related to taking CUPRIMINE®, you should not take it again.
  • CUPRIMINE® can cause kidney damage and should not be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis if you have a history of kidney disease. If you take CUPRIMINE® to treat cystinuria, routine analysis of your urine may be necessary and you should have an x-ray every year to check for kidney stones.
  • CUPRIMINE® can be associated with fatalities due to other diseases such as Goodpasture’s syndrome (an immune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys) and myasthenia gravis (an immune disease affecting the muscles). Your doctor may order blood analysis on a regular basis.
  • CUPRIMINE® can affect how your liver works. Tests to determine how your liver is working should be done regularly.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you experience: blood in your urine, unexplained cough or wheezing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, double vision, watery blisters on the skin or other rash, fever, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, or diminished taste.
  • CUPRIMINE® is a drug that has many side effects, and some can be fatal. Other side effects that can occur include serious lung problems, nervous system symptoms, diseases of the skin and mucous membranes known as pemphigus, allergic reactions (including a condition known as drug fever as well as skin rashes), mouth ulcers, and loss of taste. Talk to your doctor if you experience side effects and also about possible side effects that could occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for product labeling written for professionals for a full list of potential adverse reactions.
  • Tell your doctor about all other medicines (prescription and over-the-counter, including vitamins and herbal supplements) that you are taking. Some medicines (such as gold therapy, antimalarial or cancer drugs, oxyphenbutazone or phenylbutazone) should not be used with CUPRIMINE® because they also may cause serious liver and kidney side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here to see full Prescribing Information for CUPRIMINE® capsules.


SYPRINE® (trientine hydrochloride) is used to treat Wilson's disease in patients who cannot take the medication known as penicillamine. Wilson's disease is a condition where the body stores too much copper. SYPRINE® is not recommended to treat cystinuria (a condition where a protein known as cystine is excreted into the urine), rheumatoid arthritis, or a disease affecting the bile ducts in the liver known as biliary cirrhosis.



  • Do not take SYPRINE® if you are allergic to it or any parts of the formulation.
  • You should remain under regular medical supervision the entire time you are taking SYPRINE®. Your doctor should regularly check to see if you have iron deficiency anemia. This is particularly important for women.
  • Take SYPRINE® on an empty stomach, at least one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal and at least one hour apart from any other drug, food, or milk. The capsules should be swallowed whole with water and should not be opened or chewed. For the first month of treatment, take your temperature every night, and report any symptom such as fever or skin rash to your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are nursing.
  • The following adverse reactions have been reported from a clinical study: iron deficiency and a condition affecting the immune system known as systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, the following adverse reactions have been reported in marketed use: abnormal or uncontrolled muscle contractions, muscle spasm and an immune disease affecting muscles known as myasthenia gravis.
  • Do not take mineral supplements because they may block the absorption of SYPRINE®.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information for SYPRINE® Capsules.