Health Guide

Heavy metal chelators (By injection)

Treats heavy metal poisoning. May also be used to treat very high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) or to control irregular heart beats due to digitalis poisoning.

Brand Name(s):

Calcium Disodium Versenate

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not be given this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to this medicine, or if you have severe kidney disease or hepatitis (a liver disease). You should not be given this medicine if you produce too little urine (anuria).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins or muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You might need to drink extra water while you are using this medicine.

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, or if you are also using a steroid medicine, such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have diabetes or a potassium deficiency. Make sure your doctor knows if you have heart disease or kidney disease, or if you have a seizure disorder.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that might be dangerous if you are not alert after you have been given this medicine.
  • After you have received this medicine, you may want to remain lying down for a short while to help prevent dizziness.
  • Tell your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you stop producing urine for more than 12 hours.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Some people have too much heavy metal in their bodies because they were exposed to it, such as in the home or at work. The metal could still be in their surroundings. If this is your situation, then you must get rid of the metal or learn how to protect yourself. This medicine will not protect you from a heavy metal to which you are still being exposed. Find out how you were exposed. Ask your health caregiver about the best ways to get rid of or avoid the heavy metal that caused the problem.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Decrease or increase in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Uneven heart beat.

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

  • Dry, flaky, or itchy skin.
  • Feeling very thirsty.
  • Feeling unusually tired or weak.
  • Headache.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
  • Numbness or tingling around your mouth of lips.
  • Pain, redness, burning, swelling, or itching where the needle is placed.
  • Sneezing, stuffy nose, or teary eyes.

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: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved