Chemical: Drug

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PharmGKB contains no Clinical Variants that meet the highest level of criteria.

To see more Clinical Variants with lower levels of criteria, click the button at the bottom of the page.

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The table below contains information about pharmacogenomic variants on PharmGKB. Please follow the link in the "Variant" column for more information about a particular variant. Each link in the "Variant" column leads to the corresponding PharmGKB Variant Page. The Variant Page contains summary data, including PharmGKB manually curated information about variant-drug pairs based on individual PubMed publications. The PMIDs for these PubMed publications can be found on the Variant Page.

The tags in the first column of the table indicate what type of information can be found on the corresponding Variant Page.

Links in the "Gene" column lead to PharmGKB Gene Pages.

List of all variant annotations for dimercaprol

Gene ? Variant?
Alternate Names ? Chemicals ? Alleles ?
(+ chr strand)
Function ? Amino Acid?
No VIP available CA VA G6PD A- 202A_376G N/A N/A N/A
No VIP available CA No VIP available G6PD B (wildtype) N/A N/A N/A
Alleles, Functions, and Amino Acid Translations are all sourced from dbSNP 147


Generic Names
  • 2,3-dimercapro
  • 2,3-dimercaptopropanol
  • bal
  • british anti-lewisite
Trade Names
  • Bal In Oil Injection
  • Dimercaprol
Brand Mixture Names

PharmGKB Accession Id





Dimercaprol is a traditional chelating agent developed by British biochemists at Oxford University during World War II. It was developed as an experimental antidote against the arsenic-based poison gas Lewisite. It has been used clinically since 1949 in arsenic, cadmium and mercury poisoning. In addition, it has in the past been used for the treatment of Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder in which the body tends to retain copper. Dimercaprol is a potentially toxic drug, and its use may be accompanied by multiple side effects.

Source: Drug Bank


For the treatment of arsenic, gold and mercury poisoning. Indicated in acute lead poisoning when used concomitantly with edetate calcium disodium (DB00974).

Source: Drug Bank

Other Vocabularies

Information pulled from DrugBank has not been reviewed by PharmGKB.

Pharmacology, Interactions, and Contraindications

Mechanism of Action

The sulfhydryl groups of dimercaprol form complexes with certain heavy metals thus preventing or reversing the metallic binding of sulfhydryl-containing enzymes. The complex is excreted in the urine.

Source: Drug Bank


Due to its oily nature, dimercaprol is not absorbed orally and its administration requires deep intra-muscular injection that is extremely painful and allergenic. It was found to mobilize and relocate lead to the brain, increasing its neurotoxic effects. Although treatment with dimercaprol increases the excretion of cadmium, there is a concomitant increase in renal cadmium concentration, so its use should be avoided in cases of cadmium toxicity.

Source: Drug Bank

Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Elimination & Toxicity


After intra-muscular injection.

Source: Drug Bank


The drug has a short half life.

Source: Drug Bank


The intramuscular LD50 in rats is approximately 105 mg/kg; intraperitoneally 140 mg/kg. The intraperitoneal LD80 in mice is approximately 125 mg/kg. Dimercaprol has been shown in animal experiments to increase brain deposition of arsenite, organic mercury compounds and increase the toxicity of cadmium and lead. Dimercaprol has been shown to induce seizure in animal studies and also is nephrotoxic.

Source: Drug Bank

Route of Elimination


Source: Drug Bank

Chemical Properties

Chemical Formula


Source: Drug Bank

Canonical SMILES


Source: Drug Bank

Average Molecular Weight


Source: Drug Bank

Monoisotopic Molecular Weight


Source: Drug Bank



Source: Drug Bank

InChI String


Source: Drug Bank

Genes that are associated with this drug in PharmGKB's database based on (1) variant annotations, (2) literature review, (3) pathways or (4) information automatically retrieved from DrugBank, depending on the "evidence" and "source" listed below.

Curated Information ?

No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available CA VA No VIP available No VIP available
No related drugs are available.

Curated Information ?

Relationships from National Drug File - Reference Terminology (NDF-RT)

May Treat
Contraindicated With

Publications related to dimercaprol: 1

No Dosing Guideline available No Drug Label available CA VA No VIP available No VIP available
Hemolysis during BAL chelation therapy for high blood lead levels in two G6PD deficient children. Clinical pediatrics. 1978. Janakiraman N, et al. PubMed


National Drug Code Directory:
KEGG Compound:
KEGG Drug:
PubChem Compound:
PubChem Substance:
FDA Drug Label at DailyMed:

Clinical Trials

These are trials that mention dimercaprol and are related to either pharmacogenetics or pharmacogenomics.

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NURSA Datasets

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No NURSA datasets available.

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Sources for PharmGKB drug information: DrugBank, PubChem.