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Wilson Disease - Treatment and Management

Page history last edited by Aaron Nehamkin 14 years, 4 months ago

Treatment and Management of Wilson Disease:


What can be done to stop this?



Treatment of Wilson Disease continues throughout the life of the patient.  One of two drugs is administered: D-penicillamine or trientine hydrochloride.  Both drugs bind to copper and eliminate the deposits through urine. 

Drugs that help fight Wilson Disease are called chelating agents; chelating agents are medications which help the organs release copper into the bloodstream.  The blood is then filtered by the kidneys and the excess copper leaves the body through the urine. 

Zinc acetate also assists in treatment of Wilson Disease.  Zinc is a very effective treatment because it binds copper to the intestinal cells until it is removed through the stool.  Zinc has no toxic side effects, but it works slowly compared to other treatments; it takes approximately four to eight months for the copper to be removed from the system.


                                                                                           Healthy Person                                                                                                       Person with Wilson Disease

                                                                                  Person with Zinc Therapy                                                                                                Person with Chelator Therapy

Photos from http://www.hcforum.fr/eurowilson/?page=0&sousPage=0&langue=en


A low copper diet can also be a treatment of Wilson Disease.  The patients are instructed to drink distilled water and keep copper intake below 1 milligram per day.[1]Foods like organ meats, chocolate, mushrooms and nuts should not be eaten. Diet can be hard to manage for vegetarians, because their diets are high in copper.[2] List of copper amounts in various foods








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  1. Hunt, Katherine S., MS. "Wilson disease." Gale Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders. Ed. Brigham Narins. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005. Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 October 2009
  2. "Diet and Nutrition." Wilson Disease Association. Web. 1 Nov 2009. .

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