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Depen is an oral tablet made up of penicillamine, an antirheumatics drug. Depen is also known internationally as D-Penamine. You can buy this medication in a generic form (penicillamine) as well as the brand choice, Depen. Both of these options are available in 125mg and 250mg. Appearance may vary.

Depen is most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (affects joints in areas such as hands, wrists, or knees, skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves). Wilson's disease (which high levels of copper in the body cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs), and a certain disorder which causes painful kidney stones (cystinuria; pebble-like bunches of salt and mineral in the urine).

In conditions were joints are affected, penicillamine helps by decreasing the pain and inflammation. Too much copper is the body can be treat with penicillamine because it binds the copper and helps to remove it from the body. Removing the extra copper can help to improve liver function and possible mental/mood changes one might experience. When it comes to kidney stones, penicillamine helps by reducing the amount of cystine (the cause of kidney stones) in the urine.

Always follow directions given to you by your doctor as you may have to follow special instructions.

Depen is best taken:

  • By mouth (only)
  • Regularly
  • On an empty stomach
  • 1 hour prior or 2 hours following a meal
  • 1 hour apart from other medications, milk and food.

To ensure you do not miss a dose, take this medication at the same time every day; you can also use a pillbox or set a reminder to help you remember.


Tell your doctor about all drug allergies, medications, and medical conditions that have or have had in the past to determine if Depen is safe for you.

It is especially important to tell you doctor about a previous severe reaction to penicillamine such as aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis; kidney disease; and/or blood/bone marrow disorders such as thrombocytopenia.

Tell your doctor or dentist that you are on Depen before having any kind of surgery.

This product is not recommended during pregnancy. It has the potential to harm an unborn baby. In some cases, it is okay to use (if the benefit outweighs the risk); speak to your doctor if this concerns you.

It has not been established if Depen passes into breast milk; consult your doctor before nursing an infant while on Depen.

Your doctor may need to adjust your dose if you also use gold injections, medicine to treat or prevent malaria or cancer medicine.

Do not stop taking this medication before consulting your doctor.

Side Effects

Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.

Common side effects of Depen (penicillamine) may include:

decreased sense of taste; skin changes such as wrinkling or pimples; stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite; numbness or tingly feeling; ringing in your ears; or a wound that will not heal.

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Depen (penicillamine) may include:

new or worsening joint pain; muscle weakness in your arms and legs; muscle weakness in your face, drooping eyelids, double vision, trouble chewing or swallowing; new or worsening cough, fever, trouble breathing; blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing; skin rash, peeling, or watery blisters; pain or burning when you urinate, foamy or bloody urine, lower back pain; or swelling in your hands, legs, and feet;

If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.

Signs to watch for:

low blood cell count- fever, chills, tiredness, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.


How long until my condition clears up?

Below are the estimations of how long each condition will take to clear up.

Rheumatoid arthritis – 2-3 MONTHS

Wilsons disease – 1-3 MONTHS; the condition may worsen before it gets better

What should I avoid while using Depen?

Avoid taking two different medications at the same time; avoid mineral supplements; and avoid eating nuts, chocolate, molasses, liver, shellfish, mushrooms, broccoli, and cereals that are fortified with copper if you have Wilsons disease.

Will I need to get any tests done while using this medication?

You may need to get frequent urine tests done while on Depen

Will my doctor direct me to take anything else while on Depen?

You may be asked to also take a extra iron, vitamin b6, or multivitamins while on Depen.

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