DMSA is an abbreviation for 2, 3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid. It is also marketed under the trade names of Chemet and Succimer. It is an FDA-approved drug for treatment of lead toxicity in children. DMSA chelation therapy is also an effective oral chelating agent for removing mercury from the body.
DMSA heavy metal chelation is taken orally (by mouth), and the usual adult dosage for mercury removal is 500 mg (five 100 mg capsules) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This dosage is taken three days a week for three months until a urine provocation challenge is performed to measure mercury levels. If there is still a load of mercury, then another round of DMSA is given.
The main downside to DMSA oral chelation for both adults and kids is that, because it works in the bloodstream, a high dosage has to be given for it to be effective. This can create two problems. Firstly, there may be a “retracing” or toxic crisis – the DMSA unbinds heavy metals from the tissue faster than the organs of elimination can excrete it from the body. If this happens then the body redistributes the metals into different tissue.
Secondly, the higher the dosage of the chelating agent, the more likely there will be a depletion of essential minerals like magnesium and calcium because chelating agents like DMSA also chelate minerals. It is vital – especially for children – that the amounts of DMSA be monitored on each individual child to make sure that metals are excreted safely and not just re-sequestered into different tissues. It is also vital to implement a good essential mineral formula to replenish what might be depleted in doing this heavy metal chelation.
Common side-effects of DMSA heavy metal chelation include: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and rashes. As with other chelating drugs, kidney and liver function needs to be closely monitored.