Trientine: Uses & Side Effects

Trientine is a chelating (KEE-late-ing) agent. A chelating agent works by removing a heavy metal (such as lead, mercury, or copper) from the blood.

Wilson’s disease is a genetic metabolic defect that causes excess copper to build up in the body.

Trientine is used to treat this inherited condition in people who cannot take penicillamine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to trientine.

To make sure trientine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • anemia (low red blood cells); or
  • a liver condition called biliary cirrhosis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether trientine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether trientine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever or skin rash;
  • problems with speech, balance, walking, lifting, chewing, or swallowing;
  • muscle pain or stiffness;
  • muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, double vision; or
  • symptoms of lupus (an autoimmune disorder)–joint pain or swelling, headaches, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, skin sores, or numbness, cold feeling, or pale appearance of your fingers or toes.

Common side effects may include:

  • heartburn, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • black, tarry stools;
  • general ill feeling;
  • mouth sores; or
  • skin flaking, cracking, or thickening.


Keywords: trientine; Syprine.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.