British anti-Lewisite
By Domingo Tabangcura, Jr. and G. Patrick Daubert, MD
Molecule of the Month - May 2005


British anti-Lewisite (BAL; dimercaprol; 2,3-dimercaptopropanol) has been in use in the medical community for over 60 years. It is most commonly used as a chelator (remove a heavy metal from the body) in the treatment of poisoning from arsenic, mercury, lead, and gold. It is also well-known for its role in World War II (WWII) as an antidote to the chemical warfare agent Lewisite (2-chlorovinyldichloroarsine). Although other chelators have now been developed with less toxicity, British anti-Lewisite maintains a prominent role in the treatment of various medical conditions.


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