Determination and metabolism of dithiol chelating agents. XVI: Pharmacokinetics of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonate after intravenous administration to human volunteers

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Feb;268(2):662-8.


The pharmacokinetics of 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate (DMPS), an effective chelating agent for mercury, were determined in five healthy adults after i.v. administration of 3.0 mg/kg of DMPS. DMPS is rapidly transformed to disulfide forms; 15 min after administration, only 12% of the total DMPS detected in blood was present as the parent drug. DMPS and its metabolites were eliminated primarily by the kidneys. By 96 hr after administration, 12% of the total DMPS found in the urine was excreted as the parent drug (10% of the administered dose) and 88% was excreted as disulfide metabolites (74% of the administered dose). The disposition of parent drug was described by a biexponential equation with an elimination half-life of 1.8 hr. By contrast, the elimination half-life of total DMPS was 20 hr. The oral bioavailability of the parent drug was found in a separate study to be 39%. Mercury excretion in healthy volunteers correlated well with the urinary excretion of both the parent drug (r2 = .94) and the disulfide metabolites (r2 = .96).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Unithiol / administration & dosage
  • Unithiol / pharmacokinetics*


  • Unithiol