My Protocol for Taking DMSA
Update on December 2006
Note: I am not saying for you to follow this protocol. I had little help in taking DMSA and was very confused trying to follow a book that told how to take it because of my concentration and memory problems. This is just a documentation of what I did. Andy Cutler has a book called Amalgam Illness that explains the protocol, though I found it hard to read when I had brain fog. There are people on the Yahoo Group Adult Metal Chelation who are chelating according to his recommendations, which includes every four hours with DMSA for a certain number of days and then taking a rest period. You may want to join the Yahoo group Adult Metal Chelation for some support in using DMSA, if you decide to use it.
The purpose of using DMSA every four hours is to cut down on mercury redistribution into the body by keeping a steady dose of DMSA in the body all the time while "on a round" of DMSA.
The original article, of how I took DMSA is below.
To Prevent Mercury Poisoning During a Dental Revision
Your ACAM doctor may prescribe DMSA to take while going through mercury removal from your teeth, even though you are not mercury poisoned. The doctor will prescribe one 500 mg. DMSA to take the day before mercury removal and one 500 mg. DMSA to take the day after mercury removal. This is done as a precaution to avoid becoming mercury poisoned while removing mercury from your teeth. If you have four dental appointments to remove mercury, you will take the DMSA before and after dental appointments on each visit.
If You Are Mercury Poisoned
When I started doing my research on detox methods, I ran into Yahoo Groups such as Adult Mercury Chelation. People on these groups discuss how they chelate (key-late) heavy metals out of their bodies. I learned a lot from these groups, however, I still worked worked with my doctor and I did not just rely on the advice of internet groups.
If you are mercury poisoned, most chelation doctors will prescribe 500 mg of DMSA and tell you to take it every other day, for 3 days a week. My doctor told me to start chelating mercury from my body before I started removing mercury from my teeth. I took one 500 mg DMSA on Saturday and another one on Monday. By Monday night I felt like my brains were being "pulled out of my skull." I knew this wasn't going to work for me!
People on the Yahoo groups will tell you that you shouldn't take oral chelation pills before having mercury removed from your teeth. They say that the DMSA will pull the metal out of your fillings and redistribute it into your body. My ACAM doctor disagrees with this. He says that DMSA will not pull mercury out of your fillings, but only out of soft tissues like your brain and other organs. My doctor himself had his fillings removed and he took 500 mg DMSA before and after each dental appointment and had no discomfort. In my opinion, I believe the reason he had no harsh symptoms was because he was not mercury poisoned.
So after I had this severe reaction to DMSA after taking it on Monday, I discontinued trying to chelate mercury from my body until after I removed all the mercury from my teeth. I don't know if the Yahoo groups are right or not. I don't know if mercury can be pulled from your teeth and redistributed to your body. But I do know that it hurt my brain to take 500 mg with mercury in my teeth and with mercury in my brain. I may have had this reaction only because the dosage was too high for me, not because mercury was being pulled from my teeth.
Since I had this severe reaction I chose to not take the DMSA before and after dental appointments either. I just used the vitamin/minerals packets prescribed by my ACAM doctor, and extra vitamin C, garlic and chlorella prescribed by my biological dentist. I took these extra supplements two weeks previous to the start of my dental work. However, beware! Do not take vitamin C within 12 hours of a dental appointment or you won't be able to numb appropriately!
If you are not mercury poisoned, I do not think you will have any difficulty in taking 500 mg DMSA the day before and the day after a dental appointment as a precaution to avoid mercury poisoning.
Starting on my Regimen to Chelate Mercury out of my Body and Brain
Dr. Hal Huggins says to wait several months before starting to chelate mercury from your body after removing mercury from your teeth. He says that the load of mercury in your body will be so much less from removing the mercury from your teeth, that your body will normally start detoxing on its own immediately after dental revision. I know I started feeling better after the dental revision. In fact, I started feeling better after the first quadrant of mercury was removed! For one thing, the mercury filling and the offending crown of the tooth having the galvanic reaction was removed during my first visit!
I started detoxing using DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) three months after my dental revision was completed. Since I had a severe reaction to 500 mg. of DMSA my kind doctor started me on 50 mg. and I took pills every 4 hours while awake. I needed to take it on an empty stomach so it was hard to arrange my meals. After several weeks I felt like 50 mg was no longer having an effect on me. Remember, I could actually feel my brain "pulling" while the metal was being removed. So 5 weeks later, I moved up to 100 mg. of DMSA and continued on the same schedule. If I would go too long between the scheduled pills- forgetting or not being able to take a pill because of a recent meal- then I would feel pressure build up in my brain. My brain would "crawl, itch, sting, burn, or just ache." I knew I desperately needed to take another pill. Vitamin C taken at a dose of 1000 mg. throughout the day also helps to relieve symptoms of toxins in the brain.
8 months after starting on 50 mg. DMSA, I started taking DMSA at a dose of 200 mg.1 You need to work with your doctor and take what you can tolerate. It is better to go slowly and your body will tell you what is best for you to take. Listen to your body.
Some people on the Yahoo groups take DMSA every 4 hours and even get up at night to take it. I would only take it at night if I woke up to go to the bathroom. People on the Yahoo groups also take it for a few days and then go off of it for a few days to allow the body to rest. However, it really hurt my brain to go off it completely. My doctor said it was okay for me to take it constantly as long as I was taking smaller doses. So some days I might take a smaller amount, but I am too uncomfortable if I go off it completely. My doctor also monitors my kidneys and liver. (If your ACAM doctor is out of town and you need testing, he can write a prescription for you to go to a lab such as Lab Corp in your town.)
Some say that you will need to take DMSA for 2 years. I hope I will be able to say that all the mercury is gone in 2 years, but I do not know. Since mercury did not show up in my urine at toxic amounts, I will not use heavy metals testing to determine when I go off DMSA.
When I repeated my heavy metals test 11 months after the original one, the mercury did show a lower level after detoxing on DMSA for 6 months. However, neither score showed very high scores numerically. However, a footnote from the King James Medical Laboratory (which actually did my urine testing) states on my test
Mercury is not an essential element and is considered potentially toxic at all levels......Individuals may exhibit toxicity at any concentration.Scientist such as Bernie Windham, president of DAMS, states that that does not mean an individual is not mercury poisoned. There is no test to measure the amount of mercury in the body tissues or brain. Urine tests only measure how much mercury has come out into the urine. If the mercury is
stuckin the brain, a urine test may not show a high level of mercury. Check out Mr. Windham's website for other tests that can be done to check for mercury toxicity at www.dams.cc.
My doctor told me that I would stop taking DMSA when by body felt better. When I no longer "feel" metal being pulled from my brain when I do take DMSA, and when I don't feel "pressure, crawling, stinging, itching and burning" in my brain when I don't take DMSA, then I will know the mercury is gone!
1 As of October 2003, I am now taking the 200 mg capsule and dumping the DMSA powder into an empty 10 oz glass orange juice bottle (individual serving size purchased at a convenience store.) I mix with a small amount of water and shake. I put in *grapefruit juice* (see caution below) up half way in the bottle and then fill the rest of the bottle with water. I sip on this DMSA cocktail throughout the day. I try to sip one hour before meals. I also take 50 mg of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) throughout the day. Andrew Cutler, author of Amalgam Illness, says to take DMSA every four hours and ALA every three hours. He also recommends resting between rounds of DMSA and ALA. For more information, see the FILES at the Yahoo Group Autism Mercury. To see how to join Yahoo groups go to www.mercurypoisoned.com/groups.html.
**CAUTION (March 2006) I would not now recommend using grapefruit juice to mix DMSA. A reader of my website contacted me saying that he was reading in an encyclopedia that grapefruit juice reduces the liver's ability to detoxify itself by around 40%. All toxins depend on the liver for detoxification, so one doesn't need to impair the body's ability to excrete mercury. Also Dr. Patricia Kane in her book, Detoxx Book, does not recommend grapefruit juice while detoxing the body. Grapefruit juice also interacts with many other drugs.
My brother found this out the hard way. For years he mixed his vodka with grapefruit juice. Thank God, he now has found the Lord and become a tee-totaler, but he has liver problems. The alcohol has to detox through the liver, and the grapefruit juice reduced its ability to detoxify. So the effects of the overuse of alchohol did greater harm to his liver because of his cutting the vodka with the grapefruit juice.
Update on August 1, 2004. I am still taking my 200 mg DMSA cocktail every day. I sip on it 4 times a day on an empty stomach. I think my original protocol of taking 100 mg of DMSA every four hours was just too much. I had side effects such as feeling toxic, and having increased burning symptoms in my feet and legs. When I backed off on the amount of DMSA I was taking, these symptoms have subsided considerably. The main mistakes I have made with DMSA was taking too much.
Dr. Hal Huggins suggests only 25 to 50 mg three times a week.
Back to the top
Back to Update of My Condition
Back to the main page
This information is provided for educational purposes only, and does not replace a personal consultation with the health care professional of your choice.
© 2003 by Marie Flowers.