- What other names is Edta known by?
- What is Edta?
- How does Edta work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Edta.
Intravenous EDTA is used to treat lead poisoning and brain damage caused by lead poisoning; to evaluate a patient's response to therapy for suspected lead poisoning; to treat poisonings by radioactive materials such as plutonium, thorium, uranium, and strontium; for removing copper in patients with Wilson's disease; and for treating high levels of calcium.
EDTA is also used intravenously for heart and blood vessel conditions including irregular heartbeat due to exposure to chemicals called cardiac glycosides, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood circulation problems such as intermittent claudication and Raynaud's syndrome.
Other intravenous uses include treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, an eye condition called macular degeneration, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and skin conditions including scleroderma and psoriasis.
EDTA is also used intramuscularly for lead poisoning and related brain damage.
EDTA is sometimes used as an ointment for skin irritations produced by metals such as chromium, nickel, and copper.
Eye drops containing EDTA are used to treat calcium deposits in the eye.
In foods, EDTA bound to iron is used to "fortify" grain-based products such as breakfast cereals and cereal bars. EDTA is also used in calcium and sodium compounds to preserve food; and to promote the color, texture, and flavor of food.
In manufacturing, EDTA is used in calcium and sodium compounds to improve stability in pharmaceutical products, detergents, liquid soaps, shampoos, agricultural chemical sprays, oil emulsion devices, contact lens cleaners and cosmetics. It is also used in certain blood collection tubes used by medical laboratories.
- Treating lead poisoning. Administering EDTA intravenously and intramuscularly is effective for treating lead poisoning and brain damage caused by lead exposure. The calcium disodium form of EDTA is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these uses. Treatment with calcium disodium EDTA improves symptoms of lead poisoning such as abdominal pain, fatigue, constipation, and loss of appetite. It also seems to slow progression of kidney failure in patients who have had long-term lead poisoning. However, EDTA does not seem to be effective for diagnosing lead poisoning.
Likely Effective for...
- Emergency treatment of life-threatening high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), when given intravenously. The disodium form of EDTA is approved by the FDA for this use, but healthcare providers generally prefer other methods of treatment that are less likely to cause kidney side effects.
- Treating heart rhythm problems caused by drugs such as digoxin (Lanoxin). The disodium form of EDTA is approved by the FDA for this use, but healthcare providers generally prefer other treatments such as lidocaine or phenytoin (Dilantin) because they are considered safer and more effective.
Possibly Effective for...
- Treating calcium deposits in the eye. After appropriate preparation of the eye, a single application of the disodium form of EDTA can clear calcium deposits in the eye and improve eyesight.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Hardened skin (scleroderma).
Likely Ineffective for...
- Treating coronary heart disease (CHD).
- Treating peripheral arterial occlusive disease.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Poisoning by radioactive products.
- Wilson's disease.
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- High cholesterol.
- High blood pressure.
- Raynaud's syndrome.
- Vision problems.
- Alzheimer's disease.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Parkinson's disease.
- Chest pain (angina).
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Next: How does Edta work?
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