Diet and Nutrition


Food . . . .

Adherence to a low copper diet is most important during the initial phase of treatment. The recommendation is to avoid the foods highest in copper content: organ meats, shellfish, chocolate, nuts, and mushrooms. Once copper levels have stabilized at normal levels, these foods are allowed occasionally. For a comprehensive list refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website . If you are a vegetarian, please consult a dietician, as many of the foods and protein sources in a vegetarian diet are high in copper. Wilson disease cannot be managed by diet alone. Proper medication is necessary lifelong!

Water . . . . .

Copper content of the drinking water you consume should also be tested. If the water is over 0.1 ppm (parts per million) (which is 0.1 mg/L), consider an alternative water source or invest in a good filtering system that removes copper. Your local community or private water testing firms can perform the testing on your home water supply. If you have copper plumbing in your home, some of the copper content can be reduced by running the water for a while before you use it. As water sits in the pipes the copper leaches into the water. for this same reason, avoid using copper cookware for preparation of food. If you work or reside in a location where the water supply has not been tested, consider using bottled water that does not contain copper.

Vitamins . . .

Consult your health care professional before taking a multi-vitamin. If your physician approves, as your pharmacist to find a good supplement that does not contain copper. If you are a woman who is pregnant, or wishes to become pregnant, please have your obstetrician consult with your hepatologist before prescribing prenatal vitamins. Most prenatal vitamins contain an abundance of copper and these should be avoided.

Other Dietary Supplements . . . .

There are many over-the-counter dietary supplements and herbal preparations that claim to be beneficial for some part of your body. Be cautious about this because many can interact with other prescription medications you are taking. Some can be beneficial but others may actually be injurious to your health. Also, many supplements are processed by the liver and may cause additional liver damage or, in the case of existing liver damage, may not be properly utilized by the body. Please refer to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publications, "What Dietary Supplements Are You Taking? Does Your Health Care Provider Know? It Matters, and Here's Why" and "Dietary Supplements What You Need to Know" These contain much useful information about dietary supplements, and personal logs that you can fill in and share with your doctor.

Important Safety Information

“Treatment of patients with Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules may be complicated by severe, sometimes lifethreatening, adverse effects. Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of this medication for the treatment of sickle cell anemia.”

“Hydroxyurea is mutagenic and clastogenic, and causes cellular transformation to a tumorigenic phenotype. Hydroxyurea is thus unequivocally genotoxic and a presumed transspecies carcinogen which implies a carcinogenic risk to humans. In patients receiving long-term hydroxyurea for myeloproliferative disorders, such as polycythemia vera and thrombocythemia, secondary leukaemia’s have been reported. It is unknown whether this leukemogenic effect is secondary to hydroxyurea or is associated with the patient's underlying disease. The physician and patient must very carefully consider the potential benefits of Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules relative to the undefined risk of developing secondary malignancies. Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules is used to treat chronic myeloid leukaemia or cervical cancer.”

“Your medical team will discuss with you the options for treating your cancer. They will take into account factors such as the type of cancer, where it is, which stage it is at and whether you have had treatment before. The results of blood tests and other investigations will also be considered. How well you feel and how you are likely to cope with treatment is also important.”

“Your cancer treatment will usually consist of a treatment session with Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules followed by a break of a number of days before the next treatment session with Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules. This cycle may be repeated many times as part of your cancer treatment. Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules works by damaging cancer cells in the body. Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules also affects healthy cells and treatment with Trientine Hydrochloride Capsules may damage your immune system. Your medical team may arrange for you to have some blood tests to check how well your immune system is working. Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them. The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber. If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.