Prussian blue (medical use)
|Trade names||Radiogardase, others|
|Chemical and physical data|
Prussian blue, also known as potassium ferric hexacyanoferrate, is used as a medication to treat thallium poisoning or radioactive cesium poisoning. For thallium it may be used in addition to gastric lavage, activated charcoal, forced diuresis, and hemodialysis. It is given by mouth or nasogastric tube. Prussian blue is also used in the urine to test for G6PD deficiency.
Side effects may include constipation, low blood potassium, and stools that are dark. With long term use, sweat may turn blue. It works by binding to and thus preventing the absorption of thallium and cesium from the intestines.
Prussian blue was developed around 1706. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. As of 2016 it is only approved for medical use in Germany, the United States and Japan. In the United States a course of treatment costs more than $200. Access to medical grade Prussian blue can be difficult in many areas of the world including the developed world.
It is given until the amount of thallium in the urine drops to below 0.5 mg per day.
It is specifically only used for radioactive caesium poisoning when the caesium has entered the body either by swallowing or breathing it in.
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