Drug Shortage

Thiola (tiopronin) tablets

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reports a shortage of tiopronin tablets, only sold in the US by Mission Pharmacal under the brand name Thiola. There are estimated to be about ten thousand people in the US who are unfortunate to have received a defective gene from both parents, leading to large amounts of cystine in the urine and kidney stone formation. If you drink 5–7 liters of water every day, you may not need to take this drug. Increasing the amount of urine can be adequate to prevent these stones from forming. If you are drinking that much water and still these stones are forming, you can also take penicillamine, which will form a complex with the cystine that is about fifty times more soluble than the cystine by itself.

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