Edetate Disodium (marketed as Endrate and generic products)
Audience: Hospital Risk Managers, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, patients
[Posted 01/16/2008] FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients about important safety information concerning Edetate Disodium. There have been cases where children and adults have died when they were mistakenly given Edetate Disodium instead of Edetate Calcium Disodium (Calcium Disodium Versenate) or when Edetate Disodium was used for "chelation therapies" and other uses that are not approved by the FDA. Edetate Disodium was approved as an emergency treatment for certain patients with hypercalcemia (very high levels of calcium in the blood) or certain patients with heart rhythm problems as a result of very high amounts of digitalis in the blood. Edetate Calcium Disodium was approved to reduce dangerously high blood lead levels (severe lead poisoning).
The two drugs have very similar names and are commonly referred to only as EDTA. As a result, the two products are easily mistaken for each other when prescribing, dispensing, and administering them. Edetate Disodium and Edetate Calcium Disodium works by binding with heavy metals or minerals in the body allowing them to be passed out of the body through the urine. Read the FDA Public Health Advisory for recommended and important safety considerations for healthcare professionals until the FDA's ongoing evaluation of the risks and benefits of Edetate Disodium is complete.