A treatment for internal contamination with radioactive Cesium-137
The health risks associated with internal radioactive contamination are generally long-term in nature and depend not only on the type and concentration of the radioactive contaminant absorbed, but also on the underlying health condition of the patient. The potential for development of cancers of the lung, liver, thyroid, stomach, and bone are the primary long-term health concerns, as are fibrotic changes in tissues which can lead to restrictive lung disease and other chronic debilities.
A Vicious Cycle
Once Cesium-137 enters the body, it is absorbed into the bloodstream, passes through the liver and into bile stored in the gall bladder, is excreted into the intestines, and absorbed again into the bloodstream to repeat the circulatory cycle (enterohepatic circulation). In the absence of treatment, Cesium-137 is slowly eliminated through the kidneys and urine.
Radiogardase® (Prussian blue insoluble capsules) is insoluble. It is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is not metabolized like other drugs, but rather passes through the body. Radiogardase® interrupts the enterohepatic circulation of Cesium-137 by binding to the Cesium-137 ions in the gut, preventing the radioactive material from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream and making it available for more rapid elimination from the body via the feces. The mean whole body effective half-life of Cesium-137 is 80 days in adults; 62 days in adolescents, and 42 days in children. Radiogardase® reduces these half-lives by 69 percent in adults, 46 percent in adolescents, and 43 percent in children. Radiogardase® may turn the feces blue. Use of the drug will result in measurable levels of radioactivity in a patient´s feces and urine. Safety measures must be taken in disposing of a patient´s feces and urine to avoid recontamination of the patient or ancillary contamination of care providers. Please see the package insert for details.