Highlights for gold-sodium-thiomalate
Gold sodium thiomalate is an injectable drug used to treat adult and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
The effects of gold sodium thiomalate may occur slowly. You may start to see improvement in symptoms after 6–8 weeks of treatment. But it may take months to see full effects from the drug.
This drug works the best in the early active stage of rheumatoid arthritis. In late states, gold can’t repair existing damage to your joints. But it may still prevent further damage.
The most common side effects include aches and pains, diarrhea, hair loss, and headache.
Don’t take gold sodium thiomalate if you’re allergic to any part of the drug, have history of toxicity from gold or other heavy metals, are unable to take care of yourself, or have lupus.
What is gold sodium thiomalate?
Gold sodium thiomalate is a prescription medication. It’s an injectable solution given by a healthcare provider in a hospital or clinical setting. You will not take this drug at home.
This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs or non-drug therapies.
Why it's used
Gold sodium thiomalate is used to reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
How it works
It isn’t known how gold sodium thiomalate works to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It may work by controlling inflammation of the lining of your joints.
gold-sodium-thiomalate Side Effects
Most Common Side Effects
The most common side effects that occur with gold sodium thiomalate include:
aches and pains
Serious Side Effects
If you or your child experiences any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
allergic reactions, including:
- skin rash
- swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
infections. Symptoms may include:
- fever or chills
- sore throat
- mouth sores
nervous system problems. Symptoms may include:
- feeling faint or lightheaded
- hallucination, loss of contact with reality
- pain, tingling, and numbness in your hands or feet
liver problems. Symptoms may include:
- unusual weakness or tiredness
- yellowing of your skin or eyes
- dark urine
breathing problems, such as shortness of breath
changes in vision, such as blurred vision and eye pain
fast, irregular heart beat
loss of appetite or nausea
metallic taste in your mouth
redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of your skin, including inside your mouth
trouble urinating or change in the amount of urine you pass
unusual bleeding or bruising
You may notice joint pain a day or two following your gold sodium thiomalate injection. This reaction usually eases up after the first few injections.
Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.
gold-sodium-thiomalate May Interact with Other Medications
Gold sodium thiomalate can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs or vitamins you’re taking.
How to Take gold-sodium-thiomalate (Dosage)
Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.
Gold sodium thiomalate comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.
If You Stop or Miss Doses
If you stop taking gold sodium thiomalate, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, you may experience symptom flare-ups.
If You Receive Too Much
If you think you’ve received too much gold sodium thiomalate, tell your doctor or health care provider before you leave your injection appointment. If you’ve left the hospital or clinic, go to the emergency room immediately or call a poison control center.
What to Do If You Miss a Dose/Appointment
It’s important not to miss a dose of gold sodium thiomalate. Call your doctor or health care provider if you can’t keep your appointment.
How to Tell the Drug Is Working
Improvements in your arthritis may happen slowly. During the first 6–8 weeks of treatment, you may notice less morning stiffness. Full effects of the medication may not be seen until months after treatment begins.
Is It a Long-Term or Short-Term Treatment?
You might take gold sodium thiomalate injections long term if you respond well to therapy.
- Myochrysine – gold sodium thiomalate injection. (2010, April). Retrieved from http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=a29045b5-ba4f-407a-a0fd-3ef7e1ce64ee
Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group
Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 19, 2015