Health Guide

Superoxide dismutase

What is it?

Superoxide dismutase is also called SOD. It is used to treat arthritis and other joint disorders, prevent side effects of cancer treatment, prostate problems, and Peyronie's disease. It is also used as an antioxidant. SOD is sometimes used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), prevent injury to transplant organs during surgery, and to prevent lung problems in premature infants.

Other names for SOD include: Ormentein, Orgotein, and Pegorgotein

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much SOD you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking SOD. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking SOD, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Severe allergic reactions have occurred with the use of injectable SOD (29-32)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Blood clots or increased bleeding, low blood pressure, chest pain (3,33-36)
  • Dizziness, headache (16)
  • Tiredness (16,37)
  • Fever (16,18,36,37)
  • Nausea, stomach pain (3,16,34)
  • Pain, burning, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site (3,5,10,15,16,30,37-39)
  • Rash (40)


1. Giri SN & Misra HP: Fate of superoxide dismutase in mice following oral route of administration. Med Biol 1984; 62(5):285-289.

2. Zidenberg-Cherr S, Keen C, Lonnerdahl B et al: Dietary superoxide dismutase does not affect tissue levels. Am J Clin Nutr 1983; 37(1):5-7.

3. McIlwain H, Silverfield J, Cheatum D et al: Intra-articular orgotein in osteoarthritis of the knee: A placebo-controlled efficacy, safety, and dosage comparison. JAMA 1989; 87:295-300.

4. Lund-Olesen K & Menander-Huber K: Intra-articular orgotein therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee. Arzneim Forsch/Drug Res 1983; 33(8):1199-1203.

5. Huskisson E & Scott J: Orgotein in osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Eur J Rheumatol Inflam 1981; 4:212-217.

6. Menander-Huber K: Orgotein in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Eur J Rheumatol Inflam 1981; 4(2):201-211.

7. Biehl G: Klinische erfahrungen mit orgotein bei der behandlung der arthrosis deformans und extraarticularer erkrankungen. Eur J Rheumatol Inflamm 1981; 4(2):219-227.

8. Puhl W, Biehl G, Kolbel R et al: Ergebnis einer multizentrischen orgotein-prufung bei gonarthrose. Eur J Rheumatol Inflamm 1981; 4(2):264-270.

9. Vicens J, Arce I & Vasquez P: Treatment of scapulohumeral arthritis with orgotein. Curr Ther Res 1988; 43(2):339-348.

10. Lin Y, Pape HD & Friedrich R: Use of Superoxide dismutase (SOD) in patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction - a preliminary study. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1994; 23:428-429.

11. Marberger H, Huber W, Bartsch G et al: Orgotein: a new anti-inflammatory metalloprotein drug evaluation of clinical efficacy and safety in inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract. Int Urol Nephrol 1974; 6(2):61-74.

12. Land W, Schneeberger H, Schleibner S et al: The beneficial effect of human recombinant superoxide dismutase on acute and chronic rejection events in recipients of cadaveric renal transplants. Transplantation 1994; 57(2):211-217.

13. Negita M, Ishii T, Kunikata S et al: Prevention of posttransplant acute tubular necrosis in kidney graft by perioperative superoxide dismutase infusion. Transplantation Proc 1994; 26(4):2123-2124.

14. Sanchiz F, Milla A, Artola N et al: Prevention of radioinduced cystitis by orgotein: a randomized study. Anticanc Res 1996; 16(4A):2025-2028.

15. Edsmyr F, Huber W, Menander K: Orgotein efficacy in ameliorating side effects due to radiation therapy. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with bladder tumors. Curr Ther Res 1976; 19(2):198-211.

16. Delanian S, Baillet F, Huart J et al: Successful treatment of radiation-induced fibrosis using liposomal Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase: clinical trial. Radiother Oncol 1994; 32(1):12-20.

17. Housset M, Baillet F, Michelson AM et al: Action of liposomal superoxide dismutase on measurable radiation-induced fibrosis (article in French). Free Radic Res Commun 1986; 1(6):387-394.

18. Baillet F, Housset M, Michelson AM et al: Treatment of radiofibrosis with liposomal superoxide dismutase. Preliminary results of 50 cases. Bull Cancer 1994; 81(8):659-669.

19. Perdereau B, Campana F, Viloq JR et al: Superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn) in cutaneous application in the treatment of radiation-induced fibrosis (article in French). Bull Cancer Radiother 1994; 82(2):113-119.

20. Bartsch G, Menander-Huber KB, Huber W et al: Orgotein, a new drug for the treatment of Peyronie's disease. Eur J Rheumatol Inflam 1981; 4(2):250-259.

21. Gustafson H, Johansson B & Edsmyr F: Peyronie's disease: experience of local treatment with orgotein. Eur Urol 1981; 7:346-348.

22. Sweetman S (ed): Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. London, England: Pharmaceutical Press (electronic version). MICROMEDEX, Inc, Englewood, Colorado, (Edition expires 06/2002).

23. Lyons TJ, Gralla EB & Valentine JS: Biological chemistry of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and its link to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Med Ions Biol Syst 1999; 36:125-177.

24. Valentine JS, Hart PJ & Gralla EB: Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and ALS. Adv Exp Med Biol 1999; 448:193-203.

25. Cudkowicz ME, Warren L, Francis JW et al: Intrathecal administration of recombinant human superoxide dismutase 1 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a preliminary safety and pharmacokinetic study. Neurology 1997; 49:213-222.

26. Orrell RW & deBelleroche JS. Superoxide dismutase and ALS. Lancet 1994; 344: 1651-1652.

27. Davis JM, Rosenfeld WN, Richter SE et al: Safety and pharmacokinetics of multiple doses of recombinant human CuZn superoxide dismutase administered intratracheally to premature neonates with respiratory distress syndrome. Pediatrics 1997; 100(1):24-30.

28. Rosenfeld WN, Davis JM, Parton L et al: Safety and pharmacokinetics of recombinant human superoxide dismutase administered intratracheally to premature neonates with respiratory distress syndrome. Pediatrics 1996; 97(6 Pt 1):811-817.

29. Joral A, Boyano T, Mira J et al: Systemic anaphylaxis following parenteral orgotein administration. J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 1993; 3(2):103-104.

30. Schlesser JL (ed): Drugs Available Abroad. A Guide to Therapeutic Drugs Available and Approved Outside the U.S., 1st ed. Gale Research Inc, Detroit, MI; 1991:72-73.

31. Corominas M, Bas J, Romeu A et al: Hypersensitivity reaction after orgotein (superoxide dismutase) administration. Allergol Et Immunopathol 1990; 18(5):297-299.

32. Diez-Gomez M, Hinojosa M, Moneo I et al: Anaphylaxis after intra-articular injection of orgotein. Allergy 1987; 42(1):74-76.

33. Primus G: Orgotein in the treatment of plastic induration of the penis (Peyronie's disease). Int Urol Nephrol 1993; 25(2):169-172.

34. Muizelaar J, Marmarou A, Young H et al: Improving the outcome of severe head injury with the oxygen radical scavenger polyethylene glycol-conjugated superoxide dismutase: a Phase II trial. J Neurosurg 1993; 78(3):375-382.

35. Niwa Y, Somiya K, Michelson AM et al: Effect of liposomal-encapsulated superoxide dismutase on active oxygen-related human disorders. A preliminary study. Free Radic Res Commun 1985; 1(2):137-153.

36. Young B, Tunge JW, Waxman KS et al: Effects of pegorgotein on neurologic outcome of patients with severe head injury: a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial. JAMA 1996; 276(7): 538-543.

37. Mazieres B, Masquelier A & Capron M: A French controlled multicenter study of intra-articular orgotein versus intra-articular corticosteroids in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a one-year followup. J Rheumatol 1991; 18(27):134-137.

38. Nielsen O, Overgaard J, Overgaard M et al: Orgotein in radiation treatment of bladder cancer. Acta Oncol 1987; 26(2):101-104.

39. Menander-Huber KB, Edsmyr F & Huber W: Orgotein (superoxide dismutase): a drug for the amelioration of radiation-induced side effects. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients with bladder tumours. Urol Res 1978; 6(4):255-257.

40. Carrabba M, Paresce E, Angelini M et al: The intra-articular treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. A comparative study between hyaluronic acid (Hyalgan(R)) and orgotein. Eur J Rheumatol Inflamm 1992; 12(3):47-57.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved