In this Article
- What other names is Zinc known by?
- What is Zinc?
- How does Zinc work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Zinc.
High doses above the recommended amounts might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain, fatigue, and many other problems.
Taking more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc daily or taking supplemental zinc for 10 or more years doubles the risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also concern that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate zinc supplement increases the chance of dying from prostate cancer.
Taking 450 mg or more of zinc daily can cause problems with blood iron. Single doses of 10-30 grams of zinc can be fatal.
Some research suggests that zinc nose spray may be unsafe. It may cause loss of ability to smell. Until more is known, avoid using zinc nose spray (Zicam, Cold-Eeze).
Zinc is also safe for most pregnant and breast-feeding women when used in the recommended daily amounts (RDA). Pregnant women age 19 to 50 should not take more than 40 mg of zinc per day; pregnant women age 14 to 18 should not take more than 34 mg per day. Breast-feeding women age 19 to 50 should not take more than 40 mg of zinc per day; breast-feeding women age 14 to 18 should not take more than 34 mg per day. Premature births and stillborn infants have been born to women who took 100 mg of zinc three times a day during their third trimester of pregnancy.
Do not take zinc if:
- You have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Zinc might reduce survival time.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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