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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Zinc Supplements

Zinc Supplements (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects | Additional Information

  • Copper absorption inhibitor - Zinc Chloride; Zinc Gluconate; Zinc Sulfate
  • Nutritional supplement, mineral - Zinc Chloride; Zinc Gluconate; Zinc Sulfate

Zinc supplements are used to prevent or treat zinc deficiency.

The body needs zinc for normal growth and health. For patients who are unable to get enough zinc in their regular diet or who have a need for more zinc, zinc supplements may be necessary. They are generally taken by mouth but some patients may have to receive them by injection.

Zinc supplements may be used for other conditions as determined by your health care professional.

Lack of zinc may lead to poor night vision and wound-healing, a decrease in sense of taste and smell, a reduced ability to fight infections, and poor development of reproductive organs.

Some conditions may increase your need for zinc. These include:

  • Acrodermatitis enteropathica (a lack of absorption of zinc from the intestine)
  • Alcoholism
  • Burns
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)
  • Down's syndrome
  • Eating disorders
  • Intestine diseases
  • Infections (continuing or chronic)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreas disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Skin disorders
  • Stomach removal
  • Stress (continuing)
  • Thalassemia
  • Trauma (prolonged)

In addition, premature infants may need additional zinc.

Increased need for zinc should be determined by your health care professional.

Claims that zinc is effective in preventing vision loss in the elderly have not been proven. Zinc has not been proven effective in the treatment of porphyria.

Injectable zinc is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms of zinc are available without a prescription.

Zinc supplements are available in the following dosage forms:

  • Zinc Gluconate
    • Lozenges (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Zinc Sulfate
    • Capsules (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
    • Extended-release tablets (U.S.)
  • Zinc Chloride
    • Injection (U.S.)
  • Zinc Sulfate
    • Injection (U.S.)

Importance of Diet

Zinc is found in various foods, including lean red meats, seafood (especially herring and oysters), peas, and beans. Zinc is also found in whole grains; however, large amounts of whole-grains have been found to decrease the amount of zinc that is absorbed. Additional zinc may be added to the diet through treated (galvanized) cookware. Foods stored in uncoated tin cans may cause less zinc to be available for absorption from food.

The daily amount of zinc needed is defined in several different ways.

    For U.S. -
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
    For Canada -
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for zinc are generally defined as follows:

Persons U.S. (mg) Canada (mg)
Infants and children Birth to 3 years of age 5-10 2-4
4 to 6 years of age 10 5
7 to 10 years of age 10 7-9
Adolescent and adult males 15 9-12
Adolescent and adult females 12 9
Pregnant females 15 15
Breast-feeding females 16-19 15

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Orazinc 3
  • Verazinc 4
  • Zinc-220 4
  • Zinc 15 4
  • Zinca-Pak 4
  • Zincate 4

In Canada -

  • PMS Egozinc 4


For quick reference, the following zinc supplements are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following:
1. Zinc Chloride (zink KLOR-ide)†‡
2. Zinc Gluconate (zink GLOO-coh-nate)‡§
3. Zinc Gluconate and Zinc Sulfate (zinkGLOO-coh-nate) and (zink SUL-fate)‡§
4. Zinc Sulfate (zink SUL-fate)†‡
† Not commercially available in Canada
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
§ Generic name product may be available in Canada


Next section


Zinc Supplements: Before Using

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