Zinc is LIKELY SAFE
for most adults when applied to the skin, or when taken by mouth in amounts not larger than 40 mg per day. Routine zinc supplementation is not recommended without the advice of a healthcare professional. In some people, zinc might cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, metallic taste, kidney and stomach damage, and other side effects. Using zinc on broken skin may cause burning, stinging, itching, and tingling.
Taking high amounts of zinc is LIKELY UNSAFE
. 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.
Zinc nose sprays (Zicam, Cold-Eeze) are POSSIBLY UNSAFE
. These products may cause loss of ability to smell. In June 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to use certain zinc-containing nose sprays (Zicam) after receiving over 100 reports of loss of smell. The maker of these zinc-containing nose sprays has also received several hundred reports of loss of smell from people who had used the products. Avoid using zinc nose sprays.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
: Zinc is LIKELY SAFE
for most pregnant and breast-feeding women when used in the recommended daily amounts (RDA). Pregnant women over 18 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 over 18 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.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)/AIDS
: Do not take zinc if you have HIV/AIDS. Zinc might shorten your life.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
32 of 36 found this helpful
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.
Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health acre professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.