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Zinc is a mineral that helps support your body's immune system while also aiding in cell division and DNA and protein synthesis, the Office of Dietary Supplements explains 3. If you develop cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion or throat irritation, you may find that treatment with zinc lozenges reduces your discomfort. These orally-administered lozenges are available over-the-counter and should only be used as directed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the side effects of zinc lozenges.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Stomach disturbances may arise following treatment with zinc lozenges, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports 1. You may develop heartburn, feel nauseated or begin vomiting. These side effects may also contribute to a temporary loss of appetite. If you develop severe or persistent stomach-related side effects, consult your doctor.
- Stomach disturbances may arise following treatment with zinc lozenges, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports 1.
- If you develop severe or persistent stomach-related side effects, consult your doctor.
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Digestive tract irritation caused by zinc lozenges may lead to diarrhea, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports 2. If you develop diarrhea, you will experience frequent, watery bowel movements. You may also develop abdominal bloating or cramping in conjunction with diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea may increase your risk of becoming dehydrated due to excessive fluid loss. Seek care from your doctor if diarrhea persists for more than a few days.
- Digestive tract irritation caused by zinc lozenges may lead to diarrhea, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reports 2.
- You may also develop abdominal bloating or cramping in conjunction with diarrhea.
Zinc lozenges may irritate the inside of your mouth, the Linus Pauling Institute warns 1. You may develop sore patches across your tongue or throat discomfort. These oral side effects of zinc lozenges are temporary and subside once treatment ends. Zinc lozenges should only be used as directed to limit the severity of oral side effects.
- Zinc lozenges may irritate the inside of your mouth, the Linus Pauling Institute warns 1.
- These oral side effects of zinc lozenges are temporary and subside once treatment ends.
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- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: Zinc
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Zinc
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Zinc
- National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Updated March 6, 2020.
- Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a Gatekeeper of Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(12):1286. doi:10.3390/nu9121286
- Mousa HA. Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017;22(1):166-174. doi:10.1177/2156587216641831
- Krebs NF, Miller LV, Hambidge KM. Zinc deficiency in infants and children: a review of its complex and synergistic interactions. Paediatr Int Child Health. 2014;34(4):279-288. doi:10.1179/2046905514Y.0000000151
- Gogia S, Sachdev HS. Zinc supplementation for mental and motor development in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;12:CD007991. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007991.pub2
- Ogawa Y, Kinoshita M, Shimada S, Kawamura T. Zinc and Skin Disorders. Nutrients. 2018;10(2):199. doi:10.3390/nu10020199
- Gupta M, Mahajan VK, Mehta KS, Chauhan PS. Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review. Dermatol Res Pract. 2014;2014:709152. doi:10.1155/2014/709152
- Khan WU, Sellen DW. World Health Organization. Zinc supplementation in the management of diarrhoea. 2011.
- Petrilli MA, Kranz TM, Kleinhaus K, et al. The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:414. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00414
- Fallah A, Mohammad-Hasani A, Colagar AH. Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men's Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization. J Reprod Infertil. 2018;19(2):69‐81.
- Zhao J, Dong X, Hu X, et al. Zinc levels in seminal plasma and their correlation with male infertility: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2016;6:22386. Published 2016 Mar 2. doi:10.1038/srep22386
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Oysters, Raw. FoodData Central. Updated 2020.
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.