Zinc is generally safe for most adults when recommended amounts are used. Side effects of zinc taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) include metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, and stomach and kidney damage. High doses can lead to side effects like fever, fatigue, and stomach pain. High daily doses might also increase the risk of copper deficiency and weakened immune system. Copper is often added into zinc formulations to prevent copper deficiency. Talk to your health care provider to see if you need copper supplement. Using topical zinc on broken skin may cause burning, stinging, itching, and tingling.
Zinc supplements should be taken with food. Certain forms of zinc supplements are for adult use only. Check with your health care provider.
Zinc can decrease the absorption of certain antibiotics (e.g., tetracyclines), and penicillamine when taken together. This can be avoided by taking medications and zinc a few hours apart from each other. Zinc may also interact with diureticdiuretican agent that increases urine flows (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide), cisplatin, black coffee, and dairy products.
Zinc (from non-picolinate sources) is safe for most pregnant and breast-feeding women when used in recommended daily amounts. Avoid using zinc picolinate as a source of zinc supplement if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.