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Zinc acetate Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to zinc acetate: oral capsule

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to zinc acetate: compounding powder, oral capsule


In general, zinc acetate is relatively nontoxic if used at recommended dosages.[Ref]


Although elevations in amylase, lipase and alkaline phosphatase have not been associated with any clinically significant events during clinical trials, it is suggested that liver and pancreatic function be closely monitored during zinc acetate therapy.

Hypocalcemia and decreased bone resorption have been demonstrated in animal models receiving high levels of dietary zinc.[Ref]

Hepatic side effects have included increases in amylase and lipase.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included the reduction of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in males.[Ref]

Due to an accompanying decrease in low density lipoproteins (LDL), the LDL/HDL ratio remains relatively unchanged and little risk is assumed in terms of coronary heart disease. Triglyceride levels have not been shown to be affected.[Ref]


In healthy subjects receiving zinc as a dietary supplement, lymphocyte stimulation, polymorphonuclear migration and phagocytosis were impaired. The clinical significance of this effect is unknown.[Ref]

Immunologic side effects have included a decrease in the immunologic response.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have NOT included hematologic abnormalities due to iron deficiency anemia.[Ref]

Because zinc competes with the absorption of iron, copper and other minerals, it may be necessary to monitor the patient's iron status for any possible deficiencies.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported the most frequently. These have included gastrointestinal upset, which may occur in up to 10% of patients.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal irritation appears to be dose-related.

To alleviated gastric upset and increase compliance, it has been suggested to administer the first morning dose between breakfast and lunch, rather than before breakfast.[Ref]


1. Brewer GJ "Practical recommendations and new therapies for Wilson's disease." Drugs 50 (1995): 240-9

2. Yarze JC, Martin P, Munoz SJ, Friedman LS "Wilson's disease: current status." Am J Med 92 (1992): 643-54

3. Brewer GJ, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan V "Wilson disease." Medicine 71 (1992): 139-64

4. Walshe JM "Treatment of Wilson's disease with zinc sulphate." Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 289 (1984): 558-9

5. Moore R "Bleeding gastric erosion after oral zinc sulphate." Br Med J 1 (1978): 754

6. "Product Information. Galzin (zinc acetate)." Gate Pharmaceuticals, Sellersville, PA.

7. Anderson LA. Hakojarvi SL, Boudreaux SK "Zinc acetate treatment in Wilson's disease." Ann Pharmacother 32 (1998): 78-87

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.