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Zinc gluconate Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to zinc gluconate: oral lozenge, oral tablet

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking zinc gluconate: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects of zinc gluconate may include:

  • nausea; or

  • upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to zinc gluconate: compounding powder, oral lozenge, oral tablet, oral tablet dispersible


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]


Gastrointestinal irritation appears to be dose-related.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects have included an unpleasant taste (80%), nausea (20%), mouth irritation (24%), dry mouth (12%), gastrointestinal upset (10%), distortion of taste, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have rarely included dizziness and headache.[Ref]


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

2. Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Calendine C, Janosky J, Wald E "Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold in children: a randomized controlled trial [see comments." JAMA 279 (1998): 1962-7

3. Mossad SB, Macknin ML, Medendorp SV, Mason P "Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study." Ann Intern Med 125 (1996): 81-8

4. Eby GA, Davis DR, Halcomb WW "Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate lozenges in a double-blind study." Antimicrob Agents Chemother 25 (1984): 20-4

5. Al-Nakib W, Higgins PG, Barrow I, Batstone G, Tyrrell DA "Prophylaxis and treatment of rhinovirus colds with zinc gluconate lozenges." J Antimicrob Chemother 20 (1987): 893-901

6. Godfrey JC, Conant Sloane B, Smith DS, Turco JH, Mercer N, Godfrey NJ "Zinc gluconate and the common cold: a controlled clinical study." J Int Med Res 20 (1992): 234-46

It is possible that some side effects of zinc gluconate may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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