Zinc acetate lozenges may shorten common cold duration by 3 days
What is it about?
Interest in zinc lozenges for common cold treatment started from the serendipitous observation that the cold symptoms of a 3-year-old girl with leukemia disappeared when she slowly dissolved a therapeutic zinc tablet in her mouth instead of swallowing it. This led to a series of randomized trials which found conflicting results. However, negative findings were largely explained by low doses of zinc. Most trials with large doses of zinc found benefit from zinc lozenges. This paper pooled the results of three high-dose zinc acetate trials with 199 patients in total.
Why is it important?
The mean duration of colds in the 3 included trials was 7 days. The mean effect of 3 day reduction in common cold duration with zinc acetate lozenges is clinically relevant and appears widely applicable, since the effect was not modified by allergy, smoking, baseline common cold severity, age, gender or ethnic group.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Harri Hemila