Zinc sulfate (medical use)

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Zinc sulfate
Zinc sulfate.png
Chemical model
Clinical data
Trade namesSolvazinc, Micro-Zn, others
AHFS/Drugs.comConsumer Drug Information
  • US: A (No risk in human studies) and C
Routes of
by mouth, intravenous
Drug classmineral supplement
ATC code
CAS Number
PubChem CID
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass161.47
3D model (JSmol)

Zinc sulfate is used medically as a dietary supplement.[1] Specifically it is used to treat zinc deficiency and to prevention the conditions in those at high risk.[1] This includes use together with oral rehydration therapy for children who have diarrhea.[2] General use is not recommended.[1] It may be taken by mouth or by injection into a vein.[1]

Side effects may include abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, and feeling tired.[2] While normal doses are deemed safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, the safety of larger doses is unclear.[3] Greater care should be taken in those with kidney problems.[2] Zinc is an essential mineral in people as well as other animals.[4]

The medical use of zinc sulfate began as early as the 1600s.[5] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.[6] Zinc sulfate is available as a generic medication and over the counter.[1][3] The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.01–18 per day.[7] In the United Kingdom ten days of treatment costs the NHS about 4.32 pounds.[1]

Medical uses[edit]

The use of zinc sulfate supplements together with oral rehydration therapy decreases the number of bowel movements and the time until the diarrhea stops.[2] Its use in this situation is recommended by the World Health Organization.[2]

Zinc sulfate is also an important part of parenteral nutrition.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 700. ISBN 9780857111562.
  2. ^ a b c d e World Health Organization (2009). Stuart MC, Kouimtzi M, Hill SR (eds.). WHO Model Formulary 2008. World Health Organization. pp. 349–51. hdl:10665/44053. ISBN 9789241547659.
  3. ^ a b "Zinc sulfate Use During Pregnancy | Drugs.com". www.drugs.com. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. ^ Council, National Research; Studies, Division on Earth and Life; Resources, Board on Agriculture and Natural; Animals, Committee on Minerals and Toxic Substances in Diets and Water for (2006). Mineral Tolerance of Animals: Second Revised Edition, 2005. National Academies Press. p. 420. ISBN 9780309096546. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16.
  5. ^ Sneader, Walter (2005). Drug Discovery: A History. John Wiley & Sons. p. 62. ISBN 9780471899792. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16.
  6. ^ World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  7. ^ "Zinc Sulfate". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2016.