Zinc lozenges and the common cold

a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of zinc acetate lozenges with zinc gluconate lozenges in common cold treatment and to examine the dose-dependency of the effect. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: Placebo-controlled zinc lozenge trials, in which the zinc dose was > 75 mg/day. The pooled effect of zinc lozenges on common cold duration was calculated by using inverse-variance random-effects method. PARTICIPANTS: Seven randomised trials with 575 participants with naturally acquired common colds. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Duration of the common cold. RESULTS: The mean common cold duration was 33% (95% CI 21% to 45%) shorter for the zinc groups of the seven included trials. Three trials that used lozenges composed of zinc acetate found that colds were shortened by 40% and four trials that used zinc gluconate by 28%. The difference between the two salts was not significant: 12 percentage points (95% CI: -12 to + 36). Five trials used zinc doses of 80-92 mg/day, common cold duration was reduced by 33%, and two trials used zinc doses of 192-207 mg/day and found an effect of 35%. The difference between the high-dose and low-dose zinc trials was not significant: 2 percentage points (95% CI: -29 to + 32). CONCLUSIONS: Properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges. There is no evidence that zinc doses over 100 mg/day might lead to greater efficacy in the treatment of the common cold. Common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. The optimal lozenge composition and dosage scheme need to be investigated further.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2054270417694291
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine open
Volume8
Issue number5
Number of pages7
ISSN2054-2704
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology
  • 317 Pharmacy
  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • common cold
  • randomised controlled trials
  • respiratory tract infections
  • therapeutic equivalency

Cite this

@article{29ec5b58b5db4c8caec99089430eec11,
title = "Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of zinc acetate lozenges with zinc gluconate lozenges in common cold treatment and to examine the dose-dependency of the effect. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: Placebo-controlled zinc lozenge trials, in which the zinc dose was > 75 mg/day. The pooled effect of zinc lozenges on common cold duration was calculated by using inverse-variance random-effects method. PARTICIPANTS: Seven randomised trials with 575 participants with naturally acquired common colds. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Duration of the common cold. RESULTS: The mean common cold duration was 33{\%} (95{\%} CI 21{\%} to 45{\%}) shorter for the zinc groups of the seven included trials. Three trials that used lozenges composed of zinc acetate found that colds were shortened by 40{\%} and four trials that used zinc gluconate by 28{\%}. The difference between the two salts was not significant: 12 percentage points (95{\%} CI: -12 to + 36). Five trials used zinc doses of 80-92 mg/day, common cold duration was reduced by 33{\%}, and two trials used zinc doses of 192-207 mg/day and found an effect of 35{\%}. The difference between the high-dose and low-dose zinc trials was not significant: 2 percentage points (95{\%} CI: -29 to + 32). CONCLUSIONS: Properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges. There is no evidence that zinc doses over 100 mg/day might lead to greater efficacy in the treatment of the common cold. Common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. The optimal lozenge composition and dosage scheme need to be investigated further.",
keywords = "3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology, 317 Pharmacy, 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, common cold, randomised controlled trials, respiratory tract infections, therapeutic equivalency",
author = "Harri Hemil{\"a}",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1177/2054270417694291",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine open",
issn = "2054-2704",
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Zinc lozenges and the common cold : a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. / Hemilä, Harri.

In: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine open, Vol. 8, No. 5, 2054270417694291, 02.05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Zinc lozenges and the common cold

T2 - a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage

AU - Hemilä, Harri

PY - 2017/5/2

Y1 - 2017/5/2

N2 - OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of zinc acetate lozenges with zinc gluconate lozenges in common cold treatment and to examine the dose-dependency of the effect. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: Placebo-controlled zinc lozenge trials, in which the zinc dose was > 75 mg/day. The pooled effect of zinc lozenges on common cold duration was calculated by using inverse-variance random-effects method. PARTICIPANTS: Seven randomised trials with 575 participants with naturally acquired common colds. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Duration of the common cold. RESULTS: The mean common cold duration was 33% (95% CI 21% to 45%) shorter for the zinc groups of the seven included trials. Three trials that used lozenges composed of zinc acetate found that colds were shortened by 40% and four trials that used zinc gluconate by 28%. The difference between the two salts was not significant: 12 percentage points (95% CI: -12 to + 36). Five trials used zinc doses of 80-92 mg/day, common cold duration was reduced by 33%, and two trials used zinc doses of 192-207 mg/day and found an effect of 35%. The difference between the high-dose and low-dose zinc trials was not significant: 2 percentage points (95% CI: -29 to + 32). CONCLUSIONS: Properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges. There is no evidence that zinc doses over 100 mg/day might lead to greater efficacy in the treatment of the common cold. Common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. The optimal lozenge composition and dosage scheme need to be investigated further.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of zinc acetate lozenges with zinc gluconate lozenges in common cold treatment and to examine the dose-dependency of the effect. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: Placebo-controlled zinc lozenge trials, in which the zinc dose was > 75 mg/day. The pooled effect of zinc lozenges on common cold duration was calculated by using inverse-variance random-effects method. PARTICIPANTS: Seven randomised trials with 575 participants with naturally acquired common colds. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Duration of the common cold. RESULTS: The mean common cold duration was 33% (95% CI 21% to 45%) shorter for the zinc groups of the seven included trials. Three trials that used lozenges composed of zinc acetate found that colds were shortened by 40% and four trials that used zinc gluconate by 28%. The difference between the two salts was not significant: 12 percentage points (95% CI: -12 to + 36). Five trials used zinc doses of 80-92 mg/day, common cold duration was reduced by 33%, and two trials used zinc doses of 192-207 mg/day and found an effect of 35%. The difference between the high-dose and low-dose zinc trials was not significant: 2 percentage points (95% CI: -29 to + 32). CONCLUSIONS: Properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges. There is no evidence that zinc doses over 100 mg/day might lead to greater efficacy in the treatment of the common cold. Common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. The optimal lozenge composition and dosage scheme need to be investigated further.

KW - 3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology

KW - 317 Pharmacy

KW - 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

KW - common cold

KW - randomised controlled trials

KW - respiratory tract infections

KW - therapeutic equivalency

U2 - 10.1177/2054270417694291

DO - 10.1177/2054270417694291

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine open

JF - Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine open

SN - 2054-2704

IS - 5

M1 - 2054270417694291

ER -