Zinc sulfate are indicated in children suffering from acute and persistent diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, common cold, malaria, acrodermatitis enteropathica, sick cell anaemia and Wilson’s disease.
Zinc sulfate are indicated for the treatment of diarrhea always in connection with oral rehydrated salts (ORS) of the WHO by giving zinc as soon as diarrhea starts, at the same time as ORS. By continuing zinc supplementation after diarrhea stops, the zinc lost in the stool will be replaced. The risk of the child having new episodes of diarrhea in the following 2 to 3 months is reduced
Posology and method of administration: as directed by the physician or
Acute diarrhea: For children below 6 months: 10 mg elemental zinc daily for 10-14 days. For children above 6 months: 20 mg elemental zinc daily for 10-14 days
Wilson’s disease: 25-50 mg elemental zinc two to three times daily
Sickle cell anaemia: 10-15 mg elemental zinc daily
Acrodermatitis enteropathica: 1-2 mg elemental zinc per kg of body weight daily. Ped zinc tablets should be taken between meals but if GI upset occurs, it can be taken with food. In case of vomiting within half an hour following intake of tablet, give another tablet.
Method of administration
Place the tablet in a teaspoon or table spoon. Add about 5 ml water or breast milk, let the tablet disperse (around 45 seconds). Give the entire spoonful to the child.
Zinc sulfate tablets are contraindicated as co-prescription with certain drugs like penicillamine, sodium valproate and ethambutol which inhibit zinc absorption. It is contraindicated to patients with hypersensitivity to the active substances or to any excipients
Special warnings and special precautions for use
Problems in human beings especially for pediatrics have not been documented with intake of normal daily recommended amounts of zinc. Keep the medicine out of reach of children
Pregnancy and lactation
Problems in humans have not been documented with intake of normally recommended amounts. Use extreme caution during pregnancy
Effects on ability to drive and use machines
Effects on ability to drive and use machines have not been documented
Undesirable side effects
Adverse reactions are rare, but if excessive doses of zinc are used it may cause copper deficiency. Nausea and vomiting may occur. If GI upset occurs, zinc sulfate can be taken with food but foods high in calcium, phosphorus and phytates must be avoided
Mechanism of action
Normal growth and tissue repair depend upon adequate zinc. Zinc acts as an integral part of several enzymes important to protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Features of zinc deficiency include growth retardation and defects of rapidly dividing tissues such as skin and the intestinal mucosa. Zinc facilitates wound healing and helps maintain normal growth rates, normal skin hydration and sense of taste and smell.
Zinc improves absorption of water electrolytes. Zinc supplements prevent subsequent episodes of diarrhea. WHO and UNICEF recommend daily zinc supplements for children with acute diarrhea to curtail the severity of the episode and prevent further occurrences in the ensuing 2-3 months.
Zinc deficiency in humans alters several aspects of immune function.
Immune defects associated with zinc deficiency include impaired function of lymphocytes, natural killer cells and neutrophils. Zinc deficiency has also been hypothesized to exacerbate malaria and other diseases that rely on macrophage killing of infected cells. Adequate intakes of zinc shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including common cold.