Zinc sulfate (medical use)

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Zinc sulfate
Zinc sulfate.png
Chemical model
Pronunciationzink SUL fate
Trade namesSolvazinc, Micro-Zn, others
  • Zinc sulfate
Clinical data
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)[1]
Routes of
By mouth, intravenous
Defined daily dose0.6 gram (by mouth)[2]
External links
AHFS/Drugs.comProfessional Drug Facts
License data
Legal status
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass161.47 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • [O-]S(=O)(=O)[O-].[Zn+2]
  • InChI=1S/H2O4S.Zn/c1-5(2,3)4;/h(H2,1,2,3,4);/q;+2/p-2

Zinc sulfate is used medically as a dietary supplement.[3] Specifically it is used to treat zinc deficiency and to prevention the conditions in those at high risk.[3] This includes use together with oral rehydration therapy for children who have diarrhea.[4] General use is not recommended.[3] It may be taken by mouth or by injection into a vein.[3]

Side effects may include abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, and feeling tired.[4] While normal doses are deemed safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, the safety of larger doses is unclear.[1] Greater care should be taken in those with kidney problems.[4] Zinc is an essential mineral in people as well as other animals.[5]

The medical use of zinc sulfate began as early as the 1600s.[6] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[7] Zinc sulfate is available as a generic medication and over the counter.[3][1] The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.01–18 per day.[8] In the United Kingdom ten days of treatment costs the NHS about 4.32 pounds.[3]

Medical uses

The use of zinc sulfate supplements together with oral rehydration therapy decreases the number of bowel movements and the time until the diarrhea stops.[4] Its use in this situation is recommended by the World Health Organization.[4]

Zinc sulfate is also an important part of parenteral nutrition.[3]


The defined daily dose is 0.6 gram (by mouth).[2] For children 6 month to 5 years old the recommended dose is 20 mg once per day for 10 days while in those under 6 month half this amount is recommended.[9]

Society and culture


The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.01–18 per day.[8] In the United Kingdom ten days of treatment costs the NHS about 4.32 pounds.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Zinc sulfate Use During Pregnancy". Drugs.com. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "WHOCC - ATC/DDD Index". www.whocc.no. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 700. ISBN 9780857111562.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Sneader, Walter (2005). Drug Discovery: A History. John Wiley & Sons. p. 62. ISBN 9780471899792. Archived from the original on 2017-01-16.
  7. 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.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Zinc Sulfate". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  9. "ZINC SULFATE oral - Essential drugs". medicalguidelines.msf.org. Retrieved 25 August 2020.

External links

  • "Zinc Sulfate". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine.