Washington: A new study has revealed that high-dose zinc acetate lozenges may help shorten symptoms associated with the common cold. According to a meta-analysis, high dose zinc acetate lozenges may help shorten diverse symptoms associated with the common cold, which is an infection caused by over a hundred viruses and it is a major cause of days off school or work and visits to a doctor.
When zinc acetate lozenges dissolve in the mouth, zinc ions are released into the saliva of the pharyngeal region where the levels are consequently high. Therefore the effects of zinc lozenges might be greatest on symptoms of the pharyngeal region such as sore throat, and less on nasal symptoms.
According to the calculations by researchers Harri Hemila from Helsinki, Finland and Elizabeth Chalker from Sydney, Australia, high dose zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of nasal discharge by 34 percent, nasal congestion by 37percent, sneezing by 22percent, scratchy throat by 33percent, sore throat by 18percent, hoarseness by 43percent and cough by 46 percent.
Furthermore, they found strong evidence that zinc lozenges also shortened the duration of muscle ache by 54percent. On the other hand, there was no evidence of zinc effect on the duration of headache and fever. However, the latter two symptoms were infrequent in the three studies and therefore no definite conclusions can be drawn on headache and fever.
Adverse effects of zinc were minor in the study, and therefore, researchers conclude from their research that zinc acetate lozenges releasing zinc ions at doses of about 80 mg/day may be a useful treatment for the common cold, started within 24 hours, for a time period of less than two weeks.
The study is published in BMC Family Practice.