Study: Zinc lozenges may shorten cold symptoms' duration

Zinc acetate lozenges may shorten the duration of symptoms when you catch a cold, new research indicates. | Courtesy of
Recent research indicates that high doses of zinc acetate lozenges may be key to easing the symptoms that people experience when they catch the common cold.

The meta-analysis, published by BMC Family Practice, suggests that these doses may shorten symptoms by 34 percent in the case of nasal discharge, 37 percent for nasal congestion, 46 percent for coughs and 33 percent for scratchy throats.

Previously, three randomized trials suggested that such high doses may shorten a cold’s duration by up to 42 percent, but these trials only addressed headaches and muscle aches, rather than other cold symptoms. A research team from Finland and Australia decided to determine whether the high doses make a difference with other cold symptoms.

Zinc ions are released as the lozenges dissolve in a person’s mouth, and these ions boost the saliva in the pharyngeal region. Researchers believe this leads to less pain from a sore throat, as well as milder nasal and other symptoms from a common cold.

There was no indication of whether the high doses of zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of a fever or headache caused by the common cold.

Organizations in this story

BioMed Central 236 Gray's Inn Rd London, WC1X 8HB

Get notified the next time we write about BioMed Central!