Evid Based Nurs 2:13 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.1.13
  • Treatment

Zinc gluconate lozenges were not effective for treating the common cold in children and adolescents

 Question Are zinc gluconate lozenges effective for reducing clinical symptoms in children and adolescents with the common cold?


21 day randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial.


2 suburban school districts in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


249 students (median age 13 y, 52% girls, 92% white) who had ≥2 of the following symptoms: cough, headache, hoarseness, muscle ache, nasal congestion, nasal drainage, scratchy throat, sore throat, or sneezing. Exclusion criteria were oral temperature >37.7°C, previous use of zinc gluconate lozenges, pregnancy, known adverse reaction to zinc, known immune deficiency, other acute illness, or cold symptoms lasting >24 hours. Follow up was 96%.


3.75 g, hard candy lozenges that were composed of sucrose, corn syrup, aminoacetic acid, cherry flavouring oils, and either zinc gluconate trichydrate, 10 mg or placebo (calcium lactate pentahydrate). Students were allocated to zinc lozenges (Cold-Eeze, Quigley Corporation, Doylestown, PA, USA) (n=125) or placebo lozenges (n=124) until their cold symptoms had been resolved for 6 hours. All students took 3 lozenges each school day. Students in grades 1–6 took 2 lozenges each school night and 5 each day on the weekend; those in …

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