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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 …
Source of funding: Quigley Corporation, USA.
For correspondence: Dr M L Macknin, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, A120, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. Fax +1 216 445 3523.