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What are the potential risks of taking zinc sulfate?

If you take zinc sulfate, certain medical conditions and medications may increase your risk for complications. Such conditions include: copper deficiency in the blood, allergies, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Medications that may interact adversely with zinc sulfate include: antibiotics like quinolones or tetracyclines, risedronate, copper supplements, penicillamine, edetate calcium (EDTA), methyltestosterone and iron supplements. Before beginning any medical treatment, you should speak with your doctor about all of your medications and medical conditions that may cause an adverse interaction.

Certain foods may create problems when you take zinc supplements. Foods that contain zinc -- like lean red meats, seafood, peas and beans -- may provide too much zinc when paired with your supplement. Foods containing calcium or phosphorous may inhibit the absorption of zinc. These foods include: cheese, soft drinks, milk, ice cream, yogurt, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, beer, peanut butter and hot cocoa. Until you know how you will react to zinc, you also should not drink alcohol or smoke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.