Zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of the common cold by nearly 3 days, according to an analysis.

Among 199 patients with the common cold who participated in three randomized placebo-controlled trials, the effect of zinc lozenges was not modified by allergy status, smoking, symptom severity, age, sex, or ethnic group.

“One study indicated that zinc lozenges might be more effective for common cold patients with allergies, but we showed that the efficacy is the same for those with and without allergies.

Common cold patients should be encouraged to try zinc acetate lozenges not exceeding 100 mg of elemental zinc per day for treating their colds,” said Dr Harri Hemila, lead author of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology analysis.

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