How Do I Treat Zinc Poisoning?

An inability to urinate may be a symptom of zinc poisoning.
A doctor should be consulted immediately for zinc poisoning.
If a patient has chronic anemia from zinc poisoning, the patient may need a red blood cell transfusion.
Denture creams can contain high amounts of zinc.
Article Details
  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Zinc is a blue-white metal that is widely used in many industrial materials, in some foods, in dental creams, and in vitamins or supplements. Although the human body needs at least 15 milligrams (.0005 oz.) of zinc to remain healthy, there are significant side effects if excessive zinc is consumed, including vomiting, seizures, jaundice and low blood pressure. A metallic taste in the mouth also can indicate zinc poisoning. A medical doctor should be consulted immediately to treat zinc poisoning. After consulting poison control or a medical professional, most people are given fluids, such as milk, to drink. In some cases, a doctor may recommend nasogastric suction, gastric lavage, antidotes, or a red blood cell transfusion.

Once suspected, it is important to treat zinc poisoning in the body immediately. Milk commonly is given to line the stomach and flush the zinc out of the body. The next step is often gastric lavage or gastric suction. With gastric lavage, a tube is placed through the nose or mouth and into the stomach and the contents are washed out of the stomach. With gastric suction, the stomach contents are sucked out.

Sometimes the steps needed to treat zinc poisoning are more aggressive. For example, if the person has chronic anemia from the poisoning, she may need a red blood cell transfusion. Sometimes serum copper is given to the person to help, since a copper deficiency often occurs in the person with the poisoning.

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If a person were to regularly consume more than 40 milligrams (.001 oz.) of zinc, it could even be fatal within one week. There are some tell-tale signs that it is time to treat zinc poisoning in the body. For example, if a person experiences body pain, convulsions, chills, fever, an inability to urinate, a metallic taste in the mouth, rash, yellow skin or eyes, low blood pressure, or bloody diarrhea, the person may need to treat for zinc poisoning. If the poisoning is not treated, it can affect the kidneys and result in kidney failure.

In most cases, it is easy to avoid an overdose of zinc. Using common sense, such as taking the recommended amount of supplements and vitamins, will usually prevent zinc consumption from turning toxic. Some products, such as denture creams, were discovered to contain high amounts of zinc as well. Using those products daily, especially when combined with multi-vitamins containing zinc, may cause toxic amounts of the mineral to build-up in the body.

Since the discovery of zinc in denture creams, many lawsuits have been filed by people who needed to treat for zinc poisoning in their bodies. The plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers of the creams should have informed the users about the side effects of excessive use of the zinc-infused denture creams.

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Discuss this Article

anon325444
Post 7

I used Fixodent for six or seven years. I didn't know anything about zinc until one day I saw it on the box and this ticked me off. I am 52 and having some problems, but not sure what causes it. Both hands hurt and are stiff in same places. I am having thyroid problems too. Can this be linked?

weird1
Post 6

I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis too, then my kidneys failed on me last year and I had to wear diapers for a while. I was put on a pill for urinary frequency. Now I have started falling a lot and have numbness In my legs.

I got my dentures In 2005, and symptoms started in 2007 and I just recently started falling and having terrible numbness In my legs. I also have taken vitamins for years, and my vitamins contain zinc.

How can the FDA get away with poisoning people?

I just thank the Lord that I found out when I did.

I am 39 years old and will be 40 in July. Maybe I can reverse some of the damage that has been done.

anon212495
Post 4

I used fixodent for 12 years, and now I suffer every day from ankylosing spondylitis that's been undiagnosed but they can't figure anything else as a reason.

I can't walk and sometimes I have to mega dose to sleep. I have stomach problems so bad I have to liquify my food sometimes.

Fixodent still is selling and making zinc containing denture cream. However I'm trying poligrip non zinc. It works better and I pray every night my health comes back.

anon151855
Post 3

My husband has used Fixodent and Poligrip since 1985. He now only in the past several years his health has gone down hill. He now has numbness in both legs and both hands and fall all the time. His balance is so bad most of the time I walk behind him. Hopefully some one will help. Like everyone else said, what has the FDA been doing, sleeping on the job, and getting paid by people like us

anon112327
Post 2

I am 65 and for several years now I have felt sick to my stomach and a funny taste in my mouth. I have numbness in my toes on the right and hands. I have been using fixodent for over 10 years and only now found out that I could have zinc poisoning. This is so screwed up that the FDA didn't see this sooner.

anon83900
Post 1

so what can i do at home to treat zinc poisoning?

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