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From: (Steven B. Harris )
Subject: Re: Safety of IV Zinc?
Date: 14 Sep 1995

In <437a55$> (Jimc2) writes:

>I am an emergency physician interestd in testing whether IV Zinc is
>beneficial to people suffereing from an acute Sickle cell crisis. There
>are theoretical reasons to think it may help.  At present I am trying to
>find out what has been done to test the safety of Zinc as an IV boulus.  I
>know that small amounts are routinely given over long periods in
>parenteral nutrition. Literature searches have thus far been futile.
>Any references on the IV bolusing of Zinc would be greatly appreciated.
>James Celentano MD PhD

   Zinc in itself is not too toxic, as I recall, but much larger than
RDA doses of zinc really screw up copper status, which in the end
causes anemia on its own.  So if you're going to give zinc infusions,
make darned sure you supplement orally with copper, and follow serum
ceruloplasmins to make sure you aren't copper-depleting your patients.
For some papers on this, look up zinc treatment in Wilson's disease.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

From: (Steven B. Harris )
Subject: Re: Safety of IV Zinc?
Date: 16 Sep 1995

In <43bcun$> (Jimc2) writes:

>As I understood it the interaction between copper and zinc was related to
>GI uptake. They share the same uptake protein.  Do you think I would still
>have a problem giving zinc IV?  Either way my plan is to do a one time
>bolus and look at subjective things like amount of pain (with a visual
>analog scale) and objective things like amount of narcotics given and
>amount of time spent in the hospital.

   Ah, good point.  Well, you might be able to get away with it IV
then.  But do test just a few coppers to make sure, since I'm not sure
the absorbtion competition is the ONLY interaction.   Sounds like an
interesting study, and one that will do a lot of good if positive.
Zinc's cheap.   Good luck.  I hope you're doing a saline control, and a
blinded test.  The infusor doesn't necessarily need to be blinded, but
certainly the patients and the patient care-giver staff do.  And of
course, double blind tests are the gold-standard.  You don't want to
have a zinc-standard <g>.

                                              Steve Harris, M.D.

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