Zinc lozenges are used in the therapy of the common cold.
Zinc's mechanism of action is unclear, however some studies show that zinc gluconate lozenges get rid of colds twice as fast. The theory is that zinc boosts the immune system or has an antiviral actions. Lozenges seem more effective than swallowed capsules or tablets.
People should be aware that this therapy has not been proven, however if they wish to use it, they must start early - within 24 hours of getting the symptoms.
Zinc is able to decrease the absorption of tetracycline and quinolone antibiotics. The trick is to separate the two agents by at least two hours. Take the antibiotic first - it will have time to be absorbed by the body. Then use the zinc lozenges.
Ann Intern Med 1996:125:81,142
Ann Pharmacother 1993;27:589
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.