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Cold and Flu Center

Airborne Side Effects

author image Carolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams began writing and editing professionally over 20 years ago. Her work appears on various websites. An avid traveler, swimmer and golf enthusiast, Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary's College of California.
Airborne Side Effects
Be cautious about taking supplements for a cold. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Airborne is a product that is touted to support your immune system. Anecdotal reports suggest that it can help mitigate or even shorten the duration of the common cold. However, no studies suggest that it is effective as a cure. In fact, the company that sells Airborne has re-packaged its product after federal regulators sued for false advertising in 2008. The product contains a mix of several vitamins and minerals, many of which may have side effects. Follow the directions on the package exactly to avoid accidental overdose and avoid Airborne if you know that you are sensitive to any of its ingredients. Consult with your physician before taking this, or any other supplement, to avoid drug interactions.

Fatigue and Vomiting

Vitamin A has known health benefits to keep your skin and hair healthy, but it can be toxic in high doses. Airborne contains 40 percent of your daily dosage of Vitamin A in one tablet. The company website suggests taking no more than three tablets of Airborne daily. This amount is 20 percent over the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A. Overdoses of Vitamin A can cause fatigue and vomiting. Overdose on a regular basis can cause issues with both brittle skin and bones.

Nausea, Gas and Bloating

Vitamin C may have some ability to help counteract a cold virus. However, it takes time to have this effect. One tablet of Airborne contains 167 percent of your daily dosage. Excess of this water-soluble vitamin is normally flushed out in urine. However, a Vitamin C overdose is possible. Symptoms include nausea, gas and bloating.


Vitamin E is another key ingredient in Airborne. One tablet contains 100 percent of your daily allowance. If you take the recommended dose of three tablets per day, you would take in 300 percent of your Vitamin E requirement. Excess Vitamin E has been linked to the inability of the body to stop bleeding. If you already take a blood thinner, consult with your doctor before taking Airborne.

Interference with Metabolism

High doses of zinc appear to interfere with your body's normal processing of nutrients. One tablet of Airborne contains 53 percent of your daily allowance of zinc. If you take the recommended dosage of three tablets, you are at 159 percent of your daily allowance. If you take excessive amounts of zinc, your body has problems absorbing copper, magnesium and iron, which are all essential for your body to function normally.

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