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Zinc Citrate Side Effects

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Zinc Citrate Side Effects
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Zinc citrate is a form of zinc, an essential mineral, which is easily absorbed by the body. Adults should consume between 8 and 11 milligrams of zinc daily, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Food sources of zinc include crab, beef, oysters, chicken, nuts, yogurt and milk. If you are unable to consume enough zinc from your normal daily diet, your doctor may recommend that you take zinc citrate supplements to ensure that you receive appropriate levels of zinc. Before taking this dietary supplement, discuss zinc citrate side effects with your medical provider.

Metallic Taste

Zinc citrate is typically administered orally as a capsule or tablet. You may develop an unusual metallic taste in your mouth as a side effect of treatment. This distinctive taste may arise when you place a zinc citrate supplement on your tongue or immediately after swallowing the tablet or capsule. While the metallic taste may be unpleasant, it is typically temporary and subsides shortly after treatment. Eating a small snack or drinking a flavored beverage after taking zinc citrate can help reduce or eliminate the metallic taste in your mouth.

Upset Stomach

Treatment with this form of zinc may irritate your digestive tract. Consequently, you may experience upset stomach side effects such as nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite. If you consume unusually high levels of zinc citrate, you may also experience abdominal cramping or diarrhea. Talk with a doctor if you experience severe or persistent upset stomach side effects while taking zinc citrate.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Infrequently, flu-like symptoms may develop as a side effect of zinc citrate. These flu-like symptoms may include fever, chills, sore throat, weakness, fatigue or stomach discomfort. If you develop flu-like symptoms, seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible.


Zinc toxicity may develop if you take unusually high doses of zinc citrate. An overdose of this zinc supplement may cause chest pain, vomiting, breathing difficulties, dizziness, loss of consciousness or unusual yellowing of your eyes or skin. If any of these side effects emerge while you are taking zinc citrate, consult a doctor immediately.

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