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December 14, 2021: Safety Bulletin - Opportunity for Improvement: Confusing Labels for Zinc Products

Oral zinc supplements are nonprescription products that are available in several salt forms (e.g., zinc citrate, zinc gluconate). The differences in expression of product strength between the salt entity (e.g., zinc citrate) and the elemental form of the mineral (e.g., zinc) may not be recognized or fully understood. Similar to the situation for iron and calcium products, clear labelling of the elemental and salt doses is critical to prevent dosing errors. ISMP Canada learned of an inadvertent zinc overdose that occurred in a hospital inpatient because of misinterpretation of the strength (elemental vs. salt) expressed on the label. Read more ...