Can You Take Zinc with Paxlovid?

Can You Take Zinc with Paxlovid

Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral medication for the treatment of COVID-19, has been a topic of widespread discussion and interest. As people use it more, there are questions about how it interacts with dietary supplements, specifically zinc.

Zinc is a micronutrient essential for immune function and often used as a dietary supplement, has potential implications when combined with pharmaceuticals.

In this article, we will discuss the potential interactions between Paxlovid and zinc. We also explore if it’s safe to combine these two drugs, and what that means.

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medication developed by Pfizer, specifically designed to treat mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who are at risk of progressing to severe disease.

It contains a combination of 2 drugs- nirmatrelvir, which stops the SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease, and ritonavir, which slows down nirmatrelvir’s breakdown in the body, thereby increasing its effectiveness.

The medicine stops the virus from making copies of itself, which helps control the infection. In clinical trials, Paxlovid has proven to be highly effective in reducing hospitalization and death in COVID-19 patients when taken within five days of showing symptoms.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Paxlovid, acknowledging its potential benefits in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Exploring Zinc and Its potential health benefits

Zinc is a vital mineral that our bodies require to function optimally. It plays a significant role in numerous biological processes: DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, cell division, immune response, and more. Zinc is often taken as a supplement to support immune health, especially during cold and flu season.

The body does not naturally store zinc, so a daily intake through diet or supplementation is required. Food sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, dairy, and eggs. In supplemental form, zinc is often sold as zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, or zinc acetate.

In terms of interaction with medications, zinc has the potential to interfere with certain pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics and diuretics.

Therefore, it’s always essential to consult with a medical professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you are currently taking medication.

Can you take Zinc with Paxlovid together?

Yes, you can take zinc with Paxlovid, but with caution. As of now, there is no specific clinical data or guidance that suggests an interaction between zinc supplementation and Paxlovid.

In fact, researchers found that taking Paxlovid within five days of a positive test was linked to a 26% lower risk of long COVID.

Taking oral zinc twice a day greatly decreased the risk of needing intensive care or facing mortality due to COVID. “Zinc should be considered for COVID-19 treatment,” the authors wrote.

How to take

To take zinc and Paxlovid together, make sure to follow the recommended dosages for each.

If you’re taking zinc supplements, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake of 2-11 mg, depending on your age and sex. Consuming too much zinc can cause adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches.

As for Paxlovid, the FDA recommends a dosage of 1500mg nirmatrelvir/75 mg ritonavir twice daily for five days. It’s essential to stick to the recommended dosages and not exceed them unless advised by your healthcare provider

Always consult with a doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you are currently taking medication like Paxlovid.

Potential Interactions between Zinc and Paxlovid

There is no specific research on interactions between zinc and Paxlovid, but it’s important to exercise caution when taking zinc supplements with any medication.

Zinc can influence the body’s absorption of certain drugs, potentially altering their effectiveness. For Paxlovid, in particular, no contraindications with zinc have been specified by Pfizer or the FDA. However, this does not guarantee that interactions do not exist.

Basically, it’s important to mention that while zinc is a necessary nutrient for supporting immune health, it’s not yet proven to prevent or treat COVID-19.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states there is insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of zinc for COVID-19 treatment. So, it’s important to remember that zinc supplementation is not a replacement for proven COVID-19 treatments or preventive measures like vaccination, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing.

Are there any side effects of using Paxlovid and Zinc together?

As with any combination of medication and supplements, there could be potential side effects when taking Paxlovid and zinc together. It’s important to note:

  1. Zinc, especially when taken in high doses, can cause minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
  2. The interaction of zinc with Paxlovid is not entirely known, and it may alter the absorption or efficacy of the medication.
  3. Overuse of zinc supplements can cause copper deficiency, impaired immunity, and adverse effects on cholesterol levels.
  4. It’s crucial to adhere to the recommended daily dose of zinc and not exceed 40mg for adults.
  5. Paxlovid itself may have side effects like diarrhea, high blood pressure, or altered sense of taste. Combining it with zinc may exacerbate or alter these effects.
  6. Always consult with a healthcare professional before combining medications and supplements.

How to take Paxlovid and Zinc?

When taking Paxlovid and zinc together, here are some recommendations:

  1. First, make sure to check with your provider before starting this combination medication regimen.
  2. If approved, take zinc and Paxlovid separately to prevent any potential interaction that might affect absorption.
  3. Follow the prescribed dosage of Paxlovid and the recommended daily intake of zinc. For adults, the upper limit is 40mg per day, unless a higher dose is recommended by a healthcare professional.
  4. Do not take zinc on an empty stomach to reduce side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.
  5. Maintain a balanced diet alongside supplementation. Foods rich in zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, dairy, and eggs.
  6. Monitor for any negative reactions or side effects, and report them to your provider immediately. These might include gastrointestinal issues changes in taste from zinc, or diarrhea and high blood pressure from Paxlovid.

Recommendations and Precautions

While combining Paxlovid and zinc may not present any known severe interactions, it is crucial to exercise caution.

Over-reliance on supplements could cause adverse effects that outweigh their benefits. Supplements are not substitutes for a healthy diet or lifestyle.

It’s important to eat well, exercise regularly, drink enough water, and get good sleep. These things help keep our immune system strong and protect us from getting sick.

Also, it’s important to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines like wearing masks, keeping distance, sanitizing hands, and getting vaccinated. These actions, along with a balanced lifestyle, can lower the risk of COVID-19.


In conclusion, while zinc can be a beneficial supplement for maintaining immune health, its specific interaction with Paxlovid is not well understood. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a doctor before combining these. Remember, supplements should not replace a balanced lifestyle, adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, and proven treatments for COVID-19, including medications like Paxlovid and vaccination. Always approach health decisions with an informed perspective and under professional guidance.


Does zinc interfere with any medications?

Zinc can potentially interact with various medications, changing their efficiency. Some of these medications include antibiotics, diuretics, and certain arthritis medications. It’s essential to consult with a professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially when you’re already on medication.

Can I take Paxlovid and Zinc if I have underlying health conditions?

If you have underlying health conditions, it’s particularly important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, including zinc, especially if you’re also taking medication like Paxlovid. Health conditions can impact how your body absorbs and uses substances, potentially affecting medication effectiveness and causing side effects.

Can you take vitamin D with Paxlovid?

Yes you can take vitamin D with Paxlovid, there is not currently found any interaction between them. So it’s safe to take both of them together. But it’s important to consult with your doctor first before combining it with Paxlovid or any other new medication.

Can you take zinc and vitamin D together?

Yes, zinc and vitamin D can be taken together. Both are vital nutrients that for our body. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune function, while zinc is important for immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. There are no known adverse interactions between these two nutrients.

What meds should not be taken with Paxlovid?

Do not take Paxlovid with certain drugs that are broken down by the enzyme CYP3A. These drugs include certain cholesterol medications (lovastatin, simvastatin), drugs used for heart rhythm problems (amiodarone, quinidine), and certain drugs used for seizures or psychiatric disorders. Additionally, Paxlovid should not be taken with rifampin, St. John’s Wort, or certain HIV medications.

Can you take elderberry with paxlovid?

No, it is not recommended to take elderberry with Paxlovid. Elderberry may interact with some medications including those used for viral infections like Paxlovid. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a doctor before combining these two substances. Plus, elderberry has not been scientifically proven to prevent or treat COVID-19, so it should not be relied upon as

Related medical information


The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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