Uses

Copper is an essential trace element present in the diet and in the human body. It is needed to absorb and utilize iron. It is also part of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Copper is needed to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy the body runs on. Synthesis of some hormones requires copper, as does the synthesis of collagen (the "glue" that holds connective tissue together). In addition, the enzyme, tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment, requires copper to function.

What Are Star Ratings?

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
2 Stars
Anemia
If deficient: 2 to 3 mg daily
Copper deficiency can contribute to anemia, supplementing with this mineral may restore levels and improve symptoms.

Deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid are the most common nutritional causes of anemia. Although rare, severe deficiencies of several other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A,vitamin B2,vitamin B6,vitamin C, and copper, can also cause anemia by various mechanisms. Rare genetic disorders can cause anemias that may improve with large amounts of supplements such as vitamin B1.

2 Stars
High Cholesterol
3 to 4 mg daily
Copper deficiency has been linked to high blood cholesterol, supplementing with it may correct a deficiency and lower cholesterol.
Deficiency of the trace mineral copper has been linked to high blood cholesterol. In a controlled trial, daily supplementation with 3 to 4 mg of copper for eight weeks decreased blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, in a group of people over 50 years of age.
2 Stars
Menkes' Disease
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner regarding copper injections
Some studies have shown favorable effects of injectable copper on brain and nerve development when treatment was begun early and the degree of genetic defect was mild.

Copper injections are used to treat Menkes' disease. The success of this treatment often depends on the severity of the disease.

Some studies have shown favorable effects of injectable copper on brain and nerve development in people with Menkes' disease when the degree of genetic defect was mild and treatment was begun early. However, copper therapy does not benefit Menkes' patients if the genetic defects are severe, or if therapy is begun after the physical defects manifest. Some researchers have observed that damaging levels of copper can build up in the tissues of some copper-treated people with Menkes' disease. For example, in one study a boy developed low blood pressure in response to changing body position (called orthostatic hypotension), an enlarged spleen, and ballooning of an artery in his abdomen. However, whether these anomalies resulted from therapy or from the Menkes' disease itself remains unclear. As a result, copper therapy is still considered experimental and potentially dangerous. People with Menkes' disease should consult a healthcare professional before supplementing with copper.

In 1989, one researcher suggested that Menkes' disease is caused by a defect in zinc metabolism that reduces copper availability. The possibility of this zinc-copper interaction in Menkes' disease has since been investigated in preliminary test tube research. These studies have shown that supplementation with zinc does not alter the way cells from people with Menkes' disease use copper. Therefore, zinc supplementation is unlikely to be beneficial in Menkes' disease.

2 Stars
Osteoporosis
2 to 3 mg daily
Copper is needed for normal bone synthesis, and one trial reported that copper reduced bone loss.

Copper is needed for normal bone synthesis. Recently, a two-year, controlled trial reported that 3 mg of copper per day reduced bone loss. When taken over a shorter period of time (six weeks), the same level of copper supplementation had no effect on biochemical markers of bone loss. Some doctors recommend 2 to 3 mg of copper per day, particularly if zinc is also being taken, in order to prevent a deficiency. Supplemental zinc significantly depletes copper stores, so people taking zinc supplements for more than a few weeks generally need to supplement with copper also. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper are sometimes found at appropriate levels in high-potency multivitamin-mineral supplements.

One trial studying postmenopausal women combined hormone replacement therapy with magnesium (600 mg per day), calcium (500 mg per day), vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, and other nutrients for an eight- to nine-month period. In addition, participants were told to avoid processed foods, limit protein intake, emphasize vegetable over animal protein, and limit consumption of salt, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, and tobacco. Bone density increased a remarkable 11%, compared to only 0.7% in women receiving hormone replacement alone.

2 Stars
Wound Healing
2 to 4 mg daily
Copper plays a role in the strengthening of connective tissue and may help promote wound healing.

Copper is a required cofactor for the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which plays a role in the cross-linking (and strengthening) of connective tissue. Doctors often recommend a copper supplement as part of a comprehensive nutritional program to promote wound healing. A typical amount recommended is 2-4 mg per day, beginning two weeks prior to surgery and continuing for four weeks after surgery.

1 Star
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Refer to label instructions
Copper is required for normal artery structure, and deficiency of the vitamin may lead to weak aortic walls and aorta rupture. Supplementing with copper may combat deficiency.

Copper is required for normal artery structure. Animal studies have shown that copper deficiency leads to weak aortic walls and rupture of the aorta. Combating deficiency with copper supplements prevented rupture in an animal study. Copper deficiency in humans with AAA has been suggested in some studies, but not in others. No studies have been done using copper supplements to prevent or manage aneurysms.

1 Star
Athletic Performance
Refer to label instructions
In one trial a combination of zinc and copper significantly reduced evidence of post-exercise free radical activity.

In one double-blind trial a combination of 50 mg per day of zinc and 3 mg per day of copper significantly reduced evidence of post-exercise free radical activity.

Exercise increases zinc losses from the human body, and severe zinc deficiency can compromise muscle function. Athletes who do not eat an optimal diet, especially those who are trying to control their weight or use fad diets while exercising strenuously, may become deficient in zinc to the extent that performance or health is compromised. One double-blind trial in women found that 135 mg per day of zinc for two weeks improved one measure of muscle strength. Whether these women were zinc deficient was not determined in this study. A double-blind study of male athletes with low blood levels of zinc found that 20 mg per day of zinc improved the flexibility of the red blood cells during exercise, which could benefit blood flow to the muscles. No other studies of the effects of zinc supplementation in exercising people have been done. A safe amount of zinc for long-term use is 20 to 40 mg per day along with 1 to 2 mg of copper. Higher amounts should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor.

1 Star
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Refer to label instructions
If you are taking large amounts of zinc (such as 30 mg per day or more) for BHP, most doctors recommend supplementing with copper to avoid copper deficiency.

Prostatic secretions are known to contain a high concentration of zinc; that observation suggests that zinc plays a role in normal prostate function. In one preliminary study, 19 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia took 150 mg of zinc daily for two months, and then 50 to 100 mg daily. In 74% of the men, the prostate became smaller. Because this study did not include a control group, improvements may have been due to a placebo effect. Zinc also reduced prostatic size in an animal study but only when given by local injection. Although the research supporting the use of zinc is weak, many doctors recommend its use. Because supplementing with large amounts of zinc (such as 30 mg per day or more) may potentially lead to copper deficiency, most doctors recommend taking 2 to 3 mg of copper per day along with zinc.

1 Star
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with copper may reduce the frequency of abnormal heartbeats.

Three cases have been reported in which ventricular premature beats disappeared after supplementation with copper (4 mg per day in the two cases for which amounts were reported). In one of these people, supplementing with zinc made the arrhythmia worse, confirming previous observations that excessive zinc intake may lead to copper deficiency, which in turn may lead to arrhythmia.

1 Star
Hypoglycemia
Refer to label instructions
Copper helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, it may be helpful for hypoglycemia as well.

Research has shown that supplementing with chromium (200 mcg per day) or magnesium (340 mg per day) can prevent blood sugar levels from falling excessively in people with hypoglycemia. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has also been found to be helpful for hypoglycemic people. Other nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin B6, may help control blood sugar levels in diabetics. Since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, these nutrients might be helpful for hypoglycemia as well, although the amounts needed for that purpose are not known.

1 Star
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Refer to label instructions
People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to be deficient in copper, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent needed to activate an enzyme that protects joints from inflammation.

Copper acts as an anti-inflammatory agent needed to activate superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that protects joints from inflammation. People with RA tend toward copper deficiency and copper supplementation has been shown to increase SOD levels in humans. The Journal of the American Medical Association quoted one researcher as saying that while "Regular aspirin had 6% the anti-inflammatory activity of [cortisone] . . . copper [when added to aspirin] had 130% the activity [of cortisone]."

Several copper compounds have been used successfully in treating people with RA, and a controlled trial using copper bracelets reported surprisingly effective results compared with the effect of placebo bracelets. Under certain circumstances, however, copper can increase inflammation in rheumatoid joints. Moreover, the form of copper most consistently reported to be effective, copper aspirinate (a combination of copper and aspirin), is not readily available. Nonetheless, some doctors suggest a trial of 1-3 mg of copper per day for at least several months.

1 Star
Sprains and Strains
Refer to label instructions
Trace minerals, such as copper, are known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing.

Zinc is a component of many enzymes, including some that are needed to repair wounds. Even a mild deficiency of zinc can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage as well as from more serious trauma. Trace minerals, such as manganese, copper, and silicon are also known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing. However, there have been no controlled studies of people with sprains or strains to explore the effect of deficiency of these minerals, or of oral supplementation, on the rate of healing.

How It Works

How to Use It

Most people consume less than the recommended amount of this mineral. Some doctors recommend supplementing the average diet with 1-3 mg of copper per day. While the necessity of supplementing a normal diet with copper has not been proven, most people who take zinc supplements, including the zinc found in multivitamin-mineral supplements, should probably take additional copper.

Cupric oxide (CuO) is a form of copper frequently used in vitamin-mineral supplements sold over-the-counter. However, animal studies have shown conclusively this form of copper is poorly absorbed from the gut; it should therefore not be used in supplements.1 , 2 , 3 , 4 Several other forms of copper (including copper sulfate, cupric acetate, and alkaline copper carbonate) are better absorbed, and are therefore preferable to cupric oxide.5

Where to Find It

The best source of copper is oysters. Nuts, dried legumes, cereals, potatoes, vegetables, and meat also contain copper.

Possible Deficiencies

Many people consume slightly less than the "safe and adequate range" of copper, 1.5-3.0 mg per day. Little is known about the clinical effects of these marginally adequate intakes, though frank copper deficiency is uncommon. Children with Menkes' disease are unable to absorb copper normally and become severely deficient unless medically treated early in life. Deficiency can also occur in people who supplement with zinc without also increasing copper intake. Zinc interferes with copper absorption.6 Health consequences of zinc-induced copper deficiency can be quite serious.7 In the absence of copper supplementation, vitamin C supplementation has also been reported to mildly impair copper metabolism.8 Copper deficiency can result in anemia, lower levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, or cardiac arrhythmias.

Interactions

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

Zinc interferes with copper absorption. People taking zinc supplements for more than a few weeks should also take copper (unless they have Wilson's disease). In the absence of copper supplementation, vitamin C may interfere with copper metabolism. Copper improves absorption and utilization of iron.

Interactions with Medicines

Certain medicines interact with this supplement.

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • AZT

    Preliminary human research suggests AZT therapy may cause a reduction in copper and zinc blood levels. The practical importance of these findings remains unclear.

  • Carbamazepine

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Cimetidine in Normal Saline

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Clonazepam

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Diazepam

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Divalproex

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Eslicarbazepine

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Ethosuximide

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Ethotoin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Famotidine

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Famotidine (PF)

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Famotidine in Normal Saline

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Felbamate

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Folic Acid

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Fosphentyoin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Gabapentin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Lacosamide

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Lamotrigine

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Levetiracetam

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Methsuximide

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Nizatidine

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Oxcarbazepine

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Phenobarbital

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Phenytoin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Phenytoin Sodium Extended

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Phenytoin Sodium Prompt

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Pregabalin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Primidone

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Ranitidine

    There is some evidence that other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and copper, require the presence of stomach acid for optimal absorption. Long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore promote a deficiency of these nutrients. Individuals requiring long-term use of H-2 blockers may therefore benefit from a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement.

  • Rufinamide

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Tiagabine

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Topiramate

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Trimethadione

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Valproate

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Valproic Acid

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Vigabatrin

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

  • Zonisamide

    In various studies of children treated with valproic acid for epilepsy compared with control groups, serum zinc levels remained normal or decreased, serum copper levels remained normal or decreased, and red blood cell zinc levels were decreased. The importance of these changes and how frequently they occur remain unclear.

Reduce Side Effects

  • Oxaprozin

    Supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective dose of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds, as well.

Support Medicine

  • Norethindrone (Contraceptive)

    A review of literature suggests that women who use oral contraceptives may experience decreased vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, C, and zinc levels. Oral contraceptive use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. Oral contraceptives may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.

  • Norgestrel

    A review of literature suggests that women who use oral contraceptives may experience decreased vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, C, and zinc levels. Oral contraceptive use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. Oral contraceptives may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.

  • Oxaprozin

    Supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective dose of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds, as well.

Reduces Effectiveness

  • Ciprofloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Ciprofloxacin in D5W

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Gatifloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Gatifloxacin in D5W

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Gemifloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Levofloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Levofloxacin in D5W

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Moxifloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Moxifloxacin in Saline

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Norfloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

  • Ofloxacin

    Minerals such as aluminum, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc can bind to ciprofloxacin, greatly reducing the absorption of the drug. Because of the mineral content, people are advised to take ciprofloxacin two hours after consuming dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and others), antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Tums®, Rolaids®, and others), and mineral-containing supplements.

Potential Negative Interaction

  • none

Explanation Required

  • Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol

    A review of literature suggests that women who use oral contraceptives may experience decreased vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, C, and zinc levels. Oral contraceptive use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. Oral contraceptives may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.

  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Levonorgestrel
    A review of literature suggests that women who use oral contraceptives may experience decreased vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, C, and zinc levels. Oral contraceptive use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. Oral contraceptives may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.
  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Norethindrone

    A review of literature suggests that women who use OCs may experience decreased vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, C, and zinc levels. OC use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. OCs may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.

  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Norgestimate
    Oral contraceptive use has been associated with increased absorption of calcium and copper and with increased blood levels of copper and vitamin A. Oral contraceptives may interfere with manganese absorption. The clinical importance of these actions remains unclear.
  • Etodolac

    Supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective amount of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds, as well.

  • Ibuprofen

    Supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective amount of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds as well.

  • Nabumetone

    Supplementation may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective amount of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds, as well.

  • Naproxen

    Supplementation with copper may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs while reducing their ulcerogenic effects. One study found that when various anti-inflammatory drugs were chelated with copper, the anti-inflammatory activity was increased. Animal models of inflammation have found that the copper chelate of aspirin was active at one-eighth the effective dose of aspirin. These copper complexes are less toxic than the parent compounds, as well.

  • Penicillamine

    One of the main uses of penicillamine is to reduce toxic copper deposits in people with Wilson's disease. People taking a copper supplement can make Wilson's disease worse and may negate the benefits of drugs used to remove copper from the body.

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

The level at which copper causes problems is unclear. But in combination with zinc, up to 3 mg per day is considered safe. People drinking tap water from new copper pipes should consult their doctor before supplementing, since they might be getting enough (or even too much) copper from their water. People with Wilson's disease should never take copper.

Preliminary evidence shows that the levels of copper in the blood were higher among people who died from coronary heart disease than among those who did not.9 However, animals studies and some human studies suggest that, if anything, copper may prevent the development of heart disease. Although it is not clear why people who died of heart disease had elevated copper levels, this finding could be due to chronic inflammation, which is known to be associated with increased copper levels.10

References

1. Aoyogi S, Baker DH. Bioavailability of copper in analytical-grade and feed-grade inorganic copper sources when fed to provide copper at levels below the chicks requirement. Poult Sci 1993;72:1075-83.

2. Baker DH, Odle J, Funk MA, Wieland TM. Bioavailability of copper in cupric oxide, cuprous oxide and in a copper-lysine complex. Poult Sci 1991;70:177-9.

3. Cromwell GL, Stahly TS, Moneque HJ. Effects of source and level of copper on performance and liver copper stores in weanling pigs. J Anim Sci 1989;67:2996-3002.

4. Ledoux DR, Henry PR, Ammerman CB, et al. Estimation of the relative bioavailability of inorganic copper sources for chicks using tissue uptake of copper. J Anim Sci 1991;69:215-22.

5. Baker DH. Cupric oxide should not be used as a copper supplement for either animals or humans. J Nutr 1999;129:2278-9.

6. Sandstead HH. Requirements and toxicity of essential trace elements, illustrated by zinc and copper. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61(suppl):621S-24S [review].

7. Broun ER. Greist A, Tricot G, Hoffman R. Excessive zinc ingestion. A reversible cause of sideroblastic anemia and bone marrow depression. JAMA 1990;264:1441-3.

8. Jacob RA, Skala JH, Omaye ST, Turnlund JR. Effect of varying ascorbic acid intakes on copper absorption and ceruloplasmin levels of young men. J Nutr 1987;117:2109-15.

9. Ford ES. Serum copper concentration and coronary heart disease among US adults. Am J Epidemiol 2000;151:1182-8.

10. Youssef A, Wood B, Baron DN. Serum copper: a marker of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis. J Clin Pathol 1983;36:14-17.