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Ital J Pediatr. 2012 Aug 2;38:36. doi: 10.1186/1824-7288-38-36.

Role of zinc in severe pneumonia: a randomized double bind placebo controlled study.

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Department of Pediatrics, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal.



Pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children.


The aim of study was to evaluate the efficacy of Zinc supplementation in treatment of severe pneumonia in hospitalized children.


A double blind randomized, placebo- controlled clinical trial conducted at a tertiary care centre of a teaching hospital. Children with diagnosis of severe pneumonia were randomly assigned to receive supplementation with either elemental zinc or placebo by mouth at the time of enrollment. From day 2, they received 10 mg of their assigned treatment by mouth twice a day for 7 days along with standard antimicrobial therapy.


The baseline characteristics like age, sex, weight, weight Z score, height, height Z score, weight for height Z score and hemoglobin were comparable in both study groups. The respiratory rate, chest indrawing, cyanosis, stridor, nasal flaring, wheeze and fever in both groups recorded at enrollment and parameters did not differ significantly between the two groups. The outcome measures like time taken for resolution of severe pneumonia, pneumonia, duration of hospital stay, nil per oral, intravenous fluid, oxygen use, treatment requiring 2nd line of drug and 3rd line drug were evaluated and found to be same.


The present study did not show a statistically significant reduction in duration of severe pneumonia, or reduction in hospital stay for children given daily zinc supplementation along with standard antimicrobial therapy. Therefore, zinc supplementation given during the acute episode does not help in short term clinical recovery from severe pneumonia.

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