Copper Supplement (Oral, Parenteral)

Overview

Copper supplements can make up for a lack of copper within the body.

Metals are important for bodily functions in trace amounts. While heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury are harmful to the body, other metals like iron, zinc, and copper are necessary for your health. Copper in particular is extremely important, and you can suffer from a deficiency if your diet does not cover the needs of your body.

Copper is plays a part in:

  • Absorbing iron within the body
  • Regulating blood pressure and your heart rate
  • Developing the heart and brain
  • Activating your immune system
  • Producing blood cells

Without this mineral, your body may have a hard time functioning properly. If you are suffering from a copper deficiency, you may experience symptoms like shaking, fatigue, anemia, tingling, and spotty vision. Foods rich in copper can help with these symptoms, and you should adjust your diet to be rich in vitamins and minerals. Copper-rich foods include whole grains, green vegetables, potatoes, beans, and sunflower seeds.

While you should make effort to include copper-rich foods in your diet, you may need help getting your body back to regular levels. In these cases, you may require supplements to help your body get the necessary minerals. Certain medical conditions may cause low levels of copper within the body. Your doctor might recommend a copper supplement if you suffer from Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.

While you should get healthy amounts of copper in your diet and supplemental medications, copper can be toxic in high doses. Do not take more than needed, and stop taking copper supplements if you suspect you may be overdosing on them. Some people may suffer from a build-up of copper if they have certain conditions. In these cases, little to no extra copper is recommended.

All vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken responsibly, and you shouldn't take more than you need. All good things have a limit, and you should be careful when it comes to metals like copper. Your body can benefit from supplements, but too much can result in toxicity and unwanted side effects.

Type Of Medication

  • Mineral supplement

Conditions Treated

  • Copper deficiency

Side Effects

Mineral supplements should not cause side effects in a healthy adult. You may experience unpleasant side effects if you ingest too much copper, or if you have a condition that makes you sensitive to copper. Talk to your doctor before taking copper supplements, and only take them if you actually need them. Copper supplements can be taken orally or through parenteral routes.

You should not take supplements if you are already healthy and well-fed. Taking random vitamins, minerals, and other supplementary pills can cause imbalances within the body. This can cause a buildup of excess minerals that can make you sick. If you do this for a prolonged period of time, you may develop other conditions. Take supplements and vitamins responsibly, and talk to your doctor if you experience unpleasant side effects after taking copper supplements.

While rare, some people may be allergic to copper. If you have an existing copper allergy, do not take copper supplements, and talk to your doctor about other ways to solve your deficiency. If you experience an allergic reaction after taking copper supplements, stop taking them immediately and inform your doctor. If you feel like your life is in danger, go the hospital to receive medical attention.

Allergy symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Closing of the airways/throat
  • Unexplained rash
  • Isolated, unexplained fever
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, and lips

If you experience troubling changes in your health after beginning your copper supplements, stop taking them and schedule an appointment wit your doctor. You may have another problem that is being aggravated by your copper treatment.

Dosage

Your dosage may vary depend on your condition, age, biological sex, and weight. If you're unsure about how much copper you need to take, contact your doctor for more information. Copper supplements are usually over the counter, but that means there is an added degree of responsibility for those who take them. Like any medication, supplements can be dangerous if taken in high doses. Take your copper supplements responsibly, and get doctor approval before beginning any treatment.

Only take as much copper supplement as you need. Too much copper can result in build-up or high concentrations that make you sick. That being said, here are some of the recommended doses for copper supplements. These may change depending on your degree of deficiency, so do not use this as a guide. This information is for reference and casual use only.

Adult/teenage male dose: 1.5mg to 2.5mg per day.
Adult/teenage female dose: 1.5mg to 3mg per day.
Children 7-10: 1mg to 2mg daily.
Children 4-6: 1mg to 1.5mg daily.
Infants and toddlers aged 0-3: 0.5mg to 1mg daily.

This drug should be taken orally, but parenteral routes are available, including the use of intravenous routes. However, these options are only available in a hospital or medical care facility. If you are taking over-the-counter supplements, you should only be taking oral forms of the drug.

If you are suffering from any at-risk conditions, talk to your doctor to receive a proper dosing schedule. People suffering from deficiencies may have to take more than the recommended casual dose, but these dosages can change depending on your condition. Your doctor may change your dose several times through your treatment, depending on whether your copper levels improve or worsen.

Interactions

This drug may interact with penicillamine, which is used to treat Wilson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. You should not take copper supplements if you suffer from Wilson's disease, as it may aggravate your condition and make it worse.

You shouldn't take copper and zinc supplements at the same, as they may interact and reduce the effectiveness of your treatment. Take them two hours apart for the best effect. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about any other medications/conditions that can be affected by copper supplements.

Warnings

Copper supplements, like any other medication, come with risks and precautions for every patient. While some patients may be more at risk than others, it is recommended that you read the precautions and talk to your doctor if you have any conflicting conditions. If you have a sensitivity to copper, get a doctor's referral before you begin taking copper supplements.

Some conditions may put you at risk while taking copper supplements. These conditions include:

  • Wilson's disease. This condition is a hereditary disease that causes the toxic buildup of copper in the eyes, brain, and liver. If you or a loved one has Wilson's disease, you should not take copper supplements. Seek treatment for this condition, as it may become fatal if left untreated.
  • Childhood cirrhosis.
  • Copper toxoicosis.
  • Biliary disease.
  • Liver disease. You may have a decreased ability to filter out this mineral, which can put strain on your liver if you have an existing liver condition.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not at risk by taking copper supplements. They may benefit from taking copper supplements, as getting extra vitamins and minerals may keep them and the child healthy. However, they should avoid taking more than 8mg daily, as this can result in toxicity and harm to their child.

Children are also safe to take copper supplements, but the highest dose varies on their age. Children should get the majority of their minerals from their diet, but talk to your doctor if you believe your child has a deficiency. The elderly should take a lower dose than the average, healthy adult. Their body may have more difficulties filtering out the mineral, which can result in a build-up if they take too much.

An over-abundance of copper in the body may result in toxicity and aggravated side effects. Symptoms of copper toxicity include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Jaundice

If you concerns, questions, or just want more information on copper supplements, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options. Copper supplements can be a beneficial addition to your medication pool, but you shouldn't take them if you think you might be at risk. Instead, adjust your diet to get the minerals you need, and talk to your doctor if your condition worsens.

Storage

Store this medication in a cool, dry place away from water. Do not freeze it, and avoid exposing this drug to sunlight, heat, or direct light. Doing so may reduce its efficacy and/or change the composition of the drug. Do not take drugs that you believe may have been exposed to water, heat, or sunlight. Keep this drug in its original bottle, and if the container does not lock, try investing in a lock-able bottle.

Keep this drug out of reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion may result in overdose. If you believe your child or pet has overdosed on copper, contact poison control immediately. Be ready to inform them on what was taken, how much was ingested, and when they took it. Give them the original bottle if they ask for it.

Summary

If you are suffering from copper deficiency, taking supplements might be a necessary part of your treatment. While your diet should cover most of the necessary nutrients you need, some people may find themselves struggling to get enough vitamins and minerals. People undergoing hemodialysis may require copper supplements to keep their copper levels within a healthy range, and anyone suffering from malnutrition should take supplements until they are back to full health.

Supplements are widely considered safe medications for anyone suffering from a lack of copper in their body. Allergies to copper are rare, and this drug has few side effects, interactions, and warnings. If you experience anything troubling after beginning your copper treatment, report it to your doctor as soon as possible. It may be the symptom of a larger problem, and neglecting to seek treatment may result in further complications.

It is safe for children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and the elderly to take copper supplements. While every patient should be monitored when taking medications, this drug poses little risk. Patients suffering from certain existing conditions like liver disease and Wilson's disease should speak to their doctor before taking copper supplements, and they should avoid the drug if the risk outweighs the benefit.

Copper supplements should not be taken irresponsibly. Doing so may result in copper toxicity, which can cause unwanted side effects and conditions like jaundice. If overdose is suspected in you, a child, or a pet, contact poison control for information on how to handle the situation. Store this drug somewhere safe to avoid accidental ingestion by pets or young children.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may require copper supplements. The visit can give you further insight on the medication, how to use it, and how much to take. Always inform your doctor that you are taking supplements.