Effect of clopamide, a thiazide diuretic, on copper and zinc levels in hypertensive patients

J Am Coll Nutr. 1991 Feb;10(1):34-7. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1991.10718123.


Thiazide diuretics, which are often prescribed to treat mild to moderate hypertension, commonly cause an increase in urinary zinc (Zn) excretion. Metabolic interrelationships between Zn and copper (Cu) are known to exist; consequently, Zn might influence Cu levels. This study aims to determine whether or not Cu and Zn levels in hypertensive patients were influenced by treatment with clopamide, a thiazide diuretic. Eight male patients, aged 36-59 and with an average supine diastolic pressure of 95-115 mm Hg, were treated with single daily doses of clopamide 5 mg as monotherapy for 16 weeks. Plasma, erythrocyte (RBC), and mononuclear leukocyte (WBC) levels of Cu and Zn were determined immediately before therapy (week 0) and again at weeks 8 and 16. There was a significant fall in Cu in mononuclear WBCs from 13.25 (SEM = 0.86) to 1.9 fg/cell (SEM = 0.56) (p less than 0.001) and an increase in Zn from 33.87 (SEM = 3.7) to 70.8 fg/cell (SEM = 11.7) (p less than 0.001), with no change in either cell count or measurable cell volume. Plasma Cu levels increased significantly (p less than 0.001), but the Zn levels decreased only slightly (p less than 0.03). Changes in RBC Cu levels during the treatment period were not significantly altered (p less than 0.1). Zn levels in RBCs were significantly (p less than 0.04) lower. It is concluded that treatment with clopamide may induce some changes in Cu and Zn levels in normal hypertensives, particularly in WBCs. Further investigation is needed to determine the extent of this influence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Clopamide / adverse effects
  • Clopamide / therapeutic use*
  • Copper / blood*
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Leukocyte Count / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Zinc / blood*


  • Clopamide
  • Copper
  • Zinc