Zinc salts for the treatment of olfactory and gustatory symptoms in psychiatric patients: a case series

J Clin Psychiatry. 1994 Jul;55(7):309-11.


Background: Zinc salts have been used extensively in medical settings to treat disorders of gustatory and olfactory function. However, zinc supplements have not been tested in psychiatric patients with smell or taste symptoms.

Method: The authors examined the effects of zinc supplements on five consecutive patients with symptoms of abnormal taste and smell perception in the context of acute psychiatric illness or treatment.

Results: All five patients had complete or partial amelioration of these olfactory and gustatory symptoms after treatment with zinc sulfate or zinc gluconate, apparently independent of the improvement in their underlying psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion: We recommend treating unusual olfactory and gustatory symptoms with zinc salts, independent of the treatment for the underlying psychiatric disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gluconates / therapeutic use
  • Hallucinations / drug therapy
  • Hallucinations / etiology
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Placebo Effect
  • Sensation Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Smell* / drug effects
  • Sulfates / therapeutic use
  • Taste Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Taste Disorders / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Zinc Sulfate


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Gluconates
  • Sulfates
  • Zinc Compounds
  • Clonazepam
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Zinc
  • gluconic acid