Alternative names  
Zinc oxide overdose; Calamine lotion; Zinaderm

This is poisoning from an overdose of zinc oxide.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • zinc oxide

Where Found

  • zinc oxide ointment  
  • some diaper rash medications  
  • some hemorrhoid preparations  
  • in some skin lotions  
  • calamine lotion  
  • Caladryl lotion

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o chills  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o yellow eyes  
  • skin       o yellow skin  
  • gastrointestinal       o abdominal pain       o nausea and/or vomiting       o diarrhea

Home Treatment
Zinc oxide is considered fairly nontoxic. If swallowed in large doses call Poison Control.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the product (as well as the ingredients and strength if known)  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Induce vomiting.  
  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)
Because of the basic nontoxic nature of zinc oxide, recovery is very likely.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 2, 2012
by Arthur A. Poghosian, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.