Copper

What is Copper

Copper is an essential trace element. In the body, copper is involved in the formation of red blood cells; it is also essential for nerves, bone, and immune system health.

Copper is stored primarily in the bones, muscle and the liver, with small amounts found in peripheral tissues. Good food sources of copper include organ meats (especially liver), seafood, beans, nuts, and whole-grains.

Recommended dietary allowances (RDA) have been established in most age groups.

Copper deficiency is seldom observed in humans as dietary intake often exceeds dietary requirements. Oral dietary supplementation is not normally required. Patients receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) require trace element supplementation to prevent deficiency.

Copper deficiency was the first trace element deficiency associated with patients receiving chronic total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

Copper is available in oral dietary nutritional supplements, including some multivitamins, and as a prescription parenteral drug product for intravenous use; the parenteral product is intended for use as an additive to solutions for total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

Indications

  • copper deficiency
  • nutritional supplementation

For nutritional supplementation of copper or treatment of copper deficiency

for the prophylaxis of copper deficiency in patients receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

Side Effects

  1. abdominal pain
  2. copper toxicity
  3. diarrhea
  4. dysgeusia
  5. hemolysis
  6. hepatic necrosis
  7. jaundice
  8. nausea
  9. vomiting

Monitoring Parameters

  • serum ceruloplasmin
  • serum copper

Contraindications

  • biliary obstruction
  • biliary tract disease
  • breast-feeding
  • hepatic disease
  • infants
  • intramuscular administration
  • neonates
  • pregnancy
  • premature neonates
  • renal failure
  • renal impairment
  • Wilson’s disease
  • zinc deficiency

Interactions

  • Trientine

Trientine: (Major) In general, oral mineral supplements should not be given since they may block the oral absorption of trientine.

However, iron deficiency may develop, especially in children and menstruating or pregnant women, or as a result of the low copper diet recommended for Wilson’s disease.

If necessary, iron may be given in short courses, but since iron and trientine each inhibit oral absorption of the other, 2 hours should elapse between administration of trientine and iron doses. 

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