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Chromium

What is it?

Chromium is an essential mineral used to treat diabetes, high triglycerides (blood fat/cholesterol), and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Chromium is also popular as a weight loss product; but scientific studies have not shown it has any benefit for losing weight.

Other names for chromium include: chromium (III), chromium aspartate, chromium chloride, chromium citrate, chromium nicotinate, chromium picolinate, GTF chromium, and trivalent chromium.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much chromium you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking chromium. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take chromium without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Insulin
  • Levothyroxine (Levoxyl(R), Synthroid(R)) (8)
  • Sugar

Warnings:

  • Before taking chromium, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • unusual sweatiness, sweaty palms, blurred vision, muscle trembling, confusion, or trouble thinking or talking (7)
  • kidney problems (5)
  • weight loss (6)

References:

1. Anon: National Research Council: Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1989:241-241.

2. Anderson RA, Polansky MM, Bryden NA et al: Effects of supplemental chromium on patients with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. Metabolism 1987: 36:351-355.

3. Seaborn CD & Stoecker BJ: Effects of antacid or ascorbic acid on tissue accumulation and urinary excretion of 51chromium. Nutr Res 1990; 10:1401-1407.

4. Kozlovsky AS, Moser PB, Reiser S et al: Effects of diets high in simple sugars on urinary chromium losses. Metabolism 1986; 35:515-518.

5. Cerulli J, Grabe DW, Gauthier I et al: Chromium picolinate toxicity. Ann Pharmacother 1998, 32:428-431.

6. Kaats GR, Blum K, Pullin D et al: A randomized double-masked, placebo-controlled study of the effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition.: a replication and extension of a previous study. Curr Ther Res 1998; 59:379-388.

7. Bunner SP & McGinnis R: Chromium-induced hypoglycemia. Psychosomatics 1998;39(3):298-299.

8. John-Kalarickal J, Pearlman G, & Carlson HE: New medications which decrease levothyroxine absorption. Thyroid 2007; 17(8):763-765.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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