Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®


Copper supplements are used to prevent or treat copper deficiency.

The body needs copper for normal growth and health. For patients who are unable to get enough copper in their regular diet or who have a need for more copper, copper supplements may be necessary. They are generally taken by mouth but some patients may have to receive them by injection. Copper is needed to help your body use iron. It is also important for nerve function, bone growth, and to help your body use sugar.

Lack of copper may lead to anemia and osteoporosis (weak bones).

Some conditions may increase your need for copper. These include:

  • Burns
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestine disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreas disease
  • Stomach removal
  • Stress, continuing

Increased need for copper should be determined by your health care professional.

Claims that copper supplements are effective in the treatment of arthritis or skin conditions have not been proven. Use of copper supplements to cause vomiting has caused death and should be avoided.

Injectable copper is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Another form of copper is available without a prescription.

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Copper is found in various foods, including organ meats (especially liver), seafood, beans, nuts, and whole-grains. Additional copper can come from drinking water from copper pipes, using copper cookware, and eating farm products sprayed with copper-containing chemicals. Copper may be decreased in foods that have high acid content and are stored in tin cans for a long time.

For U.S.—

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).

For Canada—

  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease

There is no RDA or RNI for copper. However, normal daily recommended intakes are generally defined as follows:

  • Infants and children—
    • Birth to 3 years of age: 0.4 to 1 milligram (mg) per day.
    • 4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 1.5 mg per day.
    • 7 to 10 years of age: 1 to 2 mg per day.
  • Adolescent and adult males—1.5 to 2.5 mg per day.
  • Adolescent and adult females—1.5 to 3 mg per day.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet