Copper is involved in many of the natural body processes. It's stored mostly in the bones and muscles. The liver regulates the amount of copper in the blood.
Copper is most commonly used for treating copper deficiency and the anemia it may cause. But having copper deficiency is very rare. It's also used for Alzheimer disease, acne, tooth plaque, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely Effective for
Possibly Effective for
Possibly Ineffective for
- Alzheimer disease. Taking copper by mouth for 12 months doesn't improves Alzheimer disease.
When applied to the skin: Wound dressings containing copper oxide are possibly safe.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Wound dressings containing copper oxide are possibly safe. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Copper is likely safe when taken by mouth appropriately. No more than 8 mg of copper should be consumed daily in those 14-18 years old, and no more than 10 mg daily in those 19 years or older. Taking copper by mouth in higher doses is possibly unsafe and can be dangerous.
Children: Copper is likely safe when taken by mouth appropriately. Children should not get more than the tolerable upper intake level (UL) of copper. The UL is 1 mg daily for children 1-3 years, 3 mg daily for children 4-8 years, 5 mg daily for children 9-13 years, and 8 mg daily for adolescents. Taking copper in higher doses is possibly unsafe and can be dangerous.
Certain hereditary conditions, including idiopathic copper toxicosis and childhood cirrhosis: Taking extra copper might make these conditions worse.
Wilson disease: Taking copper supplements can make this condition worse and might interfere with treatment.
Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) interacts with COPPER
Penicillamine is used for Wilson disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Copper might decrease how much penicillamine the body absorbs and decrease the effects of penicillamine.
Be cautious with this combination
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with COPPER
Copper levels are increased in the blood while using medications for birth control. Taking copper along with these medications might cause levels of copper in the body to become too high. But this is not likely to be a major concern for most people.
Be watchful with this combination
Copper is also available in supplements and has been added to compression stockings and wound dressings. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.