The most commonly used treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (NH) are phototherapy and exchange transfusion. Among the drug therapy for NH less has been paid to the effect of zinc administration on serum bilirubin level (SBL). This study was carried out to determine the on the effect of oral zinc sulfate on the SBL in term neonates with hyperbilirubinemia.
Materials and Methods
In this randomized clinical trial, we studied term neonate with jaundice hospitalized in Amirkola Children’s Hospital, Babol-Iran for phototherapy. Eligible neonates were randomly divided into two; intervention (n=30) and control (n=30) groups. Both groups received standard conventional phototherapy but the intervention group received 5 mg per day oral zinc sulfate until discharge. The outcome variables were SBL and the duration of phototherapy.
Out of the 105 studied neonates, 50 cases were in the intervention group and 55 patients were in the control group. The mean SBL before intervention in the intervention and control groups, was 17.4 ±2.1 and 17.1±2.2 mg/dl, respectively (P>0.05) but after the intervention, it decreased to 8.8±0.77 and 8.7±0.99 in intervention and control groups respectively (P>0.05).
The mean differences in the decrease in SBL between the two groups were 8.8 and 8.3 in intervention and control groups respectively (P>0.05). But the mean duration of phototherapy in the intervention group and the control group was 4.1 days and 3.6 days respectively (P<0.05).
Administration of oral zinc in neonatal hyperbilirubinemia under the phototherapy could decrease the duration of phototherapy. Further studies are needed to recommend it as an adjunctive therapy to phototherapy.