Earlier today, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for consumers to stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel, as well as adult and kid-size Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs.
The over-the-counter, homeopathic cold medicine contains zinc and can cause long-lasting or permanent loss of smell. Since 1999, the FDA has received 130 reports of loss of smell associated with these Zicam products. In a few cases the loss of smell occurred after the first usage.
To see why the FDA never formally approved Zicam, read more.
The FDA never formally approved Zicam, marketed as a cold remedy to reduce symptoms like sore throat and stuffy nose, since homeopathic remedies are not required to go under federal review before launching. Because of this, the FDA is not initiating a formal recall, but has sent Matrixx, the makers of Zicam, a formal warning letter. Zicam products represented 40 percent of the company's sales for last year. Although Matrixx has settled hundreds of Zicam lawsuits over the years, the company said it will consider withdrawing the products, and has halted shipments of Zicam products. Matrixx claims that Zicam is “supported by the cumulative science and has been confirmed by a multidisciplinary panel of scientists.” The FDA responded that they were unaware of any data to support the health claims made about product.
Have you ever used Zicam? If so, how is your sense of smell?