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Zicam Cold Medicine Pulled From Shelves

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,


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?

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Spectra Spectra 7 years
I've never used it; if I ever have sinus issues, I either take a decongestant or use plain saline spray.
EcoGirl EcoGirl 7 years
My aunt lost her seance of smell from it long time ago !
TeresaB81 TeresaB81 7 years
I have never even heard of this medicine. I don't particularly like using nasal sprays anyhow (even though I live in the sinus infection capital of California). Thanks for posting, I will stay away and spread the word.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 7 years
I was just thinking of going out to buy this. Thanks for posting this Fit
CindyMc CindyMc 7 years
I've never used Zicam, I don't often have sinus problems. I don't think, however, that 130 complaints in 10 years constitutes a big problem. Many more people than that have died using products that HAVE been approved by the FDA - with no action being taken to warn people or remove the product from use. Zicam must work really well for the FDA to look so hard for a reason to pull it.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I've used the nasal swabs for a while now and haven't noticed a decrease in my sense of smell. I wonder what other factors have to be in place for a person to being to lose their sense of smell.
desidesi desidesi 7 years
i bought their melts once to try when i had a cold, they made me feel WORSE instead of better screw this brand
desidesi desidesi 7 years
i bought their melts once to try when i had a cold, they made me feel WORSE instead of betterscrew this brand
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 7 years
Never used Zicam (try to avoid using medications; prescribed or otc.) Glad to know of the recall though.
Toomskt Toomskt 7 years
I literally just used Zicam a half hour ago today when someone happened to say to me "you have a cold? Don't use Zicam; there's a problem with it." Oh, well. I've been using it the past few years because you don't have to detox off it like with Afrin and it works really well. My sense of smell is completely fine.
rach1007 rach1007 7 years
I often use zicam when I get a cold. Incidentally, I also have a very poor (to sometimes non-existent) sense of smell. I have no idea if these are related, but very interesting...
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