LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Food and Drug Administration has lowered the boom on an over-the-counter remedy that promised to make colds shorter and less messy. Now, Zicam is in a mess.
This time, the FDA is telling consumers to stop using it. Apparently, new research indicates Zicam in a nasal swab or gel may cause some people to lose their sense of smell.
Some scientists believe it's the zinc in Zicam that may damage nerves in the nose. "I would not over-interpret this to mean that all zinc is bad, what appears to be the case, based on the emergence of these reports is that likely chronic installation of a zinc containing product in the nose can have these particular side effects," said Dr. Ralph Raasch, University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy.
The maker of Zicam still stands behind the product, saying the FDA's action is unwarranted, even though three years ago, the manufacturer agreed to pay $12 million to 340 people back then who claimed they had lost their sense of smell after using it.
Now that another 130 have complained, the FDA says that's it. The company has suspended shipments and will reimburse any customer who wants a refund.
Loss of smell is not just an inconvenience; it is a major health concern if someone cannot detect the smell of gas or smoke.
The products included in the recall are: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product).
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