June 16, 2009

Zicam Cold Remedy: Why You Should Stop Using It

Zicam Cold Remedy: Why You Should Stop Using It

Today the Food and Drug Administration announced that we should no longer use a popular over-the-counter cold remedy—Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Nasal Swabs—because it could cause a long-lasting or permanent loss in our sense of smell, a condition called anosmia. The FDA says it has received more than 130 reports from Zicam users who said their ability to smell became impaired—in some cases, after using the product only once. It goes without saying that we need our noses to, say, smell smoke when there's a fire, milk when it's rancid, and significantly enhance the taste of our food.

Zicam's website is still up and running, with no mention, as yet, of the warning letter that its manufacturer, Matrixx Initiatives, received from the FDA. The agency told the company to stop marketing Zicam unless it applies for a formal drug approval. Matrixx Initiatives responded to my inquiry with an E-mailed statement, which reads, in part:

"Based on the FDA's action, the company has suspended shipments of these products and will reimburse any customer desiring a refund. However, the company believes the cumulative body of independent scientific and medical evidence supports both the safety and efficacy of Zicam intranasal cold remedy products. Matrixx Initiatives stands behind the science of its products and its belief that there is no causal link between its intranasal gel products and anosmia. For this reason, Matrixx Initiatives believes that the FDA action is unwarranted and will seek a meeting with the FDA to review the company's product safety data. "

Zicam Cold Remedy: FDA Says Don't Use it!

Posted at June 16, 2009 4:48 PM

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