Pharmaceuticals are a multi billion dollars business. Advertising lets the consumer know that their health issues can be cured over night with a simple “spoon full of sugar;” if they just buy their product. However, it seems as though the products that were once supposed to cure all of our problems have introduced more issues into our lives. Zicam is one that people have been raving about for some time. If you have a cold or are in the process of getting one; zicam stopped it dead in it’s tracks and let you go back to work. The FDA has now released information that this cold remedy is taking one of our finer gifts in life; our sense of smell.
What products are affected by this warning?
FDA’s action affects Zicam’s three intranasal products that contain zinc. The three Zicam products claim to reduce the duration of the common cold and the severity of cold symptoms.
The products (listed with their size and product numbers) are
• Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel (15mL, NDC 62750-003-10)
• Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs (20 swabs, NDC 67250-003-20)
• Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (20 swabs, NDC 67250-003-21)
The Zicam intranasal zinc products are widely sold in pharmacies, other retail stores, and on the Internet. Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size, has already been discontinued, but FDA is concerned that consumers may have the product in their home. FDA has special concerns regarding use of intranasal zinc in children. Children may experience a loss of sense of smell but may be less likely to communicate the condition.
Why did FDA take action?
The agency has received more than 130 reports of anosmia—the loss of sense of smell—associated with use of these three Zicam products.
Many people who experienced a loss of sense of smell say that the condition occurred with the first dose, although some people have reported loss of sense of smell after later doses. FDA is concerned that the loss of sense of smell may be permanent (source).
With all these recalls; it’s as if the public should wait 1-2 years to make sure side affects of over the counter drugs don’t harm the public. This is just one reason to avoid chemical medications and seek out natural remedies that have been used over time.
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)