FDA Advises Consumers Not to Use Certain Zicam Cold Remedies

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned consumers to stop using three products marketed over the counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell that may be long-lasting or permanent.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration here yesterday warned consumers to stop using three products marketed over the counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell that may be long-lasting or permanent.

The products are Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product).

The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of these three Zicam products. In these reports, many people who experienced a loss of smell said the condition occurred with the first dose; others reported a loss of the sense of smell after multiple uses of the products.

“Loss of sense of smell is a serious risk for people who use these products for relief from cold symptoms,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We are concerned that consumers may unknowingly use a product that could cause serious harm, and therefore we are advising them not to use these products for any reason.”

The FDA has issued Matrixx Initiatives, maker of these Zicam products, a warning letter telling it that these products cannot be marketed without FDA approval.

Read More of Today's Headlines [2]