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Published on May 18, 2009 by Edgar Snyder

Zicam Products May Damage Sense of Smell, Says FDA

Zicam products can lead to a permanent loss of smell

The Food and Drug Administration is urging consumers to stop using three over-the-counter Zicam Cold Remedy products. The agency says that the products can permanently damage the sense of smell.

The warning applies to the following products:

  • Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
  • Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs
  • Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size

There have been 130 reports of consumers losing their sense of smell after using these products. They contain zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell.

The warning does not include other Zicam products, such as liquid forms, tablets, or "rapid melts." As a homeopathic remedy, Zicam was not required to undergo federal review before being placed on the market.

Source: "Zicam can irrevocably harm sense of smell." USA Today. June 17, 2009.
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