Nasal Sprays Containing Zinc May Damage Sense of Smell

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday warned consumers to stop using three Zicam intranasal cold remedy products containing zinc after continuing reports that some users have lost their sense of smell.

The over-the-counter products are: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product)

The FDA also issued a warning letter to Scottsdale, Ariz.-based drug maker Matrixx Initiatives Inc. to stop marketing the products and seek FDA approval if it wants to keep them on the market.

“The loss of sense of smell is serious,” Dr. Charles Lee, medical officer at the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said at a press briefing.

He said the loss of sense of smell, known medically as anosmia, “is potentially life-threatening and it may be permanent.”

“People without the sense of smell may not be able to detect dangers, such as gas leaks or something burning in the house and may not be able to tell if food is spoiled before eating,” said Deborah Autor, director of the US office of compliance at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“People who cannot smell are also not able to appreciate flavors and could lose much of the pleasure of eating, adversely impacting their quality of life.”

The FDA has received more than 130 reports of anosmia from patients who used zinc-containing nasal products, Lee said. “While the number of adverse events may not seem high, we believe they are significant,” Lee said, explaining that the agency hasn’t seen a corresponding number of anosmia reports with other common cold products.

Until 2007, there were no requirements for over-the-counter product manufacturers to provide adverse event reports to the agency.

In the warning letter, the FDA asked Matrixx to hand over more than 800 reports “that we know they have relating to loss of sense of smell associated with these products,” Autor said. Dr. Robert Henkin, a neurologist who directs the Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, D.C., said, “I am surprised the FDA has done this.

I think it’s great. I hope it sticks.” Henkin also said it’s not simply a matter of patients losing their taste and smell, it also results in a distortion of those senses. “This is devastating,” he said.

“It colors their whole lifetime. When they eat something or smell something it smells distorted or awful, sometimes rotten or chemical. It inhibits them from being able to eat or socialize.”

The US FDA first started receiving adverse event reports about the drug in 1999, but the majority came after 2004, Lee said.

In 2006, the company paid $12 million to settle 340 lawsuits brought by consumers who claimed the zinc nasal gel adversely affected their sense of smell.(agencies)

30 thoughts on “Nasal Sprays Containing Zinc May Damage Sense of Smell

  1. Reading this post US Tele-Medicine Blog » Blog Archive » Nasal Sprays Containing Zinc May Damage Sense of Smell reminds me of my old roommate! He always kept speaking about this. I’ll forward this article to him. Fairly sure he will have an excellent read. Thank you for the information you publish.

  2. That’s really some positive news. Everytime I turn on the TV I heard all these crazy, bad things going on and that’s quite depressing… So, a little of positivity can only do good. Thanks for your daily shot of fresh air πŸ™‚ -instantempo

  3. That’s really some positive news. Everytime I turn on the TV I heard all these crazy, bad things going on and that’s quite depressing… So, a little of positivity can only do good. Thanks for your daily shot of fresh air πŸ™‚ -instantempo

  4. I enjoy coming back daily to see your musings. I have your page bookmarked on my daily read list!

  5. I wish more people would write blogs like this that are actually helpful to read. With all the fluff floating around on the net, it is rare to read a blog like yours instead.

  6. One from the fastest increasing strategies of making funds on the net is by way of offering sites. You are able to generate substantial income each month by generating websites that had been produced to be bought, or by marketing websites that you have created and also have now determined to market in order to raise funds for other ventures.Prior to you are able to begin selling web sites, you 1st should understand the industry for selling web sites, what forms of web-sites advertise greatest and wherever to sell your internet websites for one of the most profit. From my analysis you’ll find particular kinds of sites that offer greatest. These types are sites are what I like to call “hands free” internet sites.A palms free web site is a website that wants tiny to no updating, or updates immediately. This means small to no perform desires to be carried out by you to preserve the site. These types of internet site are in massive demand, and I’ve found that these varieties of website promote truly quick, as lengthy as they’re generating site visitors and generating income.

  7. Quite often I find myself running about to deal with small fires here and there.

  8. Hi Marin. I don’t see any sense, because Laurita has explaned everything understandable. Just read the last comments!

  9. Doing some browsing and noticed your website appears a bit messed up in my K-meleon internet browser. But fortunately hardly anyone uses it any longer but you may want to look into it. – I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs. – Samuel Goldwyn 1882 – 1974

  10. Its Pleasure to understand your weblog.The above content articles is extremely amazing, and I truly enjoyed reading your blog and points that you expressed. I really like to arrive back on a regular basis,post extra on the topic.Thanks for sharing…keep writing!!!

  11. Anyhoo, typical people have different skill levels as though I shall try to restore to its former glory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *