Popular intranasal spray Zicam is being recalled as the Food & Drug Administration warns of 130 cases of anosmia- loss of the sense of smell.
Some Zicam users reporting anosmia say that the condition started with the first dose, while others indicate the symptoms did not appear until multiple doses had been administered. Officials have not yet determined if the condition is permanent, and fear the intranasal gel spray may be damaging nerves. The FDA expressed concern that consumers are using Zicam for a minor, “self-limiting condition” (such as a cold) and inadvertently risk damaging their quality of life permanently.
The affected products have been pulled from store shelves across the country and the FDA have advised that all remaining product should be discarded and not used for any reason. Zicam manufacturer Matrixx Initiatives has 15 days to respond to the allegations and must submit all user complaints to the FDA. In a statement on their website, Matrixx Initiatives says:
“No plaintiff has ever won a court case, because there is no known causal link between the use of Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and impairment of smell.”
Products named in the recall include Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs (Kids Size.) On news of the recall, Matrixx Initiatives stock plummeted 55%.