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More trouble with Zinc—this time in Nasal Spray

The FDA is highlighting more potential problems with drugs that contain zinc—we blogged earlier about the zinc-containing Fixodent and Poligrip denture cream products. Now, the FDA is advising consumers to immediately stop using zinc-containing nasal sprays. You can view today’s news release here.

There have been over 130 reports submitted to the FDA revealing a potential relationship between three Zicam products (Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, Kids Size). Many reports indicate the loss of smell occurred after one use. A warning letter has been sent to Matrixx Initiatives, the manufacturer, advising them that they cannot market the products without FDA approval.

Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Zicam products. They post on their website that “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.” This ignores the fact that they settled around 340 cases for $11.9 million back in January of 2006. It doesn’t sound like they are being entirely forthcoming, does it?

It’s important to remember—Zicam is an alternative therapy, and is not thoroughly regulated the by the FDA. As a homeopathic remedy, the manufacturer has not had to prove the products’ safety. If they have data showing it is safe, now is the time to do it. And, a company like that should be checking out those 130 reports to determine exactly what happened.