View Full Version : Zicam Nasal Spray Recall

06-26-09, 02:52 PM
Anosmia is loss of the ability to smell.

NEW YORK (Reuters) Jun 24 - Matrixx Initiatives has started to notify U.S. customers of its recall of nasal versions of its Zicam cold remedy, after receiving 130 reports of anosmia associated with the product.

Matrixx said on Wednesday that it was in the process of formally notifying retailers, wholesalers and distributors of its recall of all Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Zicam Cold Remedy Gel Swabs, even as the company maintained it "vigorously disagrees" with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over allegations that the products are not safe and were unlawfully marketed.

The company "is conducting this recall because of its desire to cooperate with the FDA," Matrixx said.

On June 16, the FDA warned Matrixx to stop selling intranasal versions of its zinc-containing Zicam cold remedy.

Separately, Matrixx said on Tuesday that it had received an informal inquiry from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about last week's FDA warning letter relating to Zicam.

01-25-10, 09:36 PM
This arrived to me today VIA email. I listed the Zicam website also, as this is apparently on the market still. There is no info on who wrote this, but the link to the gov't website is accurate. Snopes lists this as "undetermined" - but then they tend to be soft on pharmaceuticals. Since this is OTC, folks may have it in their medicine cabinets.

I want my friends and loved ones to know what has happened to me in hopes that it will never happen to you or anybody you care about. About 10 days ago, I felt a cold coming on; so before I went to bed I used Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel. It's supposed to help you "get over your cold faster.." Immediately after I sprayed it into each nostril I felt the most horrific burning sensation imaginable. It literally felt like I had sprayed pepper spray directly into my brain. It burned all the way to the top of my skull. My nasal passages swelled, my eyes watered - the burning lasted all night long into the next day.

After about a day, I realized I couldn't taste anything and I thought, "Wow - I must really have a bad cold.." Then I noticed that I couldn't smell coffee brewing, couldn't smell my perfume when I put it on, couldn't smell the popcorn I burned, couldn't smell my favorite candle. I panicked and starting smelling everything that I could find that had really strong odors - ammonia, finger nail polish remover, bleach, etc. I couldn't smell ANYTHING! I started tasting everything that had really strong tastes such as HOT salsa, raw red onions, Doritos, coffee. I couldn't taste ANYTHING!

I told my mother about this and she said, "Oh, I've heard Zicam can affect your Olfactory nerve." I went online, typed in "Zicam side effects" and bam - up popped all sorts of web sites with people reporting the same thing I experienced. It seems that this past June, Zicam pulled the swabs for adults and children off the shelf but not the nasal gel.

I went to my ENT and he said the Zicam had basically "FRIED" my Olfactory nerve and the results are most likely permanent. He put me on a strong dose of a steroid called Prednisone in hopes of recovering ANY bit of the nerve damage but he told me to "take this and pray." He said he had read about the side effects of Zicam and couldn't believe it is still on the shelf. It isn't FDA approved. I am taking the Prednisone and praying but nothing is happening. I LITERALLY CANNOT SMELL OR TASTE ANYTHING! I can tell if foods are hot or cold, I can tell the consistency and I can faintly detect if it is salty but that is it.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pass this on to everyone you care about. I don't want this to happen to ANYONE else!!!!!!!!!! And if you have Zicam in your medicine cabinet--THROW IT AWAY!

FDA info (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm167065.htm)

Zicam Website (http://http://www.zicam.com/)

Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/zicam.asp)

01-25-10, 09:53 PM
The people at Snopes also feel that MSG is Ok if used in moderation.
Yeah right.

This article is sad. I have never used Zycam before, but I am going to re-print this, and put it up at work. Thanks so much for the heads up.

Katee, I am sorry that this happened to you.
Katee cannot smell.
Islander cannot hear.
Samurai cannot sleep. Goodness!

Katee, be careful with prednisone. It is very powerful and has its own long list of side effects as well.

01-25-10, 10:12 PM
Aaaaaaand...this is one reason why I rarely buy OTCs.

01-25-10, 10:41 PM
Katee said it was an email she received. I don't think it happened to her. Can you clarify this Katee?

01-25-10, 11:58 PM
Katee said it was an email she received. I don't think it happened to her. Can you clarify this Katee?

That's right, it came in an email, so i added it to this thread that Mellowsong had already begun on the recall.

Essentially, i use no medication. But thought it was a good thing to know, especially as most of us know folks who do use meds.