'Tis the season for sniffles and sneezes. That's right, cold season is here -- complete with its annual barrage of over-the-counter drug commercials. But this year, two popular products, Zicam's Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, won't be in on the ad party. Both products, once the cold-fighting darlings of the natural health community, have recently been deemed dangerous by the Food and Drug Administration.
In June, the FDA put out a health advisory urging consumers to immediately stop using both of these Zicam cold remedies. Why? It was revealed that their usage had robbed over 800 users' of their sense of smell. Apparently, hefty doses of zinc, the main ingredient in Zicam's Nasal Gel and Nasal Swabs, can damage the olfactory nerves.
Matrixx, which manufactures these Zicam cold remedies, "vigorously disagrees" with the FDA's advisory, asserting that its products are safe. But in order to cooperate with the FDA, Matrixx has pulled both products from its website and withdrawn them from store shelves. That said, many still remain in people's homes. Do you still have Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel or Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs in your medicine cabinet? If so, don't hesitate: toss 'em right away.