FDA Says Some Zicam Cold Remedies Linked Sense of Smell Loss


Do you value your sense of smell? Then you may want to take note of today warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is advising consumers that the use of some over the counter (OTC) cold remedies have been associated with the loss of smell (anosmia). In some cases, the loss has been permanent.

The products are:

--Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
--Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs
--Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product)

The FDA warning comes after the agency received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of these three Zicam products. Some people reported the loss of smell after the first dose; other only after multiple uses of the products.


The loss of sense of smell can adversely affect a person’s ability to detect the smell of gas or smoke or other signs of danger in the environment. It may also affect your quality of life when you can no longer enjoy the aromas coming from your kitchen or plate.

The FDA has issued Matrixx Initiatives, maker of these Zicam products, a warning letter telling it that these products cannot be marketed without FDA approval.

Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report adverse events (side effects) that may be related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online, by regular mail, fax or phone.

-- Online
-- Regular Mail: use FDA postage paid form 3500 and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
-- Fax: 800-FDA-0178
-- Phone: 800-FDA-1088

For more information: FDA

FDA News Release