I posted something about supplements on Facebook recently and somebody commented about a terrible experience they had with a supplement called Zicam, which is a popular over the counter cold remedy that contains zinc. In her comment, she told me how after she used Zicam,she lost her sense of smell. She said it's unlikely she would ever get her sense of smell back again. I am familiar with this unfortunate side effect. Below is what I wrote about Zicam in 2009 on a website I that is basically the forerunner of this website. I am posting it here because I think these words deserve to be remembered.
I have been saying this because of reports that have arisen over the last 10 years alleging that these products may lead to a loss in the sense of smell – and in some instances, the loss of smell is permanent.
Now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms this in their June 16th 2009 Warning Letter to the makers of Zicam where they state they have received 130 complaints from people whose smell sense was either reduced or permanently lost. Some of these reports occurred after a single application. On the same day the FDA issued a public Safety Alert about Zicam.
As reported in the Washington Post article about Zicam, In 2006, the maker of Zicam (Matrixx Initatives) agreed to pay 12 million dollars to settle 340 lawsuits stemming from people who had lost their sense of smell. In some instance, just one application of Zicam caused a loss of smell.
Zinc up your nose?
The problem is that this is faulty reasoning because “works faster” does not always mean the same thing as “works better”.
The peer reviewed published clinical studies find that sucking on zinc throat lozenges might help reduce cold symptoms (by about 10% to 30%).
The published peer reviewed proof that zinc inserted into the nose, reduces cold symptoms = ZERO!