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Zicam Recalled By FDA

Posted Jun 16 2009 5:11pm
  Zicam makes popular homeopathic products  such as nasal sprays that are widely available through out the US. Zicam carries 19 products in their line of inventory.  2 products out of 19 were recalled by the FDA.  FDA claims that 2 products, Zicam cold nasal gel and Zicam cold nasal swabs, were creating a loss of smell to people that are using these products.  The other 17 products have not produced any know consumer compliants.  

  The permanent loss of smell can be life threatening and create discomfort to the people that have this reaction.  Medical records have show Zicam to be the main cause of the loss of smell in about 130 known cases.  Doctors and consumers reported these cases.  800 more cases of the loss of smell has been reported to Zicam themselves.  Zicam claims the loss of smell was created by a virus rather than the product itself.  Zicam did a settle a lawsuit with 340 people who used their product which caused a loss of smell. 

  Zicam also states that it has been proven in scientific studies to be effective and are supported by scienctists.  However, no government scientists have supported this remedy.  Furthermore, Zicam has no double blind studies showing it is effective for any single condition. 

   The active ingrident in Zicam cold products is zincum gluconicum.  Oddly enough, I can not find this product in online homeopathic websites.  I even checked websites in England which carry pretty much most homeopathic remedies since homeopathy is very popular in that country.  There are other homeopathic zinc variations such as zincum metallicum available on Internet websites but not specifically this homeopathic remedy.

  Zicam claims to be a homeopathic product but their active ingredient can not be found on any homeopathic websites.  Critics and supporters of homeopathy can agree only on one thing which is homeopathic medicine has no side effects.  I am very curious to see how this FDA case plays out.  The FDA will not act unless there are many consumers compliants.  FDA also does a pretty good job of verifying the compliants.  Zicam sells over 100 million dollars of their products every year.

  Zicam was able to get around FDA approval for their drug since they claimed it was homeopathic.  FDA does allow homeopathic products not to go under FDA approval since the ingredients are so diluted.  The FDA concludes the homeopathic products are too dilute to cause any type of harm to the consumer.  

  Is it possible that Zicam has other ingredients that can potentially cause some bad side effects?  Is it also possible that the Zicam remedies were not homeopathic as once labeled?  

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