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Nasal Spray Users Sue Over Side Effect

Nov 5, 2004 | AP

Nine people have sued the manufacturer of a nasal spray, alleging that the product caused them to permanently lose their sense of smell.

The plaintiffs, who used the nasal spray version of the cold remedy Cold-Eeze, filed the suit against Doylestown-based Quigley Corp. on Thursday. They are demanding compensation for medical costs, as well as past and future pain, mental suffering and emotional distress.

A Quigley spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday, saying the company had not seen it.

The nasal spray version of Cold-Eeze, which also contains zinc gluconate, went on the market in 2003, according to the lawsuit. The suit cites clinical studies dating to 1937 that showed "zinc is toxic to the olfactory epithelium, the membrane essential for smell located about 7 centimeters up and into the human nose from the nostrils."

Without the sense of smell, the lawsuit said, the plaintiffs are "robbed of many of the joys of life. Plaintiffs can no longer enjoy the smell of fresh air, of newly cut grass, of a bouquet of flowers, of the taste of a meal."

The plaintiffs live in California, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington, New York and Minnesota.


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