If you use Zicam intranasal cold remedies and have lost your sense of smell – a condition known as anosmia – you should know that the zinc in these popular drugs is maybe to blame. Our Zicam injury lawyers are currently representing people who have been stricken with anosmia because of the zinc in Zicam intranasal products. If you are interested in filing a Zicam injury lawsuit, we urge you to get in touch with us immediately.
Anosmia is not a minor matter. In fact, it can be extremely dangerous, as the ability to smell alerts people to fires, poisonous fumes, leaking gas and other potentially fatal emergencies. In addition to completely losing their sense of smell, Zicam users who are stricken with anosmia are also robbed of their sense of taste. Because they can no longer enjoy food, many anosmia sufferers fail to take in adequate nutrition.
In June 2009, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers not to use three Zicam intranasal cold remedies: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel; Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs; and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size. The warning came after the agency had received over one hundred reports of anosmia occurring in people using these three Zicam products. At the same time, the agency issued Matrixx Initiatives a warning letter that cited its failure to provide adequate warnings about the risks of these dangerous Zicam products.
The link between Zicam intranasal products and anosmia has been known for quite some time, yet Matrixx continued to market these drugs without warning consumers that they could cause some people to permanently lose their sense of smell. If you or someone you love has used Zicam intranasal products, and have since lost your sense of smell, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact one of our Zicam injury lawyers right away to protect your legal rights.
FDA Zicam Public Health Alert
Zicam products are a popular line of homeopathic remedies used to decrease the duration of the common cold. Zicam became extremely popular when it first hit the market in 1999. In 2006, the products generated $96 million in sales for Matrixx. Unfortunately, these profits have come at a horrible cost to some Zicam users.
The active ingredient in Zicam products is zinc gluconate, which can have a caustic effect on the nasal passages. Over time, this caustic effect can cause Zicam intranasal users to lose their sense of smell. Unfortunately, the FDA did not require that Zicam undergo clinical testing for safety because it is considered a homeopathic remedy. This, coupled with a lack of warnings about the potential health consequences of zinc, left many Zicam users unaware that the product could permanently rob them of their sense of taste and smell.
In its June 2009 public safety alert, the FDA said it had received 130 reports of anosmia associated with the use of Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel; Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs; and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size. During a conference call to announce the Zicam alert, the FDA also said Matrixx had received an additional 800 reports it hadn’t made available to the agency. The FDA warned consumers to stop using and discard or return the Zicam zinc-containing intranasal products.
At the time of the alert, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size, had already been discontinued, but the FDA said it was concerned that consumers may still have the product in their home. The agency said it had special concerns regarding use of intranasal zinc in children. Children may experience a loss of sense of smell but may be less likely to communicate the condition.
The agency said that many people who experienced a loss of sense of smell say that the condition occurred with the first dose of Zicam, although some people have reported a loss of sense of smell after later doses. The FDA also said it was concerned that the loss of sense of smell caused by these three Zicam products could be permanent. Consumers were advised to contact their health care professional if they experience loss of sense of smell or other problems after using any zinc-containing products that are administered into the nose.
In addition to the public safety alert, the FDA also issued a warning letter to Matrixx. The agency informed the firm that these three Zicam products could not be marketed without agency approval. The warning letter also stated that the products did not include adequate warnings about the risk of anosmia.
Zicam and Anosmia
The lack of anosmia warnings on Zicam is even more appalling when you consider the mountain of evidence that exists linking zinc to this condition. Medical reports from as far back as 1938 have found an association between zinc and damage to the tissues of the nose. Several studies have also found evidence of anosmia from products like Zicam, and there are real questions about the effectiveness of such remedies.
While two recent placebo-controlled trials found that products like Zicam modestly shortened the duration of cold symptoms, two other placebo-controlled studies found intranasal zinc to be of no benefit. In the most rigorously controlled of these studies, remedies like Zicam did not affect the severity or duration of cold symptoms in volunteers inoculated with rhinovirus, a common cause of colds.
These same studies also found evidence of anosmia and warned about the condition. The reports stated that since zinc-associated anosmia may be irreversible, intranasal zinc preparations like Zicam should be avoided. Considering such findings, it is hard to excuse the lack of warnings on Zicam products.
Despite all the evidence linking Zicam intranasal products to anosmia, Matrixx continued to insist they were safe. Yet in 2006, the company agreed to pay $12 million to approximately 300 people who were part of a class-action lawsuit. In spite of this settlement, many people have yet to receive compensation for their Zicam injuries, and continue to file lawsuits against Matrixx.
Legal Help for Victims of Zicam Injuries
Our Zicam injury lawyers are in the process of filing lawsuits on behalf of people who have suffered from anosmia as a result of Zicam intranasal products. If you or someone you love has used Zicam intranasal products and lost the sense of smell, our Zicam injury lawyers can help. Please fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your potential Zicam injury lawsuit.