Zicam, manufactured by Matrixx, is a gel taken through intranasal administration and advertised as shortening the duration and severity of colds. Its main ingredient, zinc gluconate, has been associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia).
What is the problem with Zicam?
Zicam is a branded series of over-the-counter homeopathic cold and allergy remedies. The products are Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product). The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of these three Zicam products. On June 16th, 2009, the FDA had advised consumers that the use of Zicam products should discontinued because of “serious risk” of loss of sense of smell (anosmia) being caused by the product’s main ingredient, zinc gluconate.