The FDA has recommended that consumers stop using several different Zicam products because they have been associated with the loss of smell (anosmia). Anosmia may be long-lasting or permanent.
The FDA says it has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of three Zicam products:
Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs
Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product)
The FDA says that some of the cases occurred after only one dose.
“Loss of sense of smell is a serious risk for people who use these products for relief from cold symptoms,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “We are concerned that consumers may unknowingly use a product that could cause serious harm, and therefore we are advising them not to use these products for any reason.”