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New Details In Zicam Warning

June 18, 2009, 5:10 PM by Kelli Grant

New Details In Zicam Warning
The FDA is asking you stop using a popular over-the-counter cold medication because it can damage your sense of smell.

You most likely have it in your medicine cabinet or you may be even using it right now to cure that cold. But the Food and Drug Administration says Zicam Cold Remedies nasal gel swabs contains Zinc, which may damage nerves in your nose.

The FDA hasn't issued a formal recall, but it has asked the manufacturer of Zicam products to stop making them. Since 1999, almost 130 people have reported a loss of smell. 

Doctors say your best defense against the common cold is something you can't buy over the counter.

“The best way to prevent a common cold is washing your hands.  I mean, we talk about it all the time: wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Particularly if you touch your nose, particularly if you're around anyone who has a viral respiratory infection, you should be very careful with that. There are other things that seem to work fairly well. Zinc lozenges tend to work very well. There are some other homeopathic medications in the proper dozes, such as Echinacea may be helpful,” Dr. Michael Benninger of Cleveland Clinic said.

Interestingly enough, these products were never approved by the FDA because they are part of a small group of remedies that are not required to undergo federal review before launching.

But the agency is now requiring formal approval because of the product safety issues.

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