Saturday, January 21, 2006

Got A Cold? Don't Take Zicam!

Today, Matrixx, makers of Zicam agreed to pay $12 million to settle a class action suit filed by 300 people who claim Zicam permanently damaged their sense of smell.

Matrixx has long insisted that Zicam does not cause anosmia:

Matrixx asserted that any research linking nasal products containing zinc to the onset of anosmia were erroneous because the compound found in the 1930s products was concentrated zinc sulfate as opposed to the zinc gluconate found in Zicam. Zinc sulfate “is a mineral salt that reacts with water to produce a strong acid (sulfuric acid) and zinc oxide,” while “zinc gluconate is a weak organic salt that dissolves to form positively charged zinc ions and negatively charged gluconate – a naturally occurring, non-toxic compound found in all human tissue.”

In 2004, Matrixx issued a press release claiming that studies have show Zicam to be effective in reducing cold symptoms without affecting sense of smell.

In no clinical trial of intranasal zinc gluconate gel products has there been a single report of lost or diminished olfactory function (sense of smell). Rather, the safety and efficacy of zinc gluconate for the treatment of symptoms related to the common cold have been well established in two double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials. In fact, in neither study were there any reports of anosmia related to the use of this compound. The overall incidence of adverse events associated with zinc gluconate was extremely low, with no statistically significant difference between the adverse event rates for the treated and placebo subsets.

A multitude of environmental and biologic influences are known to affect the sense of smell. Chief among them is the common cold. As a result, the population most likely to use cold remedy products is already at increased risk of developing anosmia. Other common causes of olfactory dysfunction include age, nasal and sinus infections, head trauma, anatomical obstructions, and environmental irritants.




Post a Comment

<< Home