Nasal spray may cause loss of smell

June 16, 2009 9:44:54 AM PDT
The Food and Drug Administration says Zicam nasal spray can permanently damage users' sense of smell. The FDA says consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products immediately. All the over-the-counter products contain zinc. Scientists say that ingredient may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell.

The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using Zicam products since 1999.

Manufacturer Matrixx Initiatives is facing lawsuits over the product, but says on its Web site: "No plaintiff has ever won a court case, because there is no known causal link between the use of Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and impairment of smell."

Calls placed to the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company were not immediately returned.

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