Nasal spray may cause loss of smell

WASHINGTON 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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