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FDA Warns of Zicam Danger

Can't smell the flowers? Many individuals with colds as well as allergies frequently suffer with a variety of familiar symptoms such as sneezing, runny and drippy nose. Sufferers often reach out for various over-the-counter remedies to alleviate symptoms.

Yesterday, the FDA advised people not to use three Zicam Cold Remedy intranasal products_ Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Gel Swabs and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kid's Size. They are used as non-prescription homeopathic treatment for colds in adults and children 3 years of age and older. The FDA indicated there were more than a hundred reports of anosmia (a loss of sense of smell) associated with use of these Zicam products.

The FDA advised: "Consumers should stop using these products immediately and should discard or return them." The complete release can be found on the agency's Web site.

If you have lost your sense of smell, it's important to contact your health care professional for evaluation. Some individuals may experience this condition as a result of a common cold or sinus infection, which is generally temporary, as well as in other conditions, such as aging.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett

is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine. He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. No information in this blog is intended as medical advice to any reader or intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY.   Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center, and faculty at Cornell University Medical College. Follow him on Twitter.