Warnings on Three Zicam Intranasal Zinc Products

On June 16, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to stop using and discard three zinc-containing Zicam intranasal products. The products may cause a loss of sense of smell.

Intranasal products are administered through the nose.

What products are affected by this warning?

FDA's action affects Zicam's three intranasal products that contain zinc. The three Zicam products claim to reduce the duration of the common cold and the severity of cold symptoms.

The products (listed with their size and product numbers) are

  • Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel (15mL, NDC 62750-003-10)
  • Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs (20 swabs, NDC 67250-003-20)
  • Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (20 swabs, NDC 67250-003-21)

The Zicam intranasal zinc products are widely sold in pharmacies, other retail stores, and on the Internet. Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size, has already been discontinued, but FDA is concerned that consumers may have the product in their home. FDA has special concerns regarding use of intranasal zinc in children. Children may experience a loss of sense of smell but may be less likely to communicate the condition.

Why did FDA take action?

The agency has received more than 130 reports of anosmia—the loss of sense of smell—associated with use of these three Zicam products.