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FDA Issues Warning for Over-the-Counter Cold Remedy
Date:6/16/2009

Zicam nasal products can cause loss of smell, officials stress

TUESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials on Tuesday warned consumers to stop using Zicam nasal cold remedy products because they can cause the loss of a sense of smell.

The specific products contained in the warning include Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs Kids' Size.

"These products claim to reduce the duration of the common cold and severity of cold symptoms," Deborah M. Autor, director of the Office of Compliance at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said during a morning teleconference Tuesday. "Consumers should stop using these products immediately."

The kids' products have been discontinued, but consumers may still have them in their households and are advised to discard or return them, officials said.

The products' manufacturer, Matrixx Initiatives, also received a warning letter and "must provide FDA with a plan on how it will remove existing inventory from the marketplace," Autor said.

"We have asked Matrixx in a warning letter to stop marketing the products, and we intend to work with them to address the products on the market and, at the same time, warn consumers to stop using and discard or return them," Autor continued. "We expect to hear a plan from the company."

According to Autor, the products have been marketed as homeopathic remedies and, therefore, have not needed FDA approval as long as the company complied with certain labeling and manufacturing requirements.

Now, the FDA is essentially asking Matrixx to take the unusual step of recalling the product, and then filing for new drug approval.

"The next step is for the company to come in and seek FDA approval if they want to continue marketing the products," Autor said.

"While the company has done t
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