Archive for September, 2009

Zicam recall and lawsuits

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The over the counter intranasal cold remedy called Zicam was recalled by manufacturer in June of 2009. Zicam is a product that was designed to be used to decrease the duration of the common cold. It was introduced into the marketplace in 1999 by Zicam, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. The products that were affected were Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs Kids Size.

On June 16, 2009 the FDA issued a public safety alert regarding the three Zicam products listed above. The FDA reported that it had received 130 reports of anosmia from people who have used the product. Anosmia is the inability to smell. In the news release issued by the FDA, the agency advises that this anosmia might be long lasting, or even permanent.

According to the information provided by the FDA in some of the cases of anosmia reported, the condition was experienced by a person after the first dose. Other users indicated their loss of their sense of smell happened after using the product multiple times.

Right now there are several lawsuits pending in federal court against the maker of Zicam. They allege that the active ingredient in these cold remedies, zinc gluconate, produces a caustic action on the nasal passages, and over time could lead to anosmia.  On September 24, 2009 there will be arguments heard in a Richmond, VA court over whether all pending and future Zicam lawsuits should be consolidated in one federal court as an MDL.  MDL is a legal procedure where one judge oversees all pending civil cases of a similar type.