Zicam Nasal Spray Lawyer
If you used one of three Zicam products manufactured before the 2009 recall and lost your sense of smell, you may be a victim of anosmia due to the active ingredients in the cold remedy formula. The Food and Drug Administration forced Zicam to recall Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs and Cold Remedy Swabs Kid Size. Victims of anosmia assert the Zicam products destroyed the nasal tissue and caused them to lose their sense of smell.
Anosmia, the medical term for loss of smell, is condition that ranges from temporary to long-term loss of odor perception. It can be due to a problem in the nose, like inflammation, blockage or damage to the nasal passages, or in the brain, where physical injury to the head may cause damage to receptors. Causes of anosmia can range from congenital defects, old age, smoking, infection, mental disorders, zinc deficiency and many others.
Zicam is a homeopathic remedy though it is usually bought at a pharmacy. The main ingredient is zinc, which is partially where it derives the name. The other half of Zicam’s name is ICAM-1, the receptor that the common cold uses to infect your body. Zinc has been proven as recently as 2011 to interfere with the cold virus’s ability to bind with the receptors with moderate success and can also be helpful for those with nasal allergies.
As Zicam is technically homeopathic, meaning it is an alternative treatment to traditional medicine, the FDA does not actively regulate the product for safety and efficacy. Zinc, the main ingredient, is an important mineral for proper health found naturally throughout the world and within the human body. Those with zinc deficiencies, especially prevalent in the third world, experience an increased risk of infection and children are likely to be stunted in growth. Conversely, an excess of zinc may also cause health problems.
This disagreement in the medical benefits of zinc is at the root of the Zicam controversy. Consumers first reported instances of anosmia, which were not discovered in clinical trials, in 2004. One lawsuit against Zicam did make it to trial in 2005, but like the other cases that weren’t taken to court, the case was settled for an undisclosed amount. Around this time, Zicam changed the propulsion mechanism on the nasal spray because plaintiffs asserted the Zicam formula traveled too high up their nasal passages and damaged their ability to smell.
Apparently, the last class action suit brought against Zicam was settled for $12 million in 2006. Zicam refused to admit any fault and maintained the cold remedy products were safe for public use. However, after the FDA released a warning about Zicam products in 2009, the company voluntarily pulled the three cold remedy products in question. They are no longer available for sale anywhere.
The FDA based the warning against Zicam off the reports from 2004 and a 1930s attempt to use zinc to cure polio, where patients also reported anosmia. The FDA calls anosmia life-threatening because the loss of smell can impair people from detecting a gas leak, fire and spoiled food.
Did your experience with Zicam’s products cause you to lose your sense of smell? Speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the validity of your case. The Accident Attorneys’ Group is available for free legal consultations by phone any time.
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