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WASHINGTON – Consumers should stop using Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel and related products because they can permanently damage the sense of smell, federal health regulators said Tuesday.

The over-the-counter products contain zinc, an ingredient scientists say may damage nerves in the nose needed for smell. The other products affected by the Food and Drug Administration's announcement are adult and kid-size Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs.

The FDA says about 130 consumers have reported a loss of smell after using Zicam products since 1999.

"Loss of the sense of smell is potentially life threatening and may be permanent," said Dr. Charles Lee. "People without the sense of smell may not be able to detect life dangerous situations, such as gas leaks or something burning in the house."

The FDA said Zicam Cold Remedy was never formally approved because it is part of a small group of remedies that are not required to undergo federal review before launching. Known as homeopathic products, the formulations often contain herbs, minerals and flowers.
 

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oh my! I love smelling stuffs! :eek:
 

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Wouldn't all nasal sprays have the same affect? I'm just curious what in this product that makes you lose your sense of smell.
 

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Since we live in a germophobic world, I bet those who lost their smellers overused the product.

Love to chat but I have to clorox wipe everthing and wash my hands exactly 36 times.
 

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I have used Zicam for 2 years. I only use it according to directions. It really helps when you have a cold. Until I started using Zicam, every cold I got turned into a sinus infection. I haven't had a sinus infection since I started using it.

Oh and I still have my sense of smell.
 

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Next they are going to tell me sucking on zinc lozenges will make me lose my sense of taste. Gawd I just can't win for losing. I'm w/ labs4life I gotta go wipe everything down w/ clorox and wash my hands.
 

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I have been using the Zicam nose swabs since they came out. I don't even use them as often as they say you can, because I forget, but they work well. I can still smell things, too.
 
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