Zicam Lawsuits To Be Settled

Matrixx Initiatives, the maker of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">Zicam cold products, just agreed to settle lawsuits surrounding its controversial cold remedies, wrote the Associated Press (AP). Matrixx said this action would better enable it to handle hundreds of its pending personal injury product liability claims.

In June 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers not to use three Zicam intranasal cold remedies: Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel; Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs; and Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size. The warning followed the agency’s receipt of over 100 anosmia reports linked to these three Zicam products. At the same time, the agency issued Matrixx Initiatives a warning letter citing its failure to provide adequate warnings about the risks of these dangerous Zicam products.

Zicam products are a popular line of homeopathic remedies used to decrease the duration of the common cold. The active ingredient in Zicam products is zinc gluconate, which can have a caustic effect on the nasal passages. Over time, this caustic effect can cause Zicam intranasal users to lose their sense of smell.

Anosmia can be extremely dangerous, as the ability to smell alerts people to fires, poisonous fumes, leaking gas, and other potentially fatal emergencies. In addition to completely losing their sense of smell, Zicam users stricken with anosmia are also robbed of their sense of taste. Because they can no longer enjoy food, many anosmia sufferers fail to take in adequate nutrition.

Sadly, the FDA did not require Zicam to undergo clinical testing for safety because the treatment is considered a homeopathic remedy. This, as well as a dearth of warnings about the potential health consequences of zinc, left Zicam users unaware that the product could permanently rob them of their sense of taste and smell. More information on this issue can be accessed at: http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Zicam

While Matrixx Initiatives denied its products links to anosmia, calling the findings “scientifically unfounded and misleading,” it did ultimately recall both products, quoted the LATimes.

Under the proposed settlement—although it does not acknowledge any wrongdoing—Matrixx said it would include additional potential side effect warnings if the Zicam products are returned to the market, said the AP, which noted that, to date, 18 class action lawsuits are pending in federal courts. Matrixx would also be mandated to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and litigation costs, based on court determination, and would be required to cover incentive awards to plaintiffs for a total not to exceed $35,000, said the AP. Matrixx would also have to pay for providing notice of settlement, added the AP.

We recently wrote that a new study confirmed what we have long been reporting, that there exists a dangerous link between zinc nasal sprays, such as Zicam, and anosmia. The LATimes wrote that the study, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, found that zinc nasal gels can cause anosmia in some patients.

The study involved 25 patients at a nasal dysfunction clinic and a review of “clinical, biological, and experimental data,” wrote Science Daily previously. The recent study found that over-the-counter (OTC), homeopathic nasal therapies containing zinc might be linked to a reduction in one’s sense of smell, said Science Daily.

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