We are looking back at the case of the Zicam recall in a bit more detail. In our previous blog entry stated that three Zicam products were recalled. These products were the Zicam cold nasal gel and Zicam cold nasal swabs and children cold nasal swabs. These products cause a loss of smell to the users.
The products claim to contain Zinc Gluconate 2X. This would mean the Zinc Gluconate would have been diluted. This would mean the Zinc Glouconate would be in a dilution with 1 part Zinc Glouconate and 9 parts of an alcohol water dilution. The dilution would be shaken to create the 1X liquid. This process again would be repeated by taking the new 1X solution. The 1X solution would be combined with 9 parts of an alcohol water dilution. The solution would be shaken and thus create the 2X solution. If the 2X is done correctly, there is little chance of this remedy creating a loss of smell. There is very little of the actual zinc substance left after creating a 2X. The FDA is looking to see if this product is actually homeopathic.
Also, homeopathy was not created with the idea of people putting the product up their nose. This is not standard homeopathic practice for patients to use medicines in their noses. Zicam cold remedy products that are swallowed thru the mouth contain zincum aceticum 2X and zincum gluconicum 1X. These products have receive no consumer complaints. The issue seems to be with only the Zicam nasal spray and swabs.
There are other nasal sprays out on the homeopathic market such as the BHI sinus relief nasal spray. This product contains the following homeopathic ingredients including luffa operculata 2x,pulsatilla 2x, euphorbium officinarum 4x, mercurius iodatus ruber 8x, mucosa nasalis 8x, hepar sulphurs calcareum 10x, argentum nitricum 10x, sinusitusinum 13x 1.0 ml each. The product also contains an inactive ingredients that are isotonic saline solution, preservative and benzalkonium chloride. This product also contains low dilutions of poisonous substances such as pulsatilla. However, there have been no major compliants with any other homeopathic nasal sprays other than Zicam. As we can see that most of the homeopathic products are designed similarly. In theory, the other homeopathic nasal sprays should also be having consumer complaints.
Homeopathy has always had a very good history as far as user complaints go in the US. The FDA has never received a larger amount of consumer complaints on any homeopathic product til now. The few compliants that the FDA did receive on homeopathy proved not to have any merit.
The Zicam story certainly does have merit. There is strong evidence that this medicine has made people loss their sense of smell for life. Should the FDA have stronger enforcement on homeopathy drugs if the outcome of their investigation shows that the homeopathic drugs caused the loss of smell?