Q. A friend of mine took Zicam for a cold last fall and the next day woke to find she had completely lost her sense of smell. It has not returned.
Her sense of taste was also compromised and she has to overseason her food now to taste it. Do you have any suggestions?
A. We don’t know of any treatments to restore the sense of smell. The FDA is now warning consumers not to use certain Zicam products (Cold Remedy Nasal Gel, Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs, and kids size Nasal Swabs). The agency has had more than 130 reports of loss of the sense of smell associated with these zinc-containing nasal products. Unfortunately, in certain cases this reaction seems to be irreversible.