Zicam Patient Diagnosed with Nerve Damage News

Friday, 10th July 2009

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Here is an article that was originally published at lawyersandsettlements.com. If you are looking to know about the latest class actions and pharmaceutical claims be sure to check out their site and get on their mailing list.

July 7, 2009. By Heidi Turner

Boston, MA: Pam O. used Zicam twice before she experienced reported Zicam side effects. She is now worried that she will never fully recover from the Zicam smell loss, and will suffer without a sense of smell or taste for the rest of her life.

Smell Loss”In April [2009], it felt like I was getting a little tickle in my throat, so I thought I was getting a cold,” Pam says. “My understanding was that Zicam was most effective if used at the start of the cold. I had used it in February [2009] without any side effects. This time, I used the nasal pump and squirted each nostril once. It burned a bit at first, but the burn was not devastating. I had felt the burning when I used Zicam before.

Within 2 hours, I had no sense of smell or taste. I sat down for lunch that day and I couldn’t taste it. I made a cup of flavored coffee and it thought it tasted very weak.

That weekend, I was talking to a friend. I said I thought I’d fried my nose on Zicam. A girl [who was nearby] said that happened to her 2 years ago and her sense of smell and taste were gone for 9 months. I became alarmed and went online, where I saw reports of people losing their sense of smell and taste permanently.

I got a prescription for Prednisone, which I took for 10 days to prevent permanent nerve damage to my nose and to reduce inflammation. Then, I saw an ENT [ear, nose and throat] doctor in Boston, who had not heard of this problem. He referred me to a [nose and sinus] specialist. I was the second person to call with the same problem that day.

I had a CT to rule out any other possible trauma. The doctors ruled out everything else and they concurred that it was the Zicam. The doctor’s words were, ‘chemically modulated damage to the olfactory nerves.’ They said it was definitely nerve damage and it will take a long time to heal.

Since that time, I’ve done acupuncture, seen a chiropractor and done craniofacial therapy, trying to help the nerves heal. There is nothing that can be done. I spent a fortune on chiropractors and acupuncturists—I’ll do anything. It’s pretty devastating.

Every morning, I stick my nose in jar of peanut butter. It could be psychological, but occasionally I can smell the peanut butter. However, it is very faint and it comes and goes. One day I could smell it faintly and the next day not at all. I can’t smell a rose or a hamburger. I can’t tell the difference between gasoline or bleach. I can’t smell things burning. If I forget about food on the frying pan, the smoke detector goes off but I can’t smell the food burning. I have a funny taste in my mouth, like rancid coffee or burning tar—that’s the only way I can describe it.

For 3 days in a row, I asked the pharmacist to take Zicam off the shelf. In April, they wouldn’t. If this information this had come out sooner, I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to Zicam.

It’s been 3 months and I’m hoping for a full recovery. I just want to share my story and I want to know if there is any hope of recovery. I want to hear that somebody got better.”


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