Zicam is marketed as an over-the-counter homeopathic cold remedy that reduces the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. The manufacturers of Zicam insist the medication cures the common cold three times faster than normal. Zicam is available in various forms, including a no-drip liquid nasal gel, chewable tablets and an oral mist. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc manufactures Zicam.
Several lawsuits have been filed against Matrixx, the developers and distributors of Zicam and the medication's contract manufacturer alleging Zicam nasal gel caused users to sustain permanent loss of their sense of smell (anosmia) and taste, some after a single application of the product. According to complaints, Zicam contains zinc gluconate, which has been linked to olfactory nerve damage when applied through the nose. Similar cases were reportedly submitted at a 2003 meeting of the American Rhinologic Society.