Zicam cold remedy gets FDA warning; Matrixx Dives

June 16, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg] –  Zicam nasal sprays and swabs may cause permanent loss of smell and taste and consumers should stop using them, U.S. regulators warned today, sending shares of manufacturer Matrixx Initiatives Inc. down the most ever.

Matrixx, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, fell $10.68, or 56 percent, to $8.56 before Nasdaq Stock Market trading was halted. That’s the biggest intraday decline since its 1996 initial public offering.

The Food and Drug Administration has received more than 130 reports of people losing their sense of smell after using zinc- based Zicam nasal spray and swabs, and Matrixx has an additional 800 reports it hasn’t made available to the agency, Deborah M. Autor, director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance, said today in a conference call with reporters. The agency sent a warning letter to Matrixx telling the company to stop selling three Zicam products.

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