Arecent study in Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery on the potential side effects of nasal zinc therapies is the newest staging ground in the debate over how otolaryngologists can advise patients on the benefits of homeopathic treatments in the context of the common cold.
Explore this issue:October 2010
The study reported that the use of over-the-counter, homeopathic nasal zinc gel and spray “can and does cause anosmia” (Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010:136(7);673-676). The results are the latest data in the back-and-forth on the efficacy of intranasal zinc gluconate, which drew attention last year when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned customers that three Zicam intranasal zinc treatments were associated with anosmia. Still, the FDA continues to label the therapy as “generally regarded as safe (GRAS)” on its consumer website.
“These things can come to market and don’t need to go through the same rigors and trials other treatments need to go through,” said Karen Fong, MD, co-director of California Sinus Centers (CSC) Advanced Sinus Surgery and Rhinology Fellowship in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Just because it’s over the counter doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any issues.”| | | Next → | Single Page