Medications may cause harm to users

Health roundup

The Food and Drug Administration recently warned consumers about several medications used to treat colds, allergies and asthma.

Citing 130 complaints from people who had lost their sense of smell, the FDA advised consumers to stop using any Zicam product that includes zinc, including the Cold Remedy Swabs, Kid Size. Former Zicam users reported losing their sense of smell either long-term or permanently, and some said it occurred after the first use of the homeopathic medication.

In 2006, the manufacturer of Zicam agreed to pay $12 million to settle 340 lawsuits regarding complaints over damaged sense of smell, but denied the medication was harmful in any way.

Additionally, the FDA asked makers of Singulair, Accolate, Zyflo and Zyflo CR to include a precaution on drug labels regarding a risk of behavior and mood changes. All four drugs are leukotriene inhibitors, which help in the body’s response to inflammatory stimuli, such as breathing in pollen.

The FDA made its request based on reports from some users who experienced agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression or even suicidal behavior while taking one of these drugs.

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