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Last updated: Oct. 9, 2017

65 Zicam Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

Be warned. On October 4, I followed the directions and every 3 hours administered the required dose. After the first 24 hours of taking the Rapidmelts, my tongue, stomach and throat were giving me problems. The constant lingering stomach pains, feelings of a raw throat and the back of my tongue feels as though it’s burned (from drinking a hot liquid). So, on October 5, I immediately switched over to the oral spray and religiously continued to administer the required dosage for two more days. By Friday afternoon around 5:00 pm, I couldn't take it anymore and stopped using the product. Now, after I discontinued use 3 days ago, all of the above symptoms continue and are now preventing me from sleeping through the night.

I tried ** and ** to sooth my stomach, but nothing is working. Drinking a lot of water to flush it out of my system, but that's not working either. The risk of taking Zicam is not worth any possible reward to end my cold faster. Now I have to go see a doctor because I'm worried Zicam caused permanent intestinal and throat damage to any otherwise very active and healthy adult male. I feel miserable. And, based on what I read from others, this product should be discontinued. Way too risky!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 12, 2017

I gave my husband a packet of the Zicam ultra cold remedy crystals and within minutes, he complained of a massive headache and sore throat. His only symptoms was a cough, that I usually can tell leads to a full blown cold. I wish I would've read all the reviews about this product before giving it to him. Why is it still on store shelves?!! Never again!! I just hope my husband’s symptoms dont last as long as some of the people on here.

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    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 8, 2017

    Taking ** Cold Remedy before my cold started was not a good idea. Coughing increased quite a lot! It did not shorten my cold at all!!! It made me cough much more than I had been doing. Lot ** Ext. **. Had a lot of DRY MOUTH while taking this product. This product lengthen my cold and made me feel not good at all. I think this company is in the business of charging a lot of money for this product with lousy results. I would not use it again!!! How do you people stay in business with these kind of results is beyond me.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 21, 2017

    In Jan. 2017 went to FLA to visit family and they were all sick with real bad cold. So I bought and used Zicam nasal spray. It is now the end of May and still can't smell or taste and the sinus mucus has been non stop never ending since. Please don't ever use this never ending agonizing product. My rating on this product is... I'd rather have a cold.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 10, 2017

    Have been using ** tablets for cold suppression for the past year. It seems to reduce the severity of cold symptoms and the duration. I ran out yesterday and stopped by Walgreens, which had Zicam RapidMelts on sale. This is supposedly an identical formulation to the ** tablets (active ingredients are the same). I took my first RapidMelts about 3 hours ago. I just discovered that I have essentially lost my sense of taste. This is NOT a result of the cold. My sense of taste was fine before. I had a similar problem in the late 2000's with Zicam nasal spray, only that time it was both my sense of taste and smell. It lasted for at least 6 months. BE WARNED!

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 6, 2017

    I just purchased this product this morning as I feel a cold coming on. I had tried the Zicam Meltaways and took the whole bottle and didn't feel like they worked, so I decided to try the spray. HOLY CRAP this stuff is painful!!! Instantly burned my nose, sent shooting pain through my head and took a few minutes to clear. Now I feel a slight headache and scared of what this stuff is doing to me. NEVER will use this again and also going to take it back and get a return as this stuff isn't cheap. HORRIBLE product!

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 21, 2017

    After taking the first melt away, I experienced a pounding headache which I attributed to whatever I had. I continued to take 4 more tablets. Later that evening I experienced nausea and dizziness which included fainting where I fell and was hurt. I have no idea how long I was out and I was lucky I wasn't hurt more seriously. DO NOT TAKE ANY MORE IF YOU DEVELOP A HEADACHE WITHIN 2 HOURS OF TAKING YOUR FIRST TABLET. Wish I had read the information on this site first.

    Original review: Feb. 10, 2017

    I purchased Zicam Nasal Spray at the sign of an oncoming cold just a few days ago. I initially wondered why the spray burned the inside of my nose upon my immediate use. The burning was followed shortly after by intense nausea and a headache leaving me feeling spaced out as well as a funny after taste. I am disappointed in this product and company for its failure to list all potential side effects so consumers can decide for themselves whether or not to purchase the product. I am going to throw away a full bottle of Zicam Nasal Spray and will be sure to share my experience with friends and family. Someone has to share the truth.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 26, 2017

    I used Zicam cold medication that came in the mail as a free trial: three tubes of dry, citrus-tasting crystals (with zinc) that could be placed on your tongue to dissolve at intervals of about 4 hours. Each time the medicine completely alleviated the cold symptoms for about 2 hours followed by a splitting headache with enhanced cold symptoms. I tried it three times and the last time my headache was so bad that I was ready to go to the Emergency Room. But once I stopped taking the medicine, my headache went away. This product could kill me.

    Original review: Jan. 7, 2017

    I have been sick for a week with a nasty cold, sinus problem, even into my eyes. I hadn't gone to the doctor because it was the busy season at work. It was a long, uncomfortable week. I've been taking the Zicam rapidmelts (recommended to me and used in the past) for 24 hours, every 3 hours and my cold symptoms are literally gone. I could kick myself that I didn't buy them a week ago. My mouth does feel a little rough and my sense of taste is a little off but I know they will return to normal quickly and I'm just thankful to feel decent again.

    Original review: Jan. 3, 2017

    About a month ago, I had a sore throat, so started taking **. I have used this product before & have not experienced any problems. This time my cold symptoms became a dry, scratchy throat, so I continued the ** because the directions are "use until symptoms completely subside". I had a dry scratchy throat for about 2 weeks, so I continued to take ** for that long. After I had finished 3 bottles, I noticed that sweet foods tasted like soap. Then I stopped taking the **. Maybe I just took ** for too long. It was Christmas time, so there were lots of sweets around which I couldn't enjoy! I explained this problems to my doctor, who had never heard of it before. I still have not completely regained my sense of taste. The only good thing that happened is that I lost 6 lbs because I did not eat sweets this Christmas!

    Original review: Oct. 10, 2016

    Been using this product in the last 2 days. So far been happy with it. Even though there are some saying they can't smell or lost it due to this. How can they when it helps with nasal congestion. Which in my case, I had no smell due to nasal congestion, which reduces your sense of smell anyway. That is why taste is messed up, when you’re sick. Then ZINC FREE swabs they have replaced their old products which works. Never thought I would never use these, but they have helped with the nasal congestion better than the over the counter nasal sprays. Which is saying something. So Zicam has gained a new customer. Until you get over your nasal congestion, as well as being sick, your smell and taste will come back. Taking any homeopathic drug is really up to you.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 17, 2016

    I had never used Zicam until two months ago. I had previously heard about the nasal swabs being taken off the market because of people losing their sense of smell, but I'd never used it myself. A lady at my work swears by the nasal swabs and hasn't gotten a cold in years. She bought a ton of the swabs before they were taken off the shelves and has been using them for several years. She worries about what she'll do when she runs out. She uses the swabs at the very first sign of a cold and doesn't actually get the cold.

    Anyway, with this in mind, I was feeling sick in June so I thought I'd try the Zicam Rapidmelts at the very first sign of a cold. I took them every 3 hours for a day and a half, and didn't actually get the cold. 36 hours after my first Rapidmelt, I was completely back to normal. So... for the last couple of months I've taken them twice with the same results. I'm taking them right now because 2 days ago I had a horrible sore throat that I thought was probably strep - that's how bad the pain is. I took Zicam every 3 hours and by day 2, my sore throat was completely gone. I can't taste anything, but that's happened every time I take them, and comes back after a day or two off the melts.

    I wonder if people with the more severe reactions to the melts are allergic. I guess it's like any drug that some people react horribly to and suffer side effects and others don't experience any symptoms. I'm glad it works for me. If I ever suffered some of the horrible side effects that have been described by other users (such as bleeding sores in the mouth), I'd never use them again. So far, so good for me though.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 14, 2016

    I should have done my research before purchasing this product. I took a RapidMelt 3 hours ago for a cold. I have developed extreme nausea and stomach pain even though I followed all the instructions. I have bumps on the sides of my tongue and have lost all sense of taste and smell. The carton does not mention side effects nor was there any printed material inside the carton warning of side effects. This product should not be sold in drug stores. It is not safe. My husband is going back to CVS to return and speak with the manager.

    Updated on 4/26/16: Although my cold symptoms were gone 4 days later, I did not regain my full sense of taste for a week. My sense of smell took two weeks to return. The painful bumps on the side of my tongue took a week to go away. I only develop these painful bumps when I use toothpastes or mouthwashes containing sodium laureth sulfate. Obviously I do not use these products. I wonder if Zicam may contain this ingredient although it is not stated on the packaging.

    For those of you who have stated that a cold makes you lose your sense of smell and taste, let me be perfectly clear that my sense of taste was perfect before I took the rapid melt. I had thoroughly enjoyed the flavor of my lunch and could taste how awful the rapid melt tasted. Furthermore, my sense of smell was also perfect as I had truly enjoyed the scent of the perfume I had just sprayed on. For those of you who truly derive a benefit from this product and are not paid by the manufacturer to write a rosy review, I hope that this product will continue to work for you. As for me, I will never take this poison again and have warned friends, family and neighbors about it. It is frightening to think that you may never regain your sense of smell. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. IT IS NOT SAFE.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 6, 2016

    I have been a devoted user of Zicam for about two years. I try to keep it on hand because you never know when a cold will hit and Zicam has always proven to be a lifesaver for me. I usually get extremely sick when I get a cold. I cough for a month or more if the cold progresses too much. But whenever I feel that little twinge in the back of my throat, or start sneezing too much, I start taking Zicam every 3-4 hours and continue doing that until my symptoms are gone. With Zicam my colds only last about a week. Taking the Zicam usually makes the symptoms disappear for the 3 hours until my next dose.

    It's very unfortunate that people have had bad experiences. I once was out of Zicam (and had no way of getting more) and used zinc for the duration of my cold and sure, it helped, but the zinc is what seriously messed with my taste buds. Zicam hasn't ever had lasting effects on my ability to taste. And if you really think about it, that's what a cold will do to you anyway. Colds camp in your airways and even before I ever tried Zicam, I would often lose my sense of taste and smell simply because I had a cold. Whenever I use Zicam as directed every 3 hours my cold is gone within a week! This would never happen for me without the Zicam. Zicam has taken my colds duration down from a month to a week! LOVE it and recommend it wholeheartedly.

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    Original review: Feb. 17, 2016

    I used Zicam cold remedy nose spray for about three days, and it did literally nothing in helping me cure the cold. However, I experienced the loss of ability to taste and smell like everybody mentioned here. The loss of senses last around a week and two and I was able to pick up a little taste and smell gradually. So for people still experiencing the issue, you still have chances to get your senses back. And NEVER USE ZICAM AGAIN!

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 11, 2016

    Have taken the nose spray for two days and now I can't smell or taste anything. Can anyone tell me if this has happened to them and if it goes away? Please, I am worried.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 4, 2016

    I took one tablet of Zicam on Thanksgiving night and my mouth burned and I experienced terrible bitter taste on my tongue. I have a metallic sense on my tongue but no smell or taste since November 26, 2015. One star is too many for this product. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.

    Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 12, 2015

    I bought Zicam pre-cold remedy Nasal spray and it was the biggest waste of 15$. It doesn’t do **. The extreme congestion works fine, this does absolutely nothing for you. ** Zicam for ripping me off and you owe me 15$ you dumb ass pieces of **!

    Original review: June 1, 2015

    I've used this product (the rapid melts) & have no issues whatsoever, unlike the majority of the folks on here who sound like they're exaggerating their experiences in order to jump on a PAST & ALREADY RESOLVED class action lawsuit! I, unlike the others posting on here, did my research before taking the product & learned of the best type to take & a better way of taking it, in order to NOT have any negative side effects... it's called educating yourselves. I highly recommend doing it before you convince yourself you have all these issues from an OTC product.

    Original review: May 12, 2015

    I took Zicam one day for my sinus. I took the nose spray. I could breath a little better at first. I took some just before bed time. The next morning I woke up early. MY husband asked me if I was ok. Ya breathing funny. I got up because my mouth was so dry and tasted awful. That's when I noticed my tongue was swollen and caked with blood. I had bumps in my mouth. This was a very scary experience. I brought it back to Bed Bath & Beyond, they gave me my money back.

    Original review: May 6, 2015

    I only use Zicam Intense Nasal Relief Spray when I cannot breathe. Because when I use it, my nostril burns so badly it hurts and brings tears to my eyes, and yes it works but during the day I feel an itching burning sensation that feels like I need to sneeze. I hate this stuff.

    Original review: May 1, 2015

    At the start of a cold I sucked on two Zicam lozenges. For 3 weeks now I have noticed my taste buds during eating at every meal taste like zinc, or a slight metallic taste on my tongue. I hope this is not permanent and will go away soon.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 26, 2015
    Although the aftertaste does not merit many stars, the product itself is worthy of many more than five. Rarely do I get sick, but when I do, I am down for the count for days. Not now. On a whim, feeling a ''bug'' coming on, I bought Zicam. It was evening coughing that I first noticed. Within days I was opening a box of what I had hoped to be the end-all cure. A dry cough, sore throat and no idea what my doc visit would charge with the inclusion of a prescription, I turned to Zicam.

    Immediately my throat was coated with a warm elixir that, not only calmed my cough, but was soothing to swallow. Unlike anything I've tried before, Zicam honey lemon flavored syrup has no sting, no bite, nothing I would not recommend to anyone. Sincerely, got moxie.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 16, 2015

    Tried zicam and lost sense of smell. Back headaches. Stomach, throat, nose and sinus pain. My face under eyes by nose swelled up. Face itches. Pain in eyes and headaches. All upper teeth pain from swelling.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 11, 2015

    I took Zicam melts for one day. I took it every three hours as recommended. When i went to bed, my heart was pounding...i could not sleep. My nose and throat is so dry still. It's been five days. It's awful. Do not take this product.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 25, 2015

    Does ANYONE know why they took the cough syrup off the shelves???? I took it back in 2004 after having a major bronchial infection and have not been sick with a cold or flu since......Kinda weird if you ask me.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 21, 2015

    Sometime in 2009, my sister-in-law talked me into buying Zicam for nasal congestion. I had never used it before. I used it twice, and several days later, I noticed my sense of smell was affected. I could no longer smell natural gas leaks, gas passed by my Boston Terriers, scent of flowers, coffee and food aromas. There are very few things I can smell and some of them don't smell the same as they once had. My ENT doctor confirmed my inability to smell things as previously. It wasn't until a year or so later I learned of the FDA report on Zicam. If I had known, I would have sued the makers of the product because my quality of life has been severely damaged in that I can no longer smell the good things in life.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 3, 2015

    I had never taken Zicam before. Took the tablet form one night as I took my dog out for a walk. I didn't get past my first neighbor's house when I started feeling a strange sensation in my throat. I could feel it as it started swelling. I have never had an allergic reaction before, so this was very scary to me. It swelled side to side, front to back. I headed home. My lips felt funny, they were swelling. I started itching all over. I tried to stay calm. I knew that this sounded like an anaphylaxis attack. I called my mom, she told me to call 911, but it seemed like it at least wasn't getting any worse. I had hives that night, swollen throat, lips, and face. After reading up, I had stage 3 anaphylaxis. It was so scary. I had hives on and off for about 3 weeks. I will never take it again!

    Original review: Dec. 28, 2014

    I'm very disappointed in the long-lasting, probably permanent damage, to my sense of taste. I took the Zicam RapidMelts as directed from the first feelings of illness and continued for 3 days until the symptoms subsided. Yes, the Zicam did shorten the length of my cold. Unfortunately, it has also caused my taste buds to stop working. It has been a month now, and my sense of taste still isn't normal. Food tastes bad now, and the flavor of soda is the worst. My sense of sweet is gone. Now sweetness tastes bitter. YUCK.

    Zicam expert review by ConsumerAffairs

    Zicam makes and sells products that relieve allergy and cold symptoms in adults and children 12 and older. Their allergy products include Nasal Swabs and No-Drip Liquid® Nasal Gel™.  Zicam’s Nasal Swabs are only available at CVS, and their No-Drip Liquid® Nasal Gel™ is available at major national retailers online and in-store.

    • Non-drowsy: Zicam’s allergy relief products are non-drowsy, so you can find relief without worrying about getting drowsy during the day.
    • Unique formulas: Zicam’s allergy relief formulas are unique in that they specifically provide relief to the nasal passages. These are ideal for people who suffer from nasal allergy symptoms, and the no-drip formula ensures that the gel won’t drip down your throat after application.
    • Zicam newsletter: Sign up for the Zicam newsletter to receive quarterly news, promotions, coupons and more. It’s free and only takes a minute to register.
    • Facebook promotions: Follow Zicam on Facebook to have a chance of winning prizes and hearing about special promotions first. You can also use Facebook to communicate with Zicam directly. They typically respond to comments privately and efficiently.
    • Cold and sinus relief: In addition to allergy relief, Zicam has products for cold and sinus relief, so you can use one brand for all of your cold, sinus and allergy needs. Their children’s cold medicine is made for children ages 6-11.
    • Best for: Zicam is best for adults who suffer from nasal allergies.
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