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#1
Old 02-09-2004, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Jeju Island, South Korea
Posts: 21
Does Zicam cold remedy really work?

Just got a package from back home and along with the valentine's day socks, I got a little bottle of something called, "Zicam". The label claims the medicine "actually shortens the cold". Is this true? Has anyone used it before? I looked up the Zicam website and the website claims that the product reduces the length of the cold by 75%. That's a LOT and seems to be a pretty big claim. Still, it'd be great if it were true. These Korean colds I get....some last months and they often turn into bronchitis and/or pneumonia and usually involved a complete loss of voice for weeks...not a good thing for a teacher!
#2
Old 02-09-2004, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: South-Central PA (YO!)
Posts: 233
I got a bottle each for Mr. Toes and myself. I've found it to be working great so far. The key is to be consistent. Once I feel that scratchy throat I start dosing myself with the Zicam. It's fabulous for us because we are both prone to evil sinus infections which results in lost work, missed school, and alot of money spent at the doctor's and pharmacist.

Then again,

A friend of mine advised me against Zicam, she said it gave her a nasty sinus infection.
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#3
Old 02-09-2004, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,397
Here's the story on Zicam. I've pieced this together from a few sources.

First, there were people selling Zinc lozenges to help with colds, but these, when tested were shown not to be effective. Cecil did a column on them.

Then someone else had the brilliant idea to put the Zinc into a suspension and administer it nasally. To test it, they hired someone associated with a university, and got some positive data. That by itself is suggestive, but in general don't believe any medical studies until they're replicated.

Normally, something like this would have to be replicated lots, and shown to be safe, in order to get FDA approval. But there's a loophole: homeopathy. Congress exempted homeopathic nostrums from FDA oversight. Now how to get the Zinc suspension to be covered under this umbrella? Well, homeopathy is based on the quaint notion that a substance which causes certain symptoms will cure you of a disease with those same symptoms, if you take it in small doses. Seems like dark ages kind of thinking, but some people actually believe it. Homeopathy's other central tenet, that the effect is more powerful the more it's diluted, doesn't apply to this case, so I'll leave that nonsense alone for now, other than to mention that it's nonsense. It's nonsense.

So somehow, the makers of Zicam got the board who declares what's homeopathic and what's not, to list this Zinc solution. I guess they showed that if you put lots of this stuff up your nose, you get a runny nose, or something similar. Now they can sell Zicam without having to prove to the FDA that it's safe and effective! Home run!

Does it work? Well, there's one study that says so. I've told you what I think of one-study wonders. And they probably won't test it again, because they don't need to!

I would have a hard time using the stuff because I think they're way of bringing it to the market was somewhat unethical.
#4
Old 02-09-2004, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 3,183
http://thedenverchannel.com/news...69/detail.html
Some people have claimed Zicam nasal gel has destroyed their sense of smell. Might be a plus for some people but sounds like a drawback to me.

Help a newbie! How do you insert the URL so you can have it show up as a cute phrase instead of the URL? You know what I mean!
#5
Old 02-09-2004, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: colorado
Posts: 678
You'd be better off with a $1 bottle of saline nasal spray.
#6
Old 02-09-2004, 12:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suburbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 9,859
No idea about Zicam, but I can help the Newbie with her link.

Let's say I want to link to google.com, and say "try our old friend Google." The format is this: {url="google.com"}try our old friend Google{/url}

Replace the {} brackets with [] brackets and you've got your link. Now try our old friend Google
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#7
Old 02-09-2004, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 3,183
thanks, Diceman . I checked the technical issues and Technical FAQ's but all I got were pages about smilies.
Carry on about Zicam. I'm curious to know myself, homeopathy sounds like unscientific hooey to me, though.
#8
Old 02-09-2004, 03:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 1,374
I purchased some of the swabs awhile back because colds just wipe me out and my kids bring plenty home.

I nearly took them back after getting them home and reading on the box that they were Homeopathic. I went to a website of folks describing their experiences and decided to keep them and give them a try.

Didn't take long.

I started using them as soon as one of the kids came home sick and held it off for a week, even though everyone else got the bug. After a week, I got it and it although I'd have to say it did seem to lessen the effects and the cold ran its course in two or maybe three days.

Although I'm still not completely convinced, I'm going to continue to use it. Ten dollars is cheap compared to the alternative.
#9
Old 02-09-2004, 06:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,499
Quote:
Originally Posted by bare
I started using them as soon as one of the kids came home sick and held it off for a week, even though everyone else got the bug. After a week, I got it and it although I'd have to say it did seem to lessen the effects and the cold ran its course in two or maybe three days.

Although I'm still not completely convinced, I'm going to continue to use it. Ten dollars is cheap compared to the alternative.
Not to pick on bare, but this just kills me. A person uses a product, gets the specific ailment the product is designed to prevent. Despite this seeming failure, the person perceives that the product "seemed to lessen the effects", and the cold ran its course in "two maybe three days". (Maybe it's me, but most of my colds last for two or three days.) Based on the foregoing (which seems to me to be a total, abject failure of the product to do anything at all) the person will continue to shell out $10 (!) for the product, because it is cheap "compared to the alternative" (the alternative being, what, spending $20 on something that doesn't work at all?!).
#10
Old 02-09-2004, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 5,482
I used my time-honored test for determining if something's a scam. Zicam is probably a scam, based on the test.
I googled "Zicam" + "Scam" and got 27 results. If I google a product name and get more than 7 hits, the product in question is probably a scam.
#11
Old 02-09-2004, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: chicago illinois, usa
Posts: 4,692
I visited the Zicam website and I'll paraphrase what's said in a promotional video.

"When you first feel yourself getting a cold, take Zicam. It will shorten the time it takes to get over the cold 3 times." (bolding mine)

Now, it seems to me, having had a few colds, that sometimes, after I "first feel myself getting a cold," it only lasts a few days, maybe 5 or less. Sometimes it lasts for as much as two weeks. It's unpredictable, since, I imagine, it depends on the particular virus. So, if I use Zicam and my cold ends in 4-5 days, or even less, I have no proof that the stuff worked, since there's no specific benchmark for how long a cold will last.

Basically, homeopathy is bunk and has been debunked.
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#12
Old 02-09-2004, 08:21 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 1,374
You can pick on me all you want. I'm a born skeptic and as explained still skeptical about Zicam. First it isn't claimed that it prevents catching colds, just that it can reduce the severity and the time.

Maybe it is just you, because most of my colds last at least a week and often up to two weeks. On top of that, as a lifelong smoker and other health issues, my lungs are pretty compromised and colds often turn into bronchitis or pneumonia.

By contrast, my kids were still hacking and coughing for two weeks.

I'm still not convinced, but like I said, I had pretty good results and since I have plenty of swabs left, I'll try in again.
#13
Old 02-09-2004, 09:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Jeju Island, South Korea
Posts: 21
Well, I started to use it last night because I felt a little "off". This morning, I woke up with a full-on raging cold complete with headache, monsterous voice that is fading quickly, stuffy and runny nose, fever, and positively no energy to handle the six classes of EFL students I have today. If THIS is a lessening of the symptoms, does that mean I would have died from the cold without Zicam?? I'm chucking it, but now left with nothing as Koreans tend to treat colds (and just about everything else) with 3-6 days of antibiotics and YES I know how dangerous that is which is why I refuse to see a doctor. Meanwhile, my boss thinks I have "exercised too much" by taking a martial arts class, my co-workers think I should start eating kimchi by the bucket and everyone's got their own reason and remedy and in the end, I'm still the one spewing snot.
#14
Old 02-10-2004, 01:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: chicago illinois, usa
Posts: 4,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by JejuLife
Well, I started to use it last night because I felt a little "off". This morning, I woke up with a full-on raging cold complete with headache, monsterous voice that is fading quickly, stuffy and runny nose, fever, and positively no energy to handle the six classes of EFL students I have today. If THIS is a lessening of the symptoms, does that mean I would have died from the cold without Zicam?? I'm chucking it, but now left with nothing as Koreans tend to treat colds (and just about everything else) with 3-6 days of antibiotics and YES I know how dangerous that is which is why I refuse to see a doctor. Meanwhile, my boss thinks I have "exercised too much" by taking a martial arts class, my co-workers think I should start eating kimchi by the bucket and everyone's got their own reason and remedy and in the end, I'm still the one spewing snot.
Bummer. Well, the kimchi probably won't hurt and maybe you'll give the cold to your boss. Then, if he's not "exercising too much" he might cut you some slack (or he might not).

My advice? Get some over the counter cold relief medicine, take it and hope it at least reduces the symptoms. Then just be patient, get some rest and try not to get snot on your keyboard. That's just gross!
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begbert2 - 2/27/09..."unrelenting, never ending foray into self-aggrandizement, debasement of one's opponents, and ridicule of things one doesn't believe in"? Dude, that's not atheism. That's the internet.
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