June 24, 2009 / 12:52 PM / 10 years ago

Zicam nasal products recall starts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Matrixx Initiatives has started to notify U.S. customers of its recall of nasal versions of its Zicam cold remedy, a week after U.S. regulators told the company to stop selling the products.

Matrixx said on Wednesday that it was in the process of formally notifying retailers, wholesalers and distributors of its recall of all Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel and Zicam Cold Remedy Gel Swabs, even as the company maintained it “vigorously disagrees” with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over allegations that the products are not safe and were unlawfully marketed.

The company “is conducting this recall because of its desire to cooperate with the FDA,” Matrixx said.

On June 16, the FDA warned Matrixx to stop selling intranasal versions of its zinc-containing Zicam cold remedy after more than 130 reports of people losing their sense of smell after using the products. The FDA also urged consumers to stop taking the over-the-counter products.

Matrixx shares fell some 70 percent that day and have yet to recover.

Separately, Matrixx said on Tuesday that it had received an informal inquiry from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about last week’s FDA warning letter relating to Zicam.

Shares of Matrixx were down 12 percent at $4.25 in very light trading before the market opened.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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