Does Zicam Really Work?

Average Rating:
Bottom Line:
Would recommend it to a friend
Rating snapshot:
5 stars:
4 stars:
3 stars:
2 stars:
1 stars:
1/5 - (3 votes)

Does Zicam work?Zicam has been around for over 15 years and says that you can get relief from the symptoms of colds and allergies by using it. They say that it’s a homeopathic product, which we’ll describe more below, and we’ll get into the real question of whether or not you should use it.

Homeopathic products are interesting because they blatantly state that they’re mostly water, and have very few active ingredients. The idea is that you’re taking the vibration or energy of the active ingredient and diluting is several times over. The energy is supposed to be amplified, and this is what causes it to be effective. It is often said that homeopathic remedies have fewer side effects, because physically speaking they’re almost entirely water, and are therefore not problem-causing.

The Claim
The makers of Zicam say that it can help to relieve cold and allergy symptoms with a homeopathic remedy. They say it is “serious relief for stuffed up noses” and if you ask any of the users that lost their sense of smell if it’s serious or not, they’d probably agree.

The Hype
The hype here is from bad press, both by the FDA getting in on the action by pulling it from shelves, and lawsuits against the company for undisclosed side effects. They say all press is good press, but in this case it’s hard to see how someone would be tempted to try this after the allegations being made.

The Cost
We checked for Zicam at good ol’ Wal-Mart and all of their products clocked in at under $10. This puts it on track with other cold remedies on the market, so there isn’t any particular cost savings when going with this. If it can potentially help you not miss work, or avoid downtime because of a cold, it could be well worth the price, and worth trying out, but be sure to keep reading because there’s more to this story than you might think.

The Commitment
This is meant to be taken at the early stages of a cold to help you reduce how bad you get it, and relieve the symptoms you already have. This means you have to commit to keeping a close eye on how you’re feeling so that you can start taking preventive measures as soon as you notice the familiar signs. It’s good that this is not a daily supplement, so you don’t have to take it between colds for prevention, or every day as a way to keep things running smoothly. But if you are prone to colds and allergies you may want to find out how to boost your immune system, or get relief from those allergies on a long term basis.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Zicam and its side effects, including settlements that have been paid out by the company to users that said they lost their sense of smell due to it. It’s quite interesting to note that while the company hasn’t officially admitted that their product caused these effects, why pay the settlement? Why not simply disprove the allegations? Perhaps in the court of law paying a settlement is not an admission of guilt, but in the court of public opinion it’s pretty understandable why a company pays settlements. It’s usually in their best financial interest to do so, and is less expensive than admitting anything and recalling the product.

It gets the label “unapproved homeopathic” which basically means that it hasn’t been approved by the FDA. This might be cause for some to not buy it, but when you consider how many pharmaceutical drugs have been recalled after being approved by the FDA, it’s pretty much an arbitrary approval. That being said, it matter greatly what your thoughts are on homeopathy in general, and whether or not you think that a heavily diluted substance that is mostly water can have a positive effect on the condition you have.

Final Zicam Review

Whatever results Zicam may or may not provide, it’s not worth risking your sense of smell over. For this reason we’re giving it our Thumbs Down rating and recommending to choose other options. You’ve only got five senses, and it’s not worth putting one of them on the line just to unstuff your nose. There are plenty of natural remedies you can try before even resorting to a medicine, whether it be an OTC drug, or a prescription medication.

Our Recommendation
The conditions that this is supposed to treat are quite common, and there are several different options for you to choose from in regards to treatment. Going with a product that doesn’t have a checkered past is always our advice, and it’s hard to look past the claims being made, and the settlements being paid out.

What do you think? Does Zicam work or not?

79 Customer Reviews on “Does Zicam Really Work?

  1. Only makes symptoms worse. Prolongs what you already had/have. Look into organic apple cider vinegar.

  2. Zicam most definitely reduced the symptoms and length of my last cold. I think the main thing is to use it JUST as soon as you feel symptoms. In other words, have it on hand. I used the nasal swabs and crystals and I went from absolutely miserable to ‘what cold’ in just a few days. I stocked up for the next time.

  3. this is for the orange pills 20 count

    i got a ton of these for 2$ useing an exploit so didden’t pay the full 9$ each. they seem to help give energy but not sure if it is well-absorbed or not by the body, or if its just placebo.

    pros: it provides some essential vitamins and minerals including semi-rare vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E. it appears to give a bit of an energy boost when consumed and dosen’t feel like its from the small amounts of caffeine in the pill.

    nueteral: they seem better if you chew them vs sucking on them they taste better chewed and i would assume you absorb it just as efficently if not more effeciantly than sucking on it as dirrected, and like all vitamins they should be taken with food to get stomach in digest mode.

    cons: sucralose, this is a known toxin an artificial sweetaner, but compared to what is in diet sodas and what meany use for sweetening coffee, tea eta the amount dwarfs what is normally consumed, but it should of just been made with the orange flavor without that unneeded artificial sweetener. Fat-crap-uneeded box! that dang box is enormous, you can fit 2 containers in a single box the box could literately be reduced in size by 2.5x saving the customer and planet from excess waste and saving money for both company and customer.

    i hope the pills dont have any of those scary side effects, remember you can easily overdose on even letter vitamins and sounds like it was about the nasal spray, still a pretty corrupt thing for a company to do to not pay reimburstmant.

  4. I have use Zicam for Years.I absolutely love it and t does work.. I do also have allergies but that is a total difference than a cold. As soon as I feel a cold starting i use the spray and it does make the cold shorter. Instead of squeezing it up my nose,I put some of the gel on a q-tip. Maybe a few people lost there sense of smell (do to individual problems) but then people jump on the band wagon. They probably never checked with their Dr 1st before using it. I use the spray now and have the lozenges too…. I would never use anything else. IMHO

  5. HI,

    I have a question. I have been reading about Zicam and they mentioned the nasal spray, the swabs for kids, and the gels, but they never mentioned the tablets that dissolve in your mouth. Is there a risk with those, too? I have been taking them trying to get over a cold before Wed. Should I stop taking them? Thanks in advance for your help.

Add Review

Please rate *

Your email address will not be published.