After the article was posted, Zicam reached out to clarify their statement.
GREENSBORO, NC- When a cold hits, we’ll do just about anything to make it go away. Lots of rest, fluids, medicine and many love to try homeopathic products.
Recently, a viewer reached out to News 2 and asked, “Could you please verify if the Zicam snap stick can reduce a cold by 45 percent. It doesn’t seem real to me.”
The viewer is referring to Zicam Nasal Swab, a homeopathic nasal swab. The directions say the swab, containing menthol and eucalyptus, is used by rubbing the swab in the nostrils to provide symptom relief. On the box, the product claims it’s clinically proven to shorten the cold. On the Zicam website, the product claims to reduce symptom severity by 45 percent by the midpoint of the cold when taken at symptom onset.
2 Wants to Know reached out to the makers of Zicam to ask where the 45 percent claim came from.
In an emailed response, a media representative wrote, “The 45% comes from a proprietary double blind, placebo controlled clinical study."
Proprietary (meaning the company owns the study and results) double blind, placebo controlled clinical study. That’s a lot of adjectives, so for clarification, we reached to Medical Researcher, Chris Hendel with Consumer Reports.
In an email Hendel wrote, “I would say they are indeed implying here that ‘we did this study [my guess being that clearly it has not been peer-reviewed nor published in a quality journal] and we can't share the data because it's proprietary and so you'll just have to take our word for it.’”
Hendel added this was an educated guess, as he did not contact the makers of Zicam directly.
2 Wants to Know reached out to Zicam for a second time, to ask who conducted the survey. We were told they could not share more about the study.
So, we can’t verify the product works to reduce a cold by 45 percent, as there is no study we can view to back up the claim. So, you really will have to take the company’s word on this one. But, if it helps, over 500 of 800 customer reviews on the Zicam website gave the product five stars and the reviews are mostly positive.