Zicam refunds available through summer 2009
It’s been two months since the makers of Zicam, Matrixx Initiatives, voluntarily pulled its cold remedy nasal gels and swabs from shelves. But even if you haven’t taken the products off your medicine cabinet shelf yet, you still have time to get your money back.
Matrixx has been offering a complete refund to consumers who bought the nasal gels and swabs, which cost anywhere from $10 to $15, since the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in June that the products cause loss of the sense of smell, known as anosmia. More than 130 customers filed complaints with the FDA, with many saying they experienced severe nasal pain followed by decreased olfactory abilities just hours after using the nasal gels and swabs, which accounted for 40 percent of Matrixx’s sales in 2008.
So far, Matrixx has received more than 10,000 return and exchange requests through its call center and online submission forms, according to Kelly Simonsen, company spokeswoman. She says the company will be offering refunds through the end of August, but “possibly longer.”
In an online video message to consumers, William J. Hemelt, president of Matrixx, says the company stands behind its products. “[We believe] there is no link between its Zicam Cold Remedy intranasal gel products and anosmia,” Hemelt says. Matrixx’s 17 other Zicam-branded oral products will remain on the shelves.
To receive a refund, or to exchange them for one of Zicam’s oral products, visit zicam.com/refunds or call 877-942-2626.
An app for emergencies
The American Heart Association recently made emergency information more accessible with the first Pocket First Aid & CPR application available for the Apple iPhone.
The application, costing $3.99 from iTunes, features hundreds of pages with illustrations and 20 videos with instructions on how to respond to critical first-aid situations suchas CPR, choking, seizures, and treating cuts and wounds.
“I think this is great,” says Marty Scheerer, fire chief and paramedic at the A-rated Edina Fire Department in Edina, Minn. “You never know when there will be an emergency, so any easily accessible reference is always beneficial.”
The upside of rejection
Don’t feel bad if you’ve been turned down for a date or promotion. Rejection just may make you more perceptive.
A Miami University of Ohio study showed human smiles on a computer, some of them fake, to two groups. People who had experienced rejection from friends, peers or family recognized 80 percent of the fake smiles, while those in the other group were duped about half the time.
Rejected people may be able to detect what others are thinking. “This seems to be a skill we’ve acquired through evolution,” said Michael Bernstein, a Miami graduate student and the study’s lead author. “People who are rejected are concerned about getting back into a group.”
Flu watch: Vaccine testing under way
A flu shot for the H1N1 virus could be available in the U.S. as early as next month, now that clinical trials to test the pilot vaccines are under way. While no decision has been made about which, if any, groups to vaccinate, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking local communities and health care providers across the U.S. to be prepared if a vaccine is available in the fall.
“We want [them] to be thinking about how they would be able to vaccinate younger people, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions like diabetes and asthma that put them at higher risk,” says Anne Schuchat, director for CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Who says skimping on fat means skimping on flavor? Try substituting these tasty, low-calorie options for your favorite foods:
|HIGHER FAT||LOWER FAT|
|Ice cream||Sorbet or sherbet|
|Sour cream||Plain low-fat yogurt|
|Bacon or sausage||Canadian bacon|
|Croissants||Hard French rolls|
|Fudge sauce||Chocolate syrup|