Does Zicam Cold Remedy Work?
You may wonder if Zicam actually works or if it is just another product whose advertising can be misleading. Zicam claims to shorten the common cold if taken when symptoms first appear. I can say from decades of personal experience that this claim is absolutely true and Zicam actually works even better than the advertising claims. Zicam works most every time I take it, but the effectiveness depends on how early it is taken and how constantly you take it. Due to discrepancies in dosage due to how well people follow the directions, it may work differently. If someone waits to take it until they are very sick, it will not be as effective. For some colds I only have to take it once and I am good. You are supposed to take it every 4 hours at the start of a cold. Sometimes it is temping to stop taking it when we feel better. Many times I have stopped taking it too soon only to regret it later. Basically if I take it as directed it almost always works. If you wonder does Zicam cold remedy work, then I can tell you, for me, the answer is 100% yes!
How to take Zicam
It is important to take Zicam as directed. To take Zicam effectively make sure you do the following:
- Take Zicam at the first sign of symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose or sneezing.
- Continue to take 1 lozenge (or packet or whichever form you prefer) every 4 hours until you no longer feel any symptoms.
- Do not have any citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime etc) within 30 minutes before or after you have Zicam.
- Do not have any water or food for 15 minutes after you have Zicam (this is so it has time to soak in to your mouth).
- Do not chew it up, let it dissolve in your mouth.
I often forget to take it every 4 hours and sometimes only take it once or twice per day. If you take it as directed it is more likely to work well.
Which Variety Should You Take? So Many Flavors to Choose From.
There are Rapidmelt lozenges in cherry, orange, lemon lime and orange cream flavors as well as a spray in mint and honey lemon flavors, new fruit drops that look good as well as crystals in berry lemonade flavor. It is all a matter of preference. I like the orange cream flavored lozenges the best but I have not tried the gummy fruit drops yet and I suspect they are good and also offer a variety of flavors. This deal from Amazon looks like a great value.
Update: I now use only the fruit drops. They taste really, really good. I am not kidding. They are my favorite and don’t mind taking them at all! There are single bottles for under $10.
Zicam Cold Remedy Ingredients and How It Works
Zicam active ingredients are Zinc gluconate in all forms of Zicam and also Zinc acetate in Zicam Maximum Strength. The Berry Lemonade flavored packets also have Elderberry added which is a great immunity booster on it’s own. Note: though it says “lemonade” you do not mix this with water. Zinc is a natural anti-inflammatory and it also harms the cold virus and prevents it from replicating. The cold virus lives in the sinuses and throat so by taking Zicam in a lozenge or other form that dissolves in the mouth, the zinc is absorbed in the location where it is needed to work rather than being swallowed in a pill or other form that goes straight to the stomach. This is also why you have to wait for it to dissolve and should not wash it down with water or food.
Can Kids take Zicam?
Zicam is labeled for kids 12 years old and up. For younger kids there is Zicam Kids made just for them. It uses the same active ingredients as regular Zicam. It comes in a grape flavored soft chew.
Is Zicam homeopathic?
Zicam is not a homeopathic treatment but it is labeled as such since no accurate label options are available in the U.S. It is not a homeopathic based on the definition of homeopathy. Zicam is labeled homeopathic due to the fact there are not appropriate labeling options for natural supplements in the U.S. It is not a pharmaceutical product but created from zinc which is a naturally occurring element. In the U.S. naturally occurring minerals like Zinc are not labeled as treatments for particular conditions so “Homeopathic” is the closest option available. So even if you are not comfortable with homeopathic treatments, fear not. Nothing in Zicam is truly homeopathic.
How Does It Compare to Other Natural Cold Supplements?
There are some supplements that have a reputation for being used for treating and preventing the common cold. Some of these are Vitamin C and Echinacea. Personally, echinacea is something I avoid simply because it can upset my stomach and the straight lozenges taste terrible. There are many supplements that include echinacea now that taste better. Echinacea is healthy in general but it has not been shown to help with fighting a cold. If you like it, go ahead and take it but I don’t recommend it for colds.
Vitamin C is another very commonly used cold fighter. The problem is that it doesn’t do a whole lot for a cold. Vitamin C has many good benefits and I take it myself every day. However, I don’t expect it to save me from a cold.
For me, Zicam is the only supplement that actually shortens and weakens a cold.
Side Effects of Zicam Rapidmelts
There are only mild possible side effects from Zicam and most of the time I have experienced no side effects whatsoever. Upset stomach is the most common possible side effect but this can be prevented by eating some food before taking Zicam. Do not eat for 15 minutes after taking Zicam but you can eat right before taking it.
There are a lot of stories about more serious side effects from the old, nasal swab form of Zicam. This form was accused of causing loss of smell. Those products were taken off the market. New nasal swabs and nasal spray are made without any zinc at all to prevent this. The new formulas use herbals only. If you take the Rapidmelts, lozenges, fruit drops and other forms taken by mouth, this could not be a problem anyway. I never use the nasal swab form anymore but even when I did use the original formula as a kid, I never experienced this side effect.
Long term use of zinc in high doses can prevent other minerals from being absorbed by the body. As with anything moderation is smart. I would not take Zicam all day, every day but there should be no problem taking it when we have a cold.
Potential Drug Interactions
Zinc can interfere with certain prescription medications and antibiotics so check with your doctor or pharmacist when taking Zicam if you are on prescription drugs.
Does Zicam Work for The Flu?
Give it Try and See How Fast You Can Feel Better!
Zicam is like a miracle to me. It is amazingly effective. I highly recommend you give it a try. I bet you will be surprised at how well it works. Please leave me any questions or thoughts in a comment below. I would love to hear from you.