My friend was adamant. If I faithfully used the zinc-based product, I would never have a bad cold again. Another friend swore by another brand-name product that used a combination of ingredients (including Vitamin C). Both products sounded great to me; I hate getting sick.
According to the directions, the key to having these products work was using them at the first sign of a cold. Being a nurse, I was pretty good at following directions on anything requiring me to give myself a dose of something. I tried the Vitamin C-based product first.
Vitamin C Based Product
At the first sign of a cold, I took the product as directed. I got as sick as I normally would have. Since my friend absolutely believed in this product, I figured that maybe I didn’t take it soon enough or maybe I would have been sicker if I hadn’t used the cold remedy.
I tried the product a second time and I, again, took it at the first sign of a cold. I still got as sick as I normally would have. It seemed that, for whatever reason, this was not a good cold remedy for me.
I decided to try the other cold remedy, the zinc-based product. This one came in all different forms that I could use to dose myself. I could use a spray, lozenges, or nasal swabs. I tried the lozenges first. At the first sign of a cold, I took a lozenge. It seemed to stop the cold from getting too bad, but it tasted awful.
Not wanting to waste money, I continued to use the product at the first sign of a cold until I had used all of it. I decided to try the spray next, hoping it would work and wouldn’t taste as bad as the lozenges. The spray also seemed to work, but it tasted just as awful. I, again, finished using the product before trying the next form of the product, the nasal swabs.
Zinc-Based Product Side Effects
The nasal swabs were easy. There was no awful taste left in my mouth and it seemed to work. It looked like I had found the perfect cold remedy at last! Over time, I noticed that my sense of smell didn’t seem to be working as it normally did.
Unfortunately, I was right. After using the product over the course of several months, I discovered that the nasal swabs had been recalled for affecting people’s sense of taste and smell.
The one product that actually worked, without leaving a bad taste in my mouth, seems to have permanently affected my sense of smell and taste. The side effects were definitely not worth the few days saved from a bad cold. I have learned my lesson and will stick to non-medication cold and flu prevention techniques from now on.