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Friday, August 05, 2005

Some cold remedies unproven

Standing inside a downtown Chicago drugstore, shopper Beth McClanahan considered the product Zicam.

"I wouldn't have known it was homeopathic," she said looking at the bright orange label. "The name Zicam sounds very scientific."

Stuffy noses and sore throats are driving many cold sufferers to herbal and homeopathic remedies.

But like McClanahan, consumers may not realize they're buying alternative medicines when they choose wildly popular products such as Airborne and Zicam -- next to traditional medicines in the cold and flu aisles.

The makers of both medicines have paid for their own clinical studies to test their products. But Airborne and Zicam have not been reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration, unlike prescription and new over-the-counter drugs. The law allows their sale unless the FDA proves them harmful.

Read more: Some cold remedies unproven


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