Decongestant sprays like nasivion or otrivin are available over the counter but can be extremely harmful. Please read to avoid. Most dnss contain oxymetazoline (afrin and generic brands). They work by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dns are best for colds, flus, or other short-term problems. When you’re congested, it’s because your nasal passages are swollen. This makes them feel blocked. The swelling leads to increased mucus production, which causes a runny nose. When dnss shrink blood vessels, they reduce the inflammation and the associated mucus production.
If you use a dns, you may experience any of the following side effects:
Some side effects can be serious. Call your doctor right away if you experience feeling a faster or slower heartbeat than what’s usual for you.
What happens if you use a dns for too long?
Rebound congestion refers to the unfortunate phenomenon in which using dnss for too long causes — rather than prevents — congestion. It’s a subject of some controversy. In fact, many researchers question whether it’s real. Some researchtrusted source shows that the longer you use a dns, the more you build up a tolerance. Drug tolerance means that you require increasingly larger and more frequent doses to achieve the desired effects. Decongestants shrink the blood vessels in your nasal passages. When the drug wears off, they swell up again. This causes immediate withdrawal congestion.
According to the national institute on drug addiction, there’s a difference between physical drug dependence and addiction. You’re physically dependent on a drug when skipping a dose causes withdrawal symptoms, such as congestion. Addiction is categorized by intense cravings for a substance and an inability to stop using despite facing negative consequences. Addiction is a complex disease with many behavioral characteristics. Unless you have intense cravings for nasal spray, you’re probably dependent — not addicted.
Symptoms of overuse
What are the signs that you’re overusing nasal spray?
The primary symptom of dns withdrawal is congestion. In addition, it’s likely that whatever initially caused your congestion will return. This is especially true if you have chronic allergies.
You may experience:
How is rhinitis medicamentosa treated?
Studies show that people who have been misusing dnss for months, or even years, can be treated successfully. Recovery typically takes less than one week and withdrawal symptoms can be easily managed.
Research suggeststrusted source that the best way to stop overusing dnss is to switch to a steroid nasal spray. About six months after stopping a dns, most people no longer have a tolerance to it. Studies showtrusted source that relapse is very rare.