Q. I have read that using decongestant nasal sprays can be addictive. What are your views on using oral OTC cold remedies for more than seven days? Will these cause any symptoms when I stop?

A. There is considerable controversy about the effectiveness of the readily available oral decongestant phenylephrine (Annals of Pharmacotherapy, March, 2007). Such drugs seem less likely to cause rebound nasal congestion, but they may raise blood pressure in susceptible individuals. Since there is doubt about their benefit, we generally don’t recommend them.

Join Over 55,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.