nasal spray, nose spray addiction

Q. I have a suggestion for the person who wrote about being addicted to nasal spray. I was hooked on Neo-Synephrine for more than 30 years.

Then I read that a prescription for Flonase could help. I was very skeptical but my doctor had no problem writing me a prescription.

I put one spray in each nostril and by that evening I had not used the Neo-Synephrine and threw the bottle away. That was in 1999. I had tried every method I heard about and nothing worked until I used Flonase, which I still use occasionally. I have shared my experience with other folks who are hooked on nasal sprays.

A. Fluticasone (Flonase) is a corticosteroid nose spray that helps reduce inflammation. It’s usually prescribed to treat seasonal allergies such as hay fever. It can also ease the rebound congestion that causes such misery when a decongestant nasal spray is halted suddenly.

Gradually reducing the concentration of the nasal spray by diluting it with saline works for some people.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Ed

    Word to the wise…spray decongestants can, in time, destroy your sense of smell- PERMANENTLY!

  2. Kev
    New Orleans, La.

    I’ve never had sinus problems in my 55 years in life. 9 months ago I woke up unable to breath through my nose. I started with Flonase which worked great. I found a cheaper non-brand spray compared to Afrin. It worked great. 3 months down the road, the spray didn’t help anymore. Now, my sinus are plugged 24 hrs. a day. I bought Flonase. So far, I’m plugged up still. I don’t recomend anyone getting addicted to sprays without research. I would give my left #!$, to rid my nasal problem. Dust mites, maybe? I never knew dust mites existed until 9 months ago. It sux.

  3. June

    Strange as this sounds to those who have never been addicted, this is one miserable state to live in. Clamp your nostrils together HARD and try to breath now you understand our plight! Because nose sprays aren’t something one wants to pull out and use in public, I found Sudafed to be the perfect solution. NOT!

    I mentioned my little problem at the hair salon, one of the stylists spoke up and said he’d been all through that addiction some years back. He had tried everything, nothing worked. Then he said ALFALFA tablets were recommended to him by a customer, and it did the trick. Ok, worth a try. I cold turkeyed the nose spray and Sudafed, and the first week wasn’t easy. But, I took SEVERAL tablets, a few times a day.

    I could feel that smothering feeling leaving little by little Week two was a breeze, didn’t miss my old habit one bit. Allergy seasons were helped by the Alfalfa too. I took them for a few years, cutting way back on the amount, however. I checked with my doctor before starting the tablets. AND if you have been hooked on nose sprays once, chances are one squirt during a cold, and you’ll find your sinuses trying to latch on to their old friend again. I stick with Vicks inhalers, but even those can start the ball rolling if used to excess.

    Yes, Alfalfa is what we feed to horses, its a grass, so if you’re an outdoor allergy sufferer, HEADS UP on using the Alfalfa!

  4. Dennis

    My neighbor had told me that flonase is addicting. Is this true?

    • The People's Pharmacy

      No. Decongestants are hard to stop, but the steroid nasal spray should not be.

  5. Robert H.

    I suffered from nasal congestion for 3 months that was cleared up temporarily with a saline rinse. Couldn’t sleep through the night without getting up to rinse. Found the solution was generic Flonase (fluticasone propionate). Cleared me day and night with 2 sprays/day.

  6. pat

    re: flonase or any cortisone nasal spray
    I found that using it nightly overtime to relieve nasal congestion, caused me to have nose bleeds! It was destroying the nasal membranes. I now use neo-synephrine 3x a week with no negative results.

  7. tm

    I used Flonase for years. I developed cataracts on both eyes and had to have them removed. I am only 61 and the cataracts were both removed when I was still in my fifties. They don’t tell you that Flonase and other steroid nose sprays can contribute to the early development of cataracts but I found that out after it was too late. Also, for me, Flonase stopped working after awhile so it was back to the addictive nose sprays.
    I have tried everything and while some remedies work for some periods of time nothing has worked consistently over the years better than the addictive nose sprays. My congestion is always at night so it’s either use the sprays or I can’t sleep. I have tried decongestants and they clear up my nasal passages but the ingredients keep me awake. Some have suggested Bendadryl but this doesn’t decongest me.
    I wish there was a remedy that would help with my severe night time nasal congestion while letting me sleep through the night! I have also tried “breathe right” strips with little success.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.