The People's Perspective on Medicine

Nose Spray Addiction Hard Habit to Kick

Readers offer several practical approaches to nose spray addiction. Oral decongestants can help you kick this habit, and so can steroid nose sprays like fluticasone.

When you start taking a new prescription, you should always ask the prescriber for detailed information on when and how you should stop taking it. This consideration can be just as important for OTC medicines, but it is almost never provided. We have heard from scores of people who have had trouble with nose spray addiction.

Is Nose Spray Addiction Real?

Q. I have read on your website about people who became nose drop junkies. I too had this problem.

Years ago, on assignment in Australia I was scuba diving. When I caught a cold, I used Afrin to keep diving, and a year and a half later I was still using this nasal spray.

Not being able to breathe is horrible. I kept thinking I’d deal with it tomorrow; today I want to breathe.

I later did a story on cocaine treatment, and the director of the clinic told me about nose spray addiction. When nasal decongestants are used, the small blood vessels in the nose constrict. As the effect wears off, the nasal tissues become even more congested than before.

The cure was simple: I took an oral decongestant for two weeks. During that time breathing wasn’t perfect, but it finally returned to normal. I will never use nose spray again, now that I know it can be so addictive.

How Can You Overcome Nose Spray Addiction?

A. People don’t get high from nose drops, but many have difficulty kicking the habit. Rebound congestion is uncomfortable and can occur after three days of use.

You are spot on with regard to the mechanism. The vasoconstriction effect of the decongestant spray allows you to breathe beautifully for several hours. But if you keep using the products day after day, the body adapts. When you stop suddenly the prolonged rebound congestion may be even worse than the original stuffiness.

Oral decongestants may help relieve symptoms, but some people need stronger medicine. Prescription steroids (pills or sprays) can relieve stuffiness while a person is gradually weaned off OTC nasal decongestants.

Diluting Your Nose Spray:

Some people have come up with elaborate dilution strategies whereby they gradually reduce the strength of the nasal spray decongestant with a saline solution and wean themselves first in one nostril and then eventually in the other.

Using a Steroid Spray to Beat 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 was prescribed to treat seasonal allergies such as hay fever and now is available without a prescription. It can also ease the rebound congestion that causes such misery when a decongestant nasal spray is halted suddenly.

Of course, nothing is perfect. We have heard from readers who have had difficulties with fluticasone.

Pat reported:

“I found that using it nightly over time 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.”

TM had a more serious reaction:

“I used Flonase for years. I developed cataracts on both eyes and had to have the cataracts removed when I was in my 50s. 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!”

Other Medicines That Can Be Hard to Stop:

The body is amazing in its ability to adapt to pharmaceuticals. Sometimes quitting a medicine can a lot harder than people think, and we’re not just talking about drugs of abuse. Even stopping acid-suppressing drugs used for easing symptoms of heartburn can be challenging. To read more about quitting proton pump inhibitors like Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Protonix visit this link.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Been on rebound too it’s been 8weeks since The rebound, but my only concen is my turbinates swell whenever i’m in cold places but not blocked! Does anyone has the same situation?

I was addicted to this crap for over ten years! I was finally able to abolish my addiction through slowly weaning myself off of it over a period of about 5-6 weeks. It worked with hardly any discomfort, (although there was still a bit of congestion along the way, but it was at least manageable). I will NEVER use another nasal spray as long as I live. The stuff should be illegal! Good luck to all :)

As a lifelong sufferer with allergies, and last year a series of sinus infections, I went to a new allergist, who gave me 2 different meds, both nasal sprays, Ipratropium Bromide (Fluticasone), which is not a steroid, and Dymista, which is a steroid. He also said I should continue with my morning and bedtime regular OTC Nasal Saline to keep the nasal passages from tending to be a petrie dish. The result was immediate and lasting. I only had to take the Dymista for 2 weeks, and then just continued to use the Ipratropamine Bromide as needed, averaging 3-4 days a week. Of course, no matter what, I use the OTC Nasal Saline morning and before bed. Don’t forget, while we are laying down all night, the drainage often backs up our sinuses.
But the best care he gave me was printed information to help me understand that yes, I do have allergies to a few things, (birch trees, dust, ragweed), but my main cause of sinus problems is likely due to Vasomotor Rhinitis (VMR). This condition mimics nasal allergies. Its hard to determine the difference. But as one of many people I know who complained about “having allergies all year round” or “every time I go from outside to inside change of temperature, etc., my nose starts to run”, I know the VMR is responsible for most of my reactions. Because VMR is caused by hyper-responsiveness of the nasal mucosa to various stimuli and not by allergy, allergy injections are not beneficial for this condition, unless there are co-existing nasal allergies, e.g. in August, due to Ragweed blooming and blowing around, my symptoms would be worse than in February. On bad days, I will use the Dymista.
The take-away is that one size of meds and treatment does not fit all, and the cause of the allergic reactions may be not just from outside invaders/irritants, but can also be due to an individual’s hyperfunctioning nerve endings within the nasal mucosa. As with most medications, our bodies often become accustomed to a medication, or, in reverse, may become irritated with prolonged use, and we find we then have to try a different medication for awhile.
I hope this helps someone.

Here’s a thought. Have you thought about what else you are ‘addicted’ to? I was addicted to a nose spray, NTZ in the 50’s, 60’s. My freedom came from a ENT doctor who prescribed a Zpack drug (prednisone), and a week in Miami (already planned) where the salt water was going to help with the treatment. I analyzed my need and discovered that I was a heavy smoker as well, and a few other ‘needs’. I realized that I also liked the smell of Liquor, and even though my consumption was almost zero, I stopped all contact with whiskey. I remember picking up my first cigarette at 5 years old.
Today, I still hate a stuffy nose, and keep a product named Benzadrex, that comes in a little cylinder that one breathes in, such as a Vick’s inhaler that we all know so well. An occasional whiff of this if the weather is heavy or such. Good Luck, all of you who need our support.

I used nasal sprays for 50 yrs. During spring daily. Because of over use, it’s basicly useless for me. I now take the lowest dose (10 mg) Sudafed during day (you cant get to sleep taking Sudafed) Flonase, and fast acting nose spray at bedtime. You can also use pepper spice or hot sause will help open sinus or head-cold. I tried every med made, every home remedy, and that what works best for me without causing rebound nasal congestion.

With my own experience of a very badly plugged right nostril (badly deviated septum from childhood accident), I was able to help keep the nostril open for years with Vicks Sinex 12 hour nasal spray. Worked mostly great, until having to use more and more of it at one time.

Quit cold turkey, and started using “Ayr” brand saline nasal mist, as well as their no drip saline nasal gel. Took about three days to get through the desperation, but works well!

Oftentimes when you feel your nose is plugged, it’s plugged. But, it can also feel plugged when it’s only dried out. This is why a saline mist or get will often help, and there is never any rebound problems with saline!

I’m now 67 years old and in my lifetime I have been addicted to nasal sprays several times. My proven solutions are: 1. Switch from the 4-hour to the 12-hour medication. It is less addictive. When you feel the need to re-medicate, make yourself wait one hour first. You can do this. When you do use it first check which nostril is more clogged by covering each with a finger. Then only medicate the worst nostril. After a few days you will discover that only the nostril you are re-medicating is clogged. This is encouraging. lastly, when you use, only do one spray instead of two. After a week or so you should be ready to extend the times between sprays even longer until you quit. Good luck! This works!!

Found flonase, prescribed by MD, just great during two week allergy spell. Coming off congestion was worse than ever. I use the single ingredient OTC inexpensive choice — loratidine (active ingredient in Claritin which is outrageously priced). Please suggest that folks read labels and use the least amount of chemicals needed — split pills to find out if lower doses work before moving onto suggested doses. Physicians are not objective, educated guardians of your pharmaceutical product.

At one time I also experienced Afrin “addiction” but have developed a strategy which works for me: use one puff in one nostril per night, and the next night use one puff in the other nostril. This way I am getting a very minimal dosage every 24 hours and on one side only. When I am in a place where there are no allergens, Afrin can be skipped altogether. I have found that I can breathe comfortably with only one nostril uncongested.

I too was addicted to Afrin. I couldnt go any longer than 15 min without it. It was a painful process to break the habit but this worked for me. I would apply a hot compress to my sinuses (and cry because it hurt so bad.) Then I would eat really hot green chile salsa which would open up my sinuses. I found this would also work if I was starting to get a little sinus infection. It would also help to go for a run or fast walk to get the sinuses open. If I get a little stuffed up out comes the green chile. I have read there are medicinal properties in green chile.

Does this concern apply to NasalCrom?

I have not found anyone talk about nasal flush with salt water. Simple flush twice a day and the use of a plain OTC antibiotic ointment with a Qtip swab after flush. I am a firm believer that everyone’s DNA is different. What works for one, may not for another. Try it. I did.

Nasalcrom, not a steroid and no “bounce back” congestion. The only nasal spray allergy med I will use, though pharmacies around here don’t carry it, so I ordered it on line.

Where do you find Nasalcrom online?
CC

I have a problem with asthma and nasal congestion but found good old Vicks Vaporub is the answer. I keep a little blue jar next to my bed at night and if I feel congestion coming on I spread some Vick’s on the outside of my nose and upper lip. Inhale deeply for a few minutes and drift off to sleep. Works every time.

This works for me too, except I only put the Vicks on the inside of the rim of my nose, to keep it off my nasal mask for sleep apnea.

One product that has no side effects and is very effective at clearing a stuffy nose is Xlear. It is available at Walmart and other stores. It is made with xylitol, the sweetener used in toothpaste. I use it whenever necessary and it quickly relieves congestion. I highly recommend it!

I too have the problem of nasal rebounding because of nose sprays. I have the added problem of suffering from Sleep Apnia. So at night I have to wear a mask that covers my nose to keep constant pressure in my airway to relieve the apnea.

Years ago now, I got a bad cold and started to use a spray so I could breath through my nose. After a week I was hooked. At my bedtime my nose would close and I had to spray to be able to breath through my nose.

One necessary evil compounded because of another. I tried a nasal steroid spray but it didn’t work fast enough to really help. Any thoughts?

Sudafed stopped working after 5 days. Diluting nose spray does nothing. Prednisone did nothing either. Help,

I was addicted for about 3 years myself. I remember going to different pharmacies throughout my area to buy the Afrin. I didn’t want the staff at Walgreens or CVS to remember me, and think I was some kind of addict. I look back on it now, and it was like I was a crack addict or something. I remember one night being out at a bar with my friends, and my Afrin high was wearing off, and I reached in my pocket, and didn’t have a bottle. Talk about panic! Needless to say, the rest of the night was miserable, until I could get to a 24 hour Walgreens. Anyways, I just went cold turkey. I was totally miserable for about 2-3 days. My nose felt like a brick it was so thick. I have never looked back since.

I am on my second day of quitting i have been on nasal spray for over 20 years now and it’s terrible, i couldn’t be without it, I used to buy buy on e-bay 6 pack and 12 packs just to have around in the car, house , office everywhere, i am using saline mist now but i still have my nose clogged and am desperate for nose spray but i know the danger in it so i will just have to go thru this terrible habit.

I have never posted to a board – ever, but feel so strongly about this that I must. I had an Afrin addiction for 15 years (using the severe congestion type and needing it every 2-4 hours) and wanted to share my process so that others may kick it – I finally did it!

1. I began using a saline mist to flush out my nose once in the morning and once at night. At first, the saline mist wouldn’t even go all the way through my sinuses. After about four days, it would.

2. I began extending the time I would wait before I would use the Afrin by 30 minutes. It didn’t matter how miserable I was, how stuffed up, how bad my headache was getting, I was going to wait! If I used it every four hours one day, I would make myself wait four and a half hours the next day – no matter what. Sometimes I felt a sense of desperation waiting those last thirty minutes, but I did it.

3. At some point, when I was going to wait eight hours, I left my Afrin bottle at home. That was the first time in 15 years I was able to be separated from that little bottle. At work, I sat and thought about that little bottle, tempted to run home and get it “just in case”. Willpower alone kept my butt in my seat.

4. Using it only once a day was the most difficult. Times when I should have been sleeping were actually spent looking at the clock waiting for that final little bit of time to run out. The rebound would get so bad I would get out of bed and sleep in a recliner. Having my head elevated would relieve the swelling and allow me to get some sleep.

At the time that I was going to wait 26 hours (at one point that would have been impossible), I actually slept through the night. When I woke up, I was a little stuffy, but the saline mist cleared it up. I will never use nasal spray again! No more ridiculous amounts of sneezing, no more making sure I have that bottle with me, no more trying to surreptitiously use it or making excuses.

You can do it! If I can, anyone can!

It was the gradual weaning that made the difference for me. I was using the decongestants for over 2 years and I finally went to see an Ear Nose Throat specialist. Apparently, this is a very common problem. He suggested that I order a kit from a company called Rhinostat and that several of his other patients had done well with it. It did work for me. I was able to finally get over this addiction without any congestion or suffering. The doctor did test me for allergies as well. If you are allergic, you will still need medication for that. I just came upon this thread and I thought I would post my comment. It did work well for me.

I was addicted to Afrin for three and a half years. For those of you struggling I can share with you but you’re that worked for me all natural. I was amazed at how well it worked. My wife is a chiropractor and nutritionist, so she is very much in tune with natural remedies. She Blended organic coconut oil and organic peppermint oil together. It was as simple as putting them both into a glass container. The peppermint oil is what opens up your congested nasal passage. You can’t apply the peppermint oil by itself you have to mix it with something. For those of you who don’t know much about coconut oil I suggest you do some research it can be used for many things. Coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory and you can apply directly on your skin. Start with a tablespoon of coconut oil and then start adding a few drops of peppermint oil. At first it’s a little trial by error to find the right potency. If you put too much peppermint oil it will be too much to bear. However once you find the right potency you will feel your nasal passages opening up and being able to breathe. To be honest with you I was shocked at how well it worked after 3 days my nasal passage was healed. The peppermint oil opens up your Airways in the coconut oil to the Sandhills the nasal passage and brings down any inflammation that might exist from using the nasal spray. Anyhow I just wanted to share my story good luck

Hey, Mike. You really should read your post before entering. 1) Second sentence makes no sense.
2) You wrote, “She Blended organic coconut oil and organic peppermint oil together. It was as simple as putting them both into a glass container.” Then what do we do next? Did you breathe it? Did you use it a nose drops, and is this what you meant by “apply”? Did you drink it??? Or is just being in possession of the jar do the job?

How did you apply the coconut oil and peppermint mixture?

Mike, how do you apply the mixture of coconut oil and peppermint oil? With a q-tip inside your nose?

I was addicted to Afrin for many years, and then in 2007, I had a septoplasty and turbinate reduction procedure done. This helped tremendously, and I kicked the habit for 4 years. Then in 2011, I got really sick, and used Afrin to be able to breathe through the night. I was once again hooked on into 2017. The addiction comes from my inability to sleep if I cannot breathe through my nose.

Since we sleep every night, the addiction continues. This past weekend, due to several factors I won’t get into, I was awake for four days. Since I wasn’t sleeping, I had no need for Afrin, and by the time I actually went to sleep, my nose was semi-clear. I was so exhausted that I slept easily despite my nose still being a bit blocked. When I woke up this morning, my nose was completely clear. While staying up for 4 days isn’t healthy, it indirectly was just what I needed to kick this addiction. I’m beyond happy that I’ve once again reached freedom, and I will do everything I can to never use Afrin again. Good luck out there!

I’ve been addicted to oxymetazoline for about 10 years (that’s Afrin but I buy the generic). I am in the process of trying to get off this horrible addiction (I’ve made it through one day) and I wanted to thank everyone who posted here because your suggestions have been extremely helpful and giving me a lot of ideas — and a lot of hope — for being successful. I’ve tried to get off nasal spray many times but I can never sleep so that always puts me back on the “stuff.” This time, I’m retired so I don’t have to keep to a schedule so I’ll just sleep when I can, even if it’s only for an hour or two. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your story. It really has given me hope.

I am extremely swollen in both of my nasal passages and it is awful. I have been diagnosed with rhinitis medicamentosa and have a swollen turbinate as a result. I am in so much discomfort today. My ‘drug of choice has been Otrivin for approx. 4 years. I want to quit it so badly, to save my sinuses and my wallet. It isn’t cheap!

I have a one month Nasonex prescription and have been doing nasal rinses 2-3x’s/day (though it hurts sometimes, making my ears pop). I am using Otrivin only in one nostril just to get through work then it is gone. Enough is enough. I am a nurse and I can’t understand why the warning on the label isn’t bigger. Sheesh!

I just quit too! Cold turkey. I have been on it for the last 28 years! I know so crazy! I used it up to 9 x a day. Just quit on Friday and told my husband and son to not look or talk to me and I took melatonin and a couple of Xanax and I just slept and put mentholatum all over me. Wasn’t easy and I am still stuffy but if I can do it you can. You just got to believe.

At CF, it’s not a psychological hurdle, it’s literally a physical hurdle because there is a physical reaction to stopping the use of nasal spray and it’s massive congestion that makes sleeping impossible. If it was only a psychological hurdle, nobody would be dependent on nasal spray. But the physical is definitely not something to deny. I wish it was only psychological.

On day 4 cold turkey with no nasel spray after a 30 year of addiction. Been absoutley hell getting off the spray. I use Neil Med Sinus Rinse 2 -3 times a day along with ponaris drops and vicks under my nostrils. Starting to get relieve but have a long way to go. Never want to use spray again. Good luck to all.

On day 4 cold turkey with no nasel spray after a 30 year of addiction. Been absoutley hell getting off the spray. I use Neil Med Sinus Rinse 2 -3 times a day along with ponaris drops and vicks under my nostrils. Starting to get relieve but have a long way to go. Never want to use spray again. Good luck to all.

Well I’m glad (and not so glad) to see I’m not the only person that has this ridiculous issue. I’m laying here at 3:15am trying to figure out how to stop using nasal spray after roughly 30 years (I’m 49). My evil brand of choice has always been Walmart’s “Equate” brand. I don’t even know why…but probably because it’s $1.98, compared to $4.99 for Afrin.

I know the feeling of having a bottle stashed everywhere “just in case”. Not to mention if I found myself at a restaurant or bar with friends and didn’t have any with me….I would be miserable! I’d literally buy 6 at a time and stash them everywhere; In the car, in my bag, in the bathroom, next to my bed. I wholeheartedly place this “addiction” in line with smoking or using other drugs. I smoked for about 8 years and finally quit cold turkey never to return. It’s been 18 years, and smoking never even crosses my mind now.

I’m only on day one of quitting nasal spray cold turkey and I want to blow my head off right now. But I’m determined this time to get off this chemical. Another reason is that I also naturally have high blood pressure (although I only use exercise and eating healthy to control it, which works quite well) and this nasal spray issue is not making that any better.

After roughly 30 years, I think it’s time. I haven’t used the spray now since about noon yesterday and it seems like I will certainly die without it. However, I know that couldn’t be further from the truth. We have to trust ourselves and know that we have the power to overcome things that are unhealthy for us.

I hope you all find some relief in the form of quitting, or finding another, more healthy alternative. I know I will quit this! I’ve discovered the NetiPot and will use it religiously, and never touch this horrid stuff again.

Sinusoothe nasal spray worked for me in my darkest hour. i literally hadnt slept for a week and when i did it was on and off through the night This sinusoothe spray really helped me kick my darn habit and i thank the lord every day that i found it.

My docter wrote me a prescription for Methylpred 4mg pak. It’s a steroid and it works great! It got me off the nasal spray in one day , I was previously on 4-way nasal spray for 10 years …

I need all the help I can get.

I am having a breakdown now. My afrin is not working and it’s after 2:00 am. I need to try something. I use 4-way and it works for about 10 min. Now I’m out of 4-way. But have afrin. No need taking that.
Why does the 4-way work, and the afrin not work. Seems 4-way is more powerful and faster acting, but don’t last long. Afrin use to work 12 hrs. Now only about 2 hrs.
Been doing it for 30 plus years.
I have had this happen about 5 times. I go to dr. and they give me a big steroid shot. That makes things better for anyear and afrin started back working. This was first time. Each time getting a shot so afrin could work again, the time gets shorter. I got a chit about 2 months ago. So after reading all of the post, I plan to try the one nostril at a time thing.

I am having a breakdown now. My afrin is not working and it’s after 2:00 am. I need to try something. I use 4-way and it works for about 10 min. Now I’m out of 4-way. But have afrin. No need taking that.
Why does the 4-way work, and the afrin not work. Seems 4-way is more powerful and faster acting, but don’t last long. Afrin use to work 12 hrs. Now only about 2 hrs.
Been doing it for 30 plus years.
I have had this happen about 5 times. I go to dr. and they give me a big stiroid shot. That makes things better for anyear and afrin started back working. This was first time. Each time getting a shot so afrin could work again, the time gets shorter. I got a chit about 2 months ago. So after reading all of the post, I plan to try the one nostral at a time thing.

The solution to nasal spray addiction is simple. I discovered it by accident. Here’s how to do it:

1. STOP using your decongestant nasal sprays, especially Afrin.
2. Buy a bottle of Nasacort (over-the-counter). It costs between $15 and $20. Nasacort is a steroid nasal spray. It works differently than Afrin and similar sprays. Use two sprays in each nostril daily for 20 days.
3. It will take 2-4 days before you notice any improvement. KEEP USING IT even through your symptoms are improving. After about 7 days your nose will open. Once your nose has opened, you can stop using Nasacort without any side effects.

I used Afrin daily for four years and tried every thing imaginable to get off of it. Then I discovered Nasacort and cured the addiction. It is THE answer to nasal spray addiction!

I’m so glad I found this site. I have been using nasal spray for 43 years. I can’t be without my spray. I make sure I always have a bottle and spare ones too. I have read peoples suggestions and am willing to try something. Thanks!

I was involuntary addicted to afrin for I say 24 years and I’m 28! My mom had me use it because my allergies , BAD CHOICE. I recently in the last few years discovered me having to live was nasel spray was not necessary…. I came off nasel with using flonase and diluting my last bottle of afrin with saline everyday! It took about a week and as of now I am completely ok with never ever buying that evil devil spray again, I’m a little stuffy but nothing like it was before with the rebound. I had migraines, had horrible sleep nights and miserable outings because of that spray and I never want to go through that again or will I have my daughter use afrin. It is band from my life!
If your addicted, I want you to know it’s not so bad to stop. Use the diluting method. If I can do it I know anybody can.

I had this problem for 5 years, went to an ENT specialist who told me that there was nothing he coulod do and that I had to go ‘cold turkey’. 12 months later I went to a GP who prescribed ‘Nasonex’ nasal spray. Cured it in a few days.

Cold Turkey….Two very rough congested head pounding days…day 3 sniffles…today is day 4 and I am breathing through my nose clearly and its awesome. After 15 years of use, it only took 4 days, so far so good. Get over that psychological hurdle, that’s all it is!

THANK YOU!!!!!!

go to the doctor… a 5 day schedule of prednisone and steroid nasal spray for a few weeks/months will fix you right up… if you have allergies, ask your doctor to refer you to an allergist to find out exactly what the problem is. get ahead of this, don’t dick around with phony “weening.” even a nurse practitioner can save you from months/years of discomfort. ask ANY medical professional about Afrin/synephrine and see what good they say about it. get off it, it sucks, go to the doc and feel better in a week.

Try Zyflamend soft gels by New Chapter. I have off and on been addicted to nose spray for years. The way I would get free for several months would be to use Flonase together with the nose spray for 2 days and then stop the nose spray. After about a week I would then stop the Flonase. Last month I was once again back using the nose spray.
I bought some Zyflamend by New Chapter because my muscles were sore from working out. The first thing I noticed was that the next morning I had no nasal congestion. Have not had nose spray since. I take the Zyflamend religiously everyday. I also use the netty pot each night rinsing with warm sea salt water. I am enjoying the clearest sinuses in years. Also muscle soreness after kickboxing workouts is usually gone much quicker than before. No pain relievers. No nose spray. This is great!

Oral decongestants have never worked for me. Many years ago during a severe cold, I took Afrin and suffered the rebound congestion it causes. My doctor had to write a prescription oral decongestant (don’t remember what that was) in order to relieve congestion without the use of Afrin. I totally agree with the suggestion of seabreeze about being judicious with Afrin. I don’t use Afrin until my congestion is intolerable. I then spray Afrin only into the more congested of the two nostrils and alternate as needed every 8-12 hours. I never exceed three days of Afrin use, which is the cut-off point stated on the packaging. So far, this has worked well for me, and I’ve had no rebound effect.

It seems like this “addiction” happens with more than just nasal sprays. Awhile back I noted having dry eyes in the a.m.’s so I began using a good eye drops symptomatically. This was a high-quality OTC drop (I forget which) and it didn’t have the redness remover or any of that dangerous stuff in it. Well, I quickly noticed that whenever I DIDN’T use the drops, my eyes seemed to be drier than ever before, and I had to use the drops more and more often. Needless to say, I discontinued the drops immediately! Now my eyes are fine. I’m pretty sure it’s because I upped my dose of hyaluronic acid by one tab per day. Great stuff, that hyaluronic acid!
I also take Wellbutrin, an Rx antidepressant, when I’m having (or expecting) a particularly stressful day — not even one per week on the average. I’ve noticed that the ONE Wellbutrin is great… makes me calm, gives me energy and puts me in a much better mood (my Dr. says this is impossible because the drug has to “build up” over time but she is WRONG.)
Anyway, taking it on a SECOND consecutive day gives me some of those benefits but not nearly as much. If I take Wellbutrin a THIRD consecutive day I feel flat and slightly irritated and can’t seem to think very well. If, on a FOURTH day, I decide NOT to take it, I find that I feel irritable and somewhat morose for no apparent reason. SOOOO, I’ve concluded that just about any med can have “addictive” qualities that pull you in and try to hook you. Scary! Luckily, I’m on no other Rx meds except the occasional Wellbutrin, and that’s great with me.

I have been “hooked” before and used nasal saline to kick the habit. Wean one nostril at a time. Use saline in one nostril and use the long lasting spray in the other. When the saline nostril has kicked the habit then stop the long lasting spray in the other. I microwave 4 ounces of water with 1/2 tsp of salt. Long ago our pediatrician gave some new parents info to use 1/4 tsp for our kids, but I just preferred the “feel” of a stronger dose as it was more like ocean water to me.
I still have some long lasting spray, but I only use it on cold sores to get them to heal faster. I like the 4 Way Saline with menthol during the dry winter months. Be careful as I seldom see the 4 Way saline in the pharmacies as what they sell has the long lasting spray in it. I have been able to find it online at Amazon. I have to buy 6 but even with shipping costs that comes to about the same per sprayer as when I found it in local stores.
There are other saline sprays in the local stores, but 4 Way is the only one with menthol that I prefer.

One other option to relieve congestion without resorting to nasal decongestants (or oral decongestants) is to just irrigate nasal passages (liberally) using a saline solution and a rubber ear syringe (a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water). It can be a messy process and it’s not as fast as using a decongestant, but it is not habit forming, puts no chemicals (other than sodium chloride) into your body and it does work.

Nope. I have tried it countless times, and it never worked.

I was also hooked on Afrin for about 30+ years. I had a major heart attack and the cardiologist pulled me off Afrin. I did it the same way I did smoking – just quit and that was that. Yes, for a while I thought I would not be able to breath, a day later I was OK. Today I flush my sinus with saline water. (about twice a week or when needed)

I could not find the drug Afrin. I did find the nose spray called Astelin. Is this the same?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THEY HAVE DIFFERENT MAIN INGREDIENTS: AZELASTINE (ASTELIN) VS OXYMETAZOLINE (AFRIN)

My aunt had the same addiction problem to the point where her nose constantly dripped after so many years of constant Afrin use. Her addiction was never improved. My physician advises me to spray Afrin in each nostril and wait five minutes; then, rinse each nostril with saline solution. It seems to work as I get the benefit from the Afrin this way. I use Afrin only for a few days when congestion is at its worst.

There’s a simple solution – when you really need a nose spray, use it in only 1 nostril, and alternate with each dose. You can breathe, and you can stop using it at any time. I’ve done this when I’ve had severe nasal congestion and it works fine; no problems stopping at all. Those of us who can’t tolerate oral decongestants are worried that Big Brother will will get involved in this too, and ban Afrin. The drug isn’t the problem here; the problem is overuse.

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