How To Break A Nasal Spray Addiction
Ways to Break the Habit
What Is The Best Treatment For Nasal Congestion
Steroid sprays. Some nasal sprays contain corticosteroids that help reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Steroid sprays work best for chronic congestion caused by allergies or irritants. Some steroid sprays require a prescription from your doctor, while others are available at your local drugstore.
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 were 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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Can You Overuse Your Nasal Spray
Here’s the scenario: A few seasons ago you suffered from congestion. You’ve been well for a long time, but can’t seem to get rid of that stuffy nose.
Some nights you wake up in a panic as you try to find your bottle of nasal spray on your bedside table and you don’t understand why you still need it.
Could it be that you’ve developed an addiction, and is it serious?
A dependence on nasal spray is pretty real. Why else would there be a warning on the label that you shouldnt use it for more than three to five days?
Its an official condition
Nasal spray dependence is such a well-known problem that there’s even a name for the term: rhinitis medicamentosa. This describes the adverse nasal congestion that develops after using nasal decongestants longer than the recommended period of time.
How does a nasal spray work?
Not all nasal sprays are the same. There are several nasal sprays available on the market that contain steroids, saline or antihistamine.
Some nasal sprays contain a drug group called vasoconstrictors, which include norepinephrine and pseudoephedrine. These ones get rid of a stuffy nose by shrinking the congested blood vessels in the area, thereby opening up your nasal passages.
Other nasal sprays may contain anti-inflammatory steroids to reduce swelling and mucus in the nose.
Steroid nasal sprays usually do not offer immediate relief and can take a couple of days to be fully effective.
How to break the dependence
R75 per month
How To Recognize A Nasal Spray Addiction
You can recognise a nasal spray addiction by a prolonged period of use spanning more than two weeks. As a nasal spray dependent, you may need a squirt each night before sleep. Or you have a bottle near you throughout the day. Without the spray, your nose becomes congested and you are unable to breathe freely.
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What Are The Causes Of Nasal Spray Addiction
Nasal spray addiction 1 The causes of nasal spray dependency. Decongestant nasal sprays contain the active ingredient xylometazoline or oxymetazoline. 2 Symptoms of nasal spray addiction. 3 Getting rid of nasal spray addiction. 4 Capsinol nasal spray can be safely used long-term. 5 Medical research.
How Often Will Severe Afrin Addiction Recur
As I have said a million times, you need to understand why you have nasal congestion and work with your physician to determine a long term treatment plan.
There are people who have been misusing/abusing Afrin nose spray or other nasal decongestants for months or even years. Nevertheless, everyone can be successfully treated. Recovery typically takes less than one week and withdrawal symptoms can be relatively easily managed.
Research suggests that the best way to stop overusing nasal decongestant spray is to switch to a nasal steroid spray. About six months after stopping a medication like Afrin nose spray, most people no longer have a tolerance to it. Studies show that relapse is very rare.
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Addicted To Nasal Spray: The Risks Of Instant Relief
Theyve been on the market for years and provide instant relief for millions of Americans who get nasal congestion from colds or allergies.
But for some, that relief can turn into an addiction to nasal sprays.
Bryan Dall cant live without it. For more than 20 years, hes depended on a nasal spray to help him breathe freely through his nose.
Some people actually thought I was using cocaine because I sniff so much, Bryan says.
But its his nasal spray thats never far from sight.
I’ve got one in my bookbag that I carry around, I’ve got one in my car, one up in my bedroom, Bryan says.
Andrene Matias understands the need too.
I had to have it in my drawer, at my house in my car, anywhere I went I had to have it, Andrene says, adding that she started using it when she got a cold.
But then the cold went away and I still couldn’t breathe, and I couldn’t breathe without it and then it became obsessive, Andrene says.
Dr. Raj Sindwani is a Rhinologist at Cleveland Clinic, specializing in problems with the nose and nasal cavities. He often sees patients addicted to nasal spray.
This is a true addiction and even though it’s easy to say ‘We’ll educate the patient and they’ll go home and never use it again,’ it is a psychological and physical dependence so it can be a real challenge to get off of these sprays once you’ve been on them for a prolonged period of time, Dr. Sindwani said.
The addiction has a name Rhinitis Medicamentosa.
Side Effects Of Steroid Sprays:
Side effects of Flonase may include headache, nosebleeds, nausea, cough and oral yeast infections. With long-term use, some people become more susceptible to cataracts or glaucoma.
To avoid getting into trouble with nasal spray, some people with allergies might want to try natural approaches:
Cindy has a natural alternative for allergies:
Some years ago I started taking one capsule of stinging nettle leaf a day to combat allergies. I have since recommended it to others. One of my friends has reported back that it has helped greatly in control of allergy symptoms. It is inexpensive.
Afrin is great when used only for occasional stuffiness. I never spray it in both nostrils I alternate. Even with the worst cold, breathing through one clear nostril is fine. If you alternate nostrils you dont have to worry about rebound congestion.
Ed noted that finding another way to treat allergies can help:
I used Afrin for a few days and got completely stopped up. Took some cortisone pills that cleared it. Now I use daily sinus rinse and Flonase. A prescription, Montelukast, seems to help control allergies. This combo works for me.
XLEAR works extremely well for a lot of people, including me.
Xlear is not a decongestant nasal spray and should not trigger nose spray dependence. It contains saline solution and the sweetener xylitol. Xylitol in nasal spray effectively eases congestion as well as decongestant nasal sprays .
How To Beat Nose Spray Dependence One Nostril At A Time
Decongestant nose spray is fabulous when your nasal passages are so congested you cant breathe. Just a spritz can open clogged sinuses. However, such nasal sprays have a big downside: nose spray addiction. If a decongestant spray is used for more than a week, the tissues of the nose become dependent on it. Stopping it suddenly results in rebound congestion, and suddenly you cant breathe again! Sometimes people get stuck in this vicious cycle for years. How can you overcome it and break your nose spray dependence?
What Is Rebound Congestion
Rebound congestion is increasing nasal congestion as the decongestant nasal spray wears off, causing the patient to use more spray to combat the continued congestion, says Dr. Susan Besser, MD, a primary care provider specializing in family medicine at Mercy Personal Physicians in Baltimore. So, the patient continually feels a need to use the spray to combat the continued congestion. In effect, this leads to dependency on the medication to control the symptoms.
In other words, it becomes a vicious cycle. After a few days of use, the nasal spray will relieve your congestion for shorter and shorter periods of time, causing a rebound effect. The rebound congestion can get so bad that eventually, the Afrin doesnt clear your airway at all. The problem can go on for years.
RELATED: Afrin vs. Flonase
Symptoms Of A Nasal Spray Addiction
A nasal spray addiction can be recognized by when you use nasal spray daily for more than two weeks. You need the nasal spray to keep the nose clear. You cannot breathe freely without nasal spray. The xylometazoline affects the cilia and nasal mucosa. The cilia provide protection against cold viruses. As a result, this protection is lost, so that the cold complaints increase sooner.
How Can You Overcome Nose Spray Addiction
A. People dont 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 can relieve stuffiness while a person is gradually weaned off OTC nasal decongestants.
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What Is The Clinical Definition Of A Substance Or Behavioral Addiction
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Substance addiction is a chronic, treatable medical disease that involves complex interactions among genetics, chemicals in the brain, a persons environment and a persons life experiences. People with a drug addiction engage in compulsive behaviors that continue despite the person suffering harmful consequences as a result of their drug-seeking behaviors.
The ASAM further states that treatment approaches and prevention efforts put forth by local and federal agencies are typically as successful as approaches and efforts used to treat chronic medical diseases.
The rebound effect caused by Afrin overuse is not an addiction to nasal sprays. Rebound congestion that occurs when you stop using Afrin doesnt require professional intervention by experienced addiction counselors. Nor does it require medical detoxification to rid the body of harmful drugs. Also, rebound congestion is not a medical disease involving the brain. Finally, people compelled to use Afrin on a daily basis dont engage in behaviors that severely compromise their jobs, relationships and general health.
Try This Special Nose Unblocking Technique Without Spray Developed As Part Of The Buteyko Breathing Method
I love this trick because you dont need to buy anything, and you can do it anywhere, at any time .
First, calm your breathing by taking a few, conscious breaths, in and out. Next, pinch your nose so that no air can get in and out.
Keeping your nose pinched and mouth closed, hold your breath and rock your head gently up and down. Count to ten and then take a slow breath through your nose. This should create some relief. If not, try this same technique again 2-3 more times.
For a live demonstration, check out this video:
If, like me, youre surprised by how simple yet effective this technique is, then I recommend you learn more about Buteyko. Ive found some of its other strategies really helpful for managing my asthma. This book is a great place to start:
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Can You Overcome An Afrin Addiction
Have you ever become addicted to your nasal spray? Millions of people do. Decongestant nasal sprays can be used safely for only a few days before they start to produce rebound congestion that can be quite uncomfortable. No wonder so many folks end up with an Afrin addiction, though any decongestant nasal spray can cause this problem. One reader found an unusual method to break the habit.
How Long Does Rhinitis Medicamentosa Last
The rebound effect will last for as long as you are using nasal decongestants. Once you stop, it should resolve itself in 1-2 weeks. The main issue is how you decide to stop using nasal sprays.
When I tried to quit Afrin cold turkey, it was a terrible experience. I could not sleep well at all. Now, I only use one spray in each nostril at night around 9 PM. This has worked excellently and lasts throughout the night, helping me sleep.
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How Can I Avoid Severe Afrin Addiction
Steps to avoid severe Afrin addiction or dependence:
- never use it for more than 3 days.
- consult your primary care physician to learn about the underlying nasal problem
- consider using nasal steroid which are long term anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling
- See an ENT surgeon to determine if there is a structural problem like enlarged adenoid, deviated septum, enlarged turbinates or chronic sinus infection
The Physical Dangers Of Afrin Addiction
Afrin is considered a “chemical tourniquet.” The longer that the nose is forced to constrict the vessels, the more it will be deprived of nutrients and oxygen that it needs to thrive. The constant reduction in blood flow can manifest itself through physical damage to the nasal passage.
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How Is Rhinitis Medicamentosa Treated
Rhinitis Medicamentosa, also known as rebound congestion, happens when you overuse a nasal decongestant. Treatment for RM includes discontinuing the use of the decongestant nasal spray to allow the nasal passage to heal, sometimes including the use of a steroid nasal spray. After recovery, a doctor can determine your underlying nasal problems and recommend a safer treatment plan.
Doctors Suspect That Thousands Are Addicted To Nasal Sprays
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When Peter Barrett was growing up more than 30 years ago, he used to take rambling walks in the Maine countryside around his hometown of Biddeford, despite the fact that he was allergic to much of the plant life that he found in the outdoors that he loved -ragweed, timothy and even certain kinds of trees.
For a while he was given shots three times a week for his allergies but he detested them. In college he found them to be an intolerable inconvenience, especially after he discovered that he could get fast relief from an occasional runny nose by using a popular brand of nasal spray.
Years later, Mr. Barrett, by then a resident of Manhattan but still suffering from allergies, discovered that like many other Americans, he had developed a marked dependence on the nasal spray, even though he had used it only when his allergies flared up or for an occasional cold.
But slowly, almost imperceptibly, the periods of occasional use grew longer. The more he used the spray, the more he had to use it. He reached a point where, if he did not use it, he simply could not breathe through his nose. The nasal passages were closed tightly.
Some physicians feel that the labeling of nasal sprays should be changed to underscore the importance of not exceeding the recommended dosage. The Food and Drug Administration is not expected to suggest any labeling changes in the near future and if changes were suggested, they would be resisted by industry.
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What Are Decongestants
Nasal decongestant sprays contain such ingredients as oxymetazoline , phenylephrine but many liquid and pill medications also include these ingredients.
Some people choose decongestants on purpose while others do not realize they are using them. Zytec D, Claritin D, and Allegra D are often surprising decongestant medication to many people since they are often labeled as allergy medications.
But just know that D is a decongestant, so it is meant for only short term use. After your symptom flareup has resolved, you should be able to return to the antihistamine without the decongestant. If not, you may consider a trip to your physician to discuss the best allergy treatment for your particular symptoms.
Side Effects Of Afrin
Afrin users rarely report allergic side effects. However, temporary side effects are common, especially if too much Afrin is sprayed into nostrils. Possible side effects of Afrin use include:
- Stinging and burning of nasal passage tissues
- Runny nose
- Sneezing due to irritation
Many people who use Afrin for over a week or more experience these side effects when Afrin starts wearing off and sinus tissues begin swelling again. Within seconds of using Afrin, these side effects usually disappear.
This is called the rebound effect of nasal sprays.
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