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.
Nasal Irrigation Can Help Relieve Congestion
The purpose of nasal irrigation is to rinse out mucus and any debris from the nasal passageways. There are many ways to do this, but the simplest way is by using a Neti Pot they can be found in most drug stores and are typically used for sinus congestion, allergies, and colds. The Neti Pot works by flushing a saline solution through the nasal passageways, thinning the mucus so that it can be removed with the solution. This speeds up the process of mucus removal normally done by cilia, or small hairs, in the passageways. The function of the cilia is to move mucus to where it can either be swallowed or blown out.
I first heard about this method from both my father and my father-in-law, who have successfully used the Neti Pot to relieve their congestion. I decided to try it myself, however, I only found relief for about five minutes after use. On top of that, there is a slight burning sensation from the saline solution that I was not comfortable with. Overall, I did not find enough congestion relief from using a Neti Pot. However, it is a proven natural alternative to nasal decongestants that has worked for others. You can also try saline nasal sprays that are a little gentler and keep your nose hydrated.
Zyrtec-D combines an antihistamine with pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, to relieve sinus congestions and allergies.
Getting Rid Of Nasal Spray Addiction
Nasal spray dependency can be helped easily. One method is to quit usage of the spray cold turkey. This gives the blood vessels the opportunity to recover. The nasal membrane, in turn, swells up less and less. The sense of congestion also disappears. For most people, however, this method is far from ideal because they experience much discomfort during the recovery period.
Another method is to wean oneself off one nostril at a time. This method allows for easy breathing through at least one nostril. This will not work for everyone, however. You just want to be able to breathe through both nostrils.
If you suffer chronic stuffiness caused by sinus problems or allergies, neither method will be successful. Your dependency on nasal spray may be gone, but the symptoms remain.In order to fix nasal discomfort, try Capsinol.
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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.
Is Any Nasal Spray Addictive
No, not every nasal spray is addictive. But if you have a spray with the active substances xylometazoline or oxymetazoline and spray it in the nose for more than five days, you should be careful. The addictive effect is triggered by the substance xylometazoline that is in many nasal sprays. At first this substance works fine The mucous membrane is swollen due to a cold. Due to the substance xylometazoline, the blood vessels of your nose contract, the mucous membrane decreases in volume and breathing is nice and easy again.
Unfortunately, when the remedy has worn off, the swelling of the mucous membrane returns more violently than before. The nose feels blocked again and you need the spray again to be able to breathe freely. The swelling will disappear again, but after a few hours the remedy will wear off again and you will need another spray to breathe through your nose. So you need the spray more and more often.
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What Is The Rebound Effect Caused By Afrin
Rhinitis medicamentosa is the clinical term for rebound congestion, a major problem caused by excessive and lengthy use of Afrin. This rebound effect has led to the erroneous belief that you can become addicted to Afrin.
Afrin-caused rebound congestion is not a form of addiction. Instead, suffering recurring nasal congestion due to overuse of Afrin is a physiological reaction involving tolerance of nasal passage tissues to oxymetazoline. The nasal spray rebound effect has no psychological component. People dont crave Afrin the way they would a chemically dependent drug like opiates. The only thing that compels them to keep using Afrin is that they cannot breathe normally through their nose without repeatedly spraying oxymetazoline onto nasal passage tissues.
What Happens If You Cant Stop Using Afrin Because Of Rebound Congestion
Your ability to stop using Afrin depends on how you can handle several days of a stuffy nose and being unable to breathe normally. Since the rebound effect isnt an addiction, you can withdraw from daily Afrin use at home safely.
One way to defeat rebound congestion is to simply go cold turkey. Most long-term Afrin users cannot do this because having a stuffy nose 24/7 is just uncomfortable and interferes with eating, sleeping and work tasks. Saline solutions may help ease the side effects of rebound congestion and get you through the worst days.
Saline nasal sprays contain sodium chloride and water that moisturize nasal passages and remove debris such as pollen and dust. Clearing stuffy nasal passages with a saline solution also gets rid of excess mucus to facilitate breathing normally again. Although saline solutions are non-habit-forming and wont cause a rebound effect, the relief you feel after spraying saline and water onto your nasal passages is a short 30 to 45 minutes. Fortunately, you can use saline nasal sprays as much as you want without harming nasal tissues.
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Can You Get Addicted To Nasal Spray
Addiction to nasal sprays then arises. 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.
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?
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Can You Become Addicted To Nasal Spray
When symptoms dont seem to improve, people tend to continue dosing for weeks or even months past their recommended use. This common occurrence begs the question, can you get addicted to nasal spray? Lets explore the difference between having an addiction and having a physical drug dependence on this particular type of nasal spray.
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.
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Kicking Nose Spray Dependence One Nostril At A Time:
Q. I became dependent on decongestant nose drops some years back. My doctors solution was to use the drops in a single nostril until the dependency passed and then totally discontinue nose drops. Its not a perfect solution but it worked for me.
A. This is a sensible approach to overcoming nose spray dependence.
A pharmacist agreed with you:
I have been a pharmacist for 55 years and discovered this treatment years ago. After the need to use decongestant nasal sprays for congestion associated with colds or allergies has passed, overcome rebound congestion by continuing to spray only one nostril. This allows the other nostril to adjust back to normal. When the un-sprayed nostril opens, discontinue the decongestant spray.
I had a full blown addiction to nasal spray before it was commonly known that it could happen. I sprayed one nostril only until the other cleared, and then stopped. As others have mentioned here, one nostril free breathing is tolerable. It took 5-7 days for each to clear.
Can Prolonged Use Damage Nose Structures
Yes, it can.
- The nose contains air conditioning cushions with the overuse of decongesting sprays, the cushions become thickened. This is clinically called turbinate hypertrophy and it can increase the blockages in the nasal passages.
- The cilia are your nose hairs and these are important in clearing nasal and sinus secretions. Prolonged use of nasal sprays can cause the cilia to function abnormally.
- Overuse can also result in increased blood flow to the nose, therefore causing even more nasal congestion.
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How I Got Over My Nasal Spray Addiction
Although this method worked very well for me, it may not be the best or safest option for you. It is also important to note that decongestants like pseudoephedrine are not recommended for people with high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Discuss this and other options with your doctor so that you can find the best solution for your specific situation.
My final piece of advice is to find out what is causing your nasal congestion and treat that cause rather than just treating the symptoms. You can avoid getting stuck using nasal sprays by treating your problem correctly the first time around.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
And If You Do Manage To Kick The Habit You Should Never Use The Products Again Warns Researcher
If youve never been dependent on a nasal spray like Otrivin, Zymelin or Rhinox, you probably have no idea what it means to have a stuffy nose. Like really stuffy. So you sound like Goofy wearing a diving mask.
Until you shower your nostrils with a nasal spray elixir, that is. A temporary solution that has caused your mucous membrane to swell because you’ve been using the nasal spray for too long.
Sverre Karmhus Steinsvåg heads the Ear-Nose-Throat department at the Hospital of southern Norway and is an adjunct professor at the University of Bergen. In his role as a doctor he sees nasal spray dependency close up.
He has researched how the preservatives in nasal spray act on mucous membranes, and witnesses how people who are addicted get desperate if they cant spray themselves.
Patients say that they cant breathe, cant concentrate at work and cant sleep, Steinsvåg says.
Without the nasal spray they feel like a fish out of water, he says. Theyve usually been using this kind of nasal spray for months or years.
Steinsvåg estimates that several hundred thousand people in Norway today rely on nasal sprays. There are no exact figures on this because the products are sold over the counter all over- from pharmacies to grocery stores and gas stations.
The active substances xylometazoline and oxymetazoline cause blood vessels in the nasal mucosa to contract, which allows freer breathing.
Sometimes as often as every two hours.
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How To Break A Nasal Spray Addiction
Ways to Break the Habit
The Causes Of Nasal Spray Dependency
As a consequence, the user continues to spray in order to get rid of the stuffy nose and to breathe freely. When the nasal spray is used for a longer period, dependency arises. When xylometazoline is not administered frequently, the nose will remain congested. The inability to breathe freely is highly uncomfortable and causes many users to continue their use. Addiction to nasal sprays then arises.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Oxymetazoline Nasal
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using oxymetazoline nasal and call your doctor at once if you have:
- ongoing or worsening symptoms
- severe burning or stinging in your nose after using the nasal spray
- chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate or
- severe headache, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, or feeling short of breath.
Common side effects may include:
- mild burning or stinging of the nose
- sneezing or
- runny nose.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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That’s because after three or four days of near-constant use, the blood vessels in your schnoz start to depend on the spray.
They start to swell beyond their normal size, because theyre waiting for the chemical hit, says Madeleine Schaberg, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. This vicious cycle of overuse and dependence can last for months, even years. Ive had multiple patients that have been dependent on the spray to breathe normally for 10 years, says Schaberg.
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Nasal Spray: Separating Fact And Fiction
Nasal spray is a catch-all term for over-the-counter and prescription medications that are inhaled through the nose. These sprays are typically used to help relieve the symptoms that come with seasonal allergies and colds. There are four main types of nasal sprays: decongestant, steroid, saline, and antihistamine most of these can be used continuously. However, some can potentially cause an addiction if used for more than a few days at a time. This is not a true addiction, but using decongestant nasal sprays too often can lead to rebound congestion.
Nasal Spray Addiction Causes
Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline, xylometazoline, phenylephrine, etc. temporarily reduce the size of the nasal turbinates, open the nasal passages and provide relief from nasal congestion, etc. However, when these are used for more than 3 consecutive days they cause rebound congestion. Rebound congestion is the result of abnormal hypertrophy and swelling of the nasal membranes. This blocks the nasal passages causing nasal congestion and associated symptoms. This rebound congestion is temporarily relieved by using the offending nasal spray. Therefore a vicious cycle of dependency ensues.
The delicate lining of the nasal passages can be permanently damaged.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk For Rebounding
To lower the risk of dependency and exposure to side-effects, use the lowest dose of a medication for the shortest period possible. Specifically, limit nasal decongestant sprays to 3 days of consecutive use and do not use them more than twice a day.
When using other types of nasal sprays including saline, steroid and antihistamine sprays, be aware of how often you are using them and if that amount of use is necessary. Often, people may only need to use a nasal spray a few months out of the year for allergies or when the weather is dry and cold, Dr. Erdos said.
Is Flonase Addictive Like Afrin
Flonase is a nasal spray prescribed by doctors for relieving symptoms of allergies and sinusitis. Belonging to the corticosteroid class of drugs, Flonase works differently than Afrin. In addition to reducing inflammation, Flonase also blocks the irritating effects of pollen, dust, mold and pet dander. Also, while Afrin starts working immediately to relieve congestion, Flonase users may not feel congestion relief for a few days.
Although Flonase doesnt cause a rebound effect like Afrin does, long-term use of corticosteroid nasal sprays can promote recurring nosebleeds and headaches.
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Steroid Nasal Spray To The Rescue:
Some people also use steroid nasal sprays to overcome nose spray dependency. Here is what another reader did.
Q. I have been using Afrin Nasal Decongestant Spray for two decades. My mom started me on it when I was a kid with bad allergies and then I couldnt stop. I hated that nose spray dependence.
I finally got off Afrin by using Flonase and diluting the last bottle of Afrin with saline. It took about a week, and though I am still a little stuffy, I am so glad to be off the decongestant. I just thought others might benefit from my experience.
A. Thank you for sharing your success. Flonase is a corticosteroid nasal spray that has recently become available over the counter. It can be helpful during the process of weaning off a nose spray addiction. It is also useful in controlling nasal allergy symptoms.