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.
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How Do I Stop Rebound Congestion
If youve been using a decongestant nasal spray for longer than directed, first consult your doctor in order to best treat your symptoms. To address the initial cause of your congestion, they might prescribe an alternative saline or steroid nasal spray that doesnt cause rebound congestion. During recovery, you should expect to deal with a runny nose or sinus pressure, as congestion is the main symptom of DNS withdrawal. The good news is, recovery could take less than a week and there are plenty of other therapies that can effectively flush out stuffy nasal passages.
If youre concerned that you may be dealing with rebound decongestion, or would like to speak with a specialist on how to get relief from inflammation, contact us at Michigan Avenue Ear, Nose & Throat.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Nasal Decongestant
Long-term use of decongestants or other topical vasoconstrictor medications could cause rebound congestion, which is a direct result of developing a condition called rhinitis medicamentosa. Once the medication wears off, the blood vessels swell right up again and in order to control congestion, people start to dose more frequently to achieve the desired effects. Research shows that you can begin to build a tolerance to the medication, so as you continue dosing at larger quantities to combat the rebound congestion, youre perpetuating a vicious cycle. This physical dependence on the medication is much different than addiction. Over-the-counter nasal sprays dont create physiological cravings for the medication, which would be necessary to classify this phenomenon as an addiction. Beyond developing rebound congestion, there are other side effects that arise from overuse to be aware of like headaches and increased blood pressure. Additionally, the longer you use nasal decongestants, the likelihood of developing more serious issues like chronic sinusitis increases.
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Importance Of A Nasal Spray Addiction Treatment Center
Various treatments are available to tackle the negative effects of drug overuse and addiction. Studies show a combination of medicines to counter addiction, and effective rehabilitation programs like our nasal spray addiction treatment center is the proven way to cure patients. When treatment designs are based on each patients past drug abuse record and his or her emotional, social and health history, there is a high chance of sustained recovery. If the patient is committed and embraces the rehab therapies, the outcome would be a life without drug addiction. Help is available 24/7 at our nasal spray addiction treatment center in Florida, call this number for a free personal consultation .
How Quickly Does Afrin Addiction Develop
How quickly oxymetazoline addiction develops depends on how much you use and how bad the problem is. If you use it only occasionally and do not take large amounts, then its unlikely that you will experience a problem. The same goes for anyone who only uses Afrin and similar sprays when they have a sinus issue or an allergy outbreak.
However, as soon as you begin to use more and more, whether because you are chasing the Afrin high or because you want to be able to breathe easier, then you are at risk of developing addiction. The label warns against using it for more than 3 days in a row, but this is just to be on the safe side and addiction shouldnt develop as quickly as three days. It may develop after just a week or two though.
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How To Break Dependency And Reduce Risk For Rebounding
If youve been using a decongestant nasal spray for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to stop. You can quit cold turkey and expect to experience severe congestion and discomfort until your nasal passages have time to heal. Recovery typically takes less than a week and withdrawal symptoms are easy to manage.
We suggest seeing a doctor, who can examine your nose to check for damage or excessive swelling. A doctor will likely recommend a steroid nasal spray solution in addition to discontinuing the use of the decongestant nasal spray. This process will help alleviate discomfort as you break your dependency.
What Do I Do For My Nasal Congestion Issues If I Cant Use Afrin
People get started on Afrin initially because they have structural issues in their nose and sinuses. A comprehensive evaluation at our office can confirm this. Contact us today at to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive evaluation. We can help you get off Afrin and see if you have a structural issue. We can do simple in-office procedures, such as a , to correct the structural issues permanently, and also manage your allergies with allergy drops.
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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?
So Are You Up To The Challenge
Keep an eye on: By signing up, you give us permission to share the results via our site and social media. We will hereby at most use names of a first name, without disclosing further personal data.Important: Know that Capsinol is a nasal spray based on red pepper. Completely natural and without addictive effect, but it does spicy ! So know what you are getting into!
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Can You Become Dependent On Nasal Spray
Do you have the sniffles, a runny nose or nasal congestion? With allergy season, cold season and the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be a little extra cautious about mucous or congestionespecially when its your own.
It may seem like a no-brainer to reach for an over-the-counter nasal spray to zap the snot and stuffiness, but know that not all nasal sprays are created equal. In fact, with some types, you might get a little hooked.
While it may provide temporary relief, could you become addicted to your nasal spray?
Overuse of some nasal sprays is most often a result of dependency, said Kelly Erdos, PharmD, a clinical pharmacist with Banner Baywood Medical Center. People may become dependent to nasal spray because of something called the rebound effect.
Nasal Spray Addiction Treatments
Treating nasal spray addiction to natural remedies is becoming more popular. Unfortunately millions of people worldwide suffer from this medical condition. It is important to note that nasal spray addiction is a consequence of using a decongestant nasal spray to relieve the symptoms of a previous sinus condition. Therefore once the nasal spray addiction has been dealt with it may still be necessary to treat the cause of the original sinus condition such as infection or allergies.
Discontinue use Going cold turkey and stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray can eventually break the dependency. However, this can cause sleep deprivation, anxiety, extreme nasal congestion, etc., and general suffering and misery.
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Nasal Spray Addiction: Is It Real
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 12, 2020.
What you may be referring to is a rebound effect that can occur if you use over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays regularly. After a few days of using this type of nasal spray, your nose may become less responsive to the effects of the medication.
As a result, you may need to use more and more of the medication to control congestion. Your congestion also may worsen if you stop using the medication. Some people may mistake this rebound effect for addiction, but it isn’t.
True addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance known to be physically, psychologically or socially harmful. Over-the-counter nasal sprays don’t cause the physiological cravings that mark an addiction.
To prevent rebound congestion, use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays for no more than three days in a row, with as few doses as possible each day. Prescription nasal sprays containing steroids don’t cause this rebound effect, so they can be used on a daily basis for years.
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 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.
What Are Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays are medications inhaled into the body via a pressurized canister or spray bottle. Available both over-the-counter and in prescription form, nasal sprays are most often used to treat conditions that cause congestion or inflammation in the nasal cavities, such as allergic rhinitis or upper-respiratory infections .
The flu vaccine is also available in a nasal spray. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people with certain medical conditions opt for the flu shot instead .
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An Exception: Process Addictions
While the chemicals contained within Afrin and similar drugs do not create a chemical, physiological dependency in the same way that drug families like opiates and amphetamines do, they can be part of a process addiction behavior. This refers to a behavior that someone is addicted to, not because of the specific chemicals involved, but the behaviors psychological stimuli and reward of performing. Gambling addiction, for example, does not involve the introduction of external chemicals but is a system finely tuned rewards that can create destructive behaviors. Any urge and relief upon completion can be part of this cycle, but some are more prone to abuse than others. This type of behavior sometimes called a process addiction is an indication that treatment is needed but is only recognized as an official disorder in certain circumstances, such as video games and gambling.
Most can beat a dependence on Afrin by yourself. People with substance addictions cannot. They need empathetic, experienced addiction counselors and psychologists to help them understand why theyre addicted to drugs or alcohol and what they need to do to achieve a successful recovery.
When You Need Professional Treatment For A Real Substance Addiction
Many people entering our rehab center who are addicted to snorting cocaine, crushed opioid pills or methamphetamine have become heavily dependent on Afrin or other nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline or phenylephrine hydrochloride. Snorting drugs is known to gradually destroy nasal passage tissues. Frequent nosebleeds and the development of ulcerations within the nasal passages commonly affect cocaine and meth abusers and intensify the inflammation and swelling of nasal tissues.
FHE Health is a leading substance abuse and mental health treatment facility in Southern Florida that provides personalized care, medical detoxification services and inpatient/outpatient treatment programs to help adolescents and adults regain their physical and psychological health. We also specialize in treating co-occurring disorders involving substance addictions and mental illnesses. Please call us today if you or someone you know has co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.
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Ways To Break The Habit
1. Cold Turkey – If you are hardcore like me, the best option for you to break this medical addiction is to go full-on cold turkey. What do we mean when we say “cold turkey”? We mean to just plain stop what you are doing that causes the addiction. Stop using the substance that is causing your suffering…in this case – nasal spray. Yes, there are negatives to the cold turkey method. The biggest negative is that your nose will continue to feel closed and you will not be able to breathe through it for at least a couple of days. In severe cases in which people have used nasal spray for a matter of years, the feeling of nasal clogging will probably last for at least a couple of weeks. Your body has to readjust itself to not having that chemical in order to open the pathways to the respiratory system. You may feel miserable and have a tantalizing desire to just pick up the bottle , but fight it! If you have quit smoking or some other addiction in the past cold turkey, you can quit this thing the same exact way! You are strong so don’t let something as simple as an inanimate bottle of nose lube keep you down.
What About Nasal Spray Addiction
When you use over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays often, your nose may become less responsive to the medications effects after a few days. This may mean you need to use more to get the same effect, and if you stop using it, your congestion may get worse.
While some people may worry that this indicates an addiction, according to the Mayo Clinic, these reactions are simply a rebound effect. The Mayo Clinic notes that OTC nasal decongestant sprays dont cause the physiological cravings associated with addiction.
However, if you still want to avoid rebound congestion, its best not to use OTC nasal decongestant sprays more than 3 days in a row.
Flonase is a corticosteroid nasal spray available without a prescription rather than a nasal decongestant spray. It contains steroids and shouldnt cause a rebound effect.
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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:
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.
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Facebook Group: Stop Nasal Spray Addiction
We have set up a special Facebook group to exchange tips and experiences with each other. And to motivate each other. This group is about you and not about Capsinol. We will certainly not bother you with advertising. We will do our best to answer all questions as well as possible. Everyone is welcome even if you are not completely ready to quit. Or if you are not drawn for the test. Register without obligation for this Facebook group: Stop nasal spray addiction
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.
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