How Many People Are Addicted To Oxymetazoline
It is hard to put an exact estimate on just how many people suffer with Afrin addiction. There are countless online communities out there that deal with oxymetazoline addiction though, as well as other drugs and sprays that combat nasal congestion. It makes sense on an instinctive level as breathing easily is something that we all want and need to do and there is an element of panic and frustration when we cant do that. So its only natural that so many people would develop such a reliance on these drugs.
Of course, its very debatable whether oxymetazoline is a true addiction or not. It certainly causes dependence and it can be a difficult crux to kick, but that doesnt necessarily make it an addiction, at least not to everyone. However, they used to say the same thing about tramadol, a drug that can produce very serious side effects and withdrawals that are similar to the ones you will feel after abusing codeine.
In other words, you need to listen to the people who have used, abused and withdrawn from this drug as opposed to the people selling it or writing about it. And if you do listen to those people then Afrin withdrawal becomes as real and as unpleasant as the addiction. Relapse is common because its so widely available and advertised as being harmless and acceptable .
How Can Capsinol Help With Nasal Spray Addiction
A nasal spray addiction can be remedied. One solution is to simply stop using this xylometazoline nasal spray. This causes the blood vessels to recover and the nasal mucosa will become less thick. The stuffy feeling disappears again. For most people this is not a good solution. It does cause some discomfort in the recovery period. Another solution is to reduce it per nostril, so that you always have air on one side.
But this is not a good solution for everyone. For people with chronic nasal complaints, Capsinol nasal spray can offer a very good outcome. Capsinol is a completely natural one nose spray . This can be used indefinitely and is not harmful to the nose. In addition, it builds up the resistance of the nasal mucous membranes . The Capsicum annuum tincture stimulates the mucous membrane and gives you a clear feeling in your head. The salt and xylitol cause the mucous membranes to shrink. This decreases mucus production in the nose and it also has an anti-inflammatory effect. As a result, the nose becomes less sensitive to dust from the outside, making you less likely to catch a cold. This effect can last up to a year. This way you can breathe freely through the nose again in a natural way.
Dependency Vs Addiction: The Rebound Effect
The rebound effect occurs when you use nasal sprays, specifically decongestant sprays, regularly. After a few days of using this type of spray, your nose will become less responsive to the effects of the medication. You may have problems with your nasal congestion returning, or rebounding, once the medication is stopped. As a result, you may need to use more and more to combat the congestion.
Some people confuse the rebound effect with addiction, but Dr. Erdos said nasal spray addiction isnt a true addiction. Addiction is defined as a severe substance disorder that results in continuous and compulsive use of a substance despite that substance causing harm, she said. Over-the-counter nasal sprays, however, dont cause the same physiological cravings.
To better understand the different kinds of nasal sprays and how to use them safely, heres a breakdown of the four different types.
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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.
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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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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Can Intranasal Steroids Treat Rhinitis Medicamentosa
According to a 2017 study in China, yes, it can. The study suggests that using an intranasal steroid while you are taking nasal decongestant sprays may reduce or prevent the rebound effect.
The researchers looked at the effects of oxymetazoline and mometasone furoate in children. Nasonex is an intranasal steroid that reduces swelling and mucus in the nasal passageways. It’s usually used to treat allergic rhinitis and associated congestion. Intranasal steroids do not work immediately like oxymetazoline does it can take up to two weeks to notice the effects.
The study compared any changes in symptoms when taking mometasone furoate, oxymetazoline, or both concurrently. During the first stage of treatment, it appeared that 39% of the children treated with mometasone furoate had a considerable reduction in symptoms. During the second stage, the scores of nasal congestion in the group using both mometasone furoate and oxymetazoline went down. This suggests that the combination can be a safe and effective treatment option for children who have allergic rhinitis or adenoid hypertrophy.
In another study published in 2010, fluticasone another intranasal steroidwas shown to also have a potential to reverse rebound congestion caused by oxymetazoline.
Nasal irrigation helps remove mucus buildup to clear your sinuses and nasal passages.
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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.
How To Wean Yourself Off Nasal Spray
Afrin, Oxymetazoline, Neo-Synephrine, Phenylephrine, and other over-the-counter decongestant sprays are common short-term remedies against nasal blockages, colds, sinusitis, and allergies. Afrin and other related decongestant nasal sprays These are popular over-the-counter nasal sprays that treat nasal congestion and nasal blockages caused by sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infections, or allergies. Sources: 3, 7
Nasal spray types Nasal spray is a type of drug that is inhaled through the nose. Nasal sprays containing phenylephrine, neo-synephrine, oxymetazoline, or xylometazoline are considered decongestant nasal sprays. These sprays contain an effective vasoconstricting agent that essentially reduces blood flow to a persons nose when the spray is used, resulting in a reduction in edema of the nasal mucosa. Sources: 7, 8
Nasal sprays contain corticosteroids to reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Saline sprays act like mucus to flush out irritating substances before they cause inflammation. If the nose is irritated by dry winter air, salt sprays can add healing moisture. Sources: 8
Whenever they use the spray, the blood vessels narrow in the nose, causing the nasal tissue to shrink. As the duration of action of the nasal spray decreases, it can be used again and again to achieve the same effect. Patients with such a nose become essentially addicted to the spray to get temporary relief from the worst. Sources: 3, 7, 11
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Are Decongestant Nasal Sprays Addictive
Yes. These sprays can cause a so-called nasal spray addiction in some people.
This often occurs when a person uses the decongestant nasal spray too frequently or for too long.
Strictly, this is rebound congestion and not an addiction.
With rebound congestion, a person may find that they need to use the spray more frequently over time, often several times a day or more. Each time they use the spray, the blood vessels in the nose narrow, causing the tissue inside the nose to shrink.
After the medicine wears off, the nasal tissue swells again. Sometimes it swells even more than before.
If the person continues to use it, this swelling can get more severe and lead to permanent swelling of the tissue.
Long-term use of these sprays can also damage the tissue, causing infection and pain.
Symptoms of rebound congestion or dependency on nasal spray may include:
- feeling congested again shortly after using a decongestant spray
- using a decongestant spray regularly but feeling that it doesnt work anymore
- feeling a strong urge to use the spray more often than the instructions recommend
- using the spray just to be able to breathe normally on a daily basis
To help people avoid this problem, the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology recommend using it no more than twice a day for only 3 days.
Those who have been using the spray more frequently should see a doctor. They will examine the nasal tissue to check for damage or excess swelling.
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 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.
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:
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Tips For Kicking Nasal Spray Addiction
Nasal spray addiction is real, and it is nasty. It happens when your body becomes dependent on the medicinal spray to keep your nasal passages clear. In addition to your bodys reduced ability to fight nasal inflammation on its own, the medicine itself loses effectiveness over time.
This leaves the sufferer with more nasal congestion than before, along with a medicine that doesnt work as well to relieve it. Not fun!
If youre like me, along with asthma you might have problems with inflammation and stuffiness of the sinuses and nasal passages.
If so, youre probably no stranger to the over-the-counter decongestant sprays and to nasal spray addiction, too.
Thats because these nasal sprays are great for instant relief, but theyre usually only meant to be used for around three days.
But what if you exceed the maximum recommended dose? The picture isnt pretty, and we asthmatics have probably all been guilty at some point.
When the relief is so quick, much like with an asthma rescue inhaler, its easy to ignore the small print and continue using it past that 3 day mark. Unfortunately, overuse often leads to a condition known increasingly in the medical community as nasal spray dependence.
Ive been down the road to nasal spray addiction, and its not fun. If you find yourself in this situation and are a looking for a way out, keep reading.
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.
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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.
As always, much love for supporting my work. I will be adding many more posts to highlight parenting and healthcare tips, so be sure to consider subscribing to my podcast or to my blog to avoid missing a post!
Keep Your Nasal Passages Clean With A Neti Pot
If you want to reduce inflammation, its important to keep the nose free of debris and other irritants. Neti pots are great, inexpensive ways to thoroughly clean your nose and reduce congestion dramatically, all in a matter of minutes.
Simply mix some distilled or boiled water with a saline solution , and pour from one nostril through the other. Not only will the saline water remove dust and dirt, it will actually reduce inflammation, too.
For best results, I like to use warm water.
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Avoiding Nose Spray Addiction
Q: Several years ago, I was hooked on Afrin. I could not breathe through my nose unless I used it.
My doctor prescribed a tapering dose of prednisone, and I could breathe freely within one day. I didnt like the prednisone because it made me very agitated and prevented sleep. On the other hand, it did take care of the addiction.
I dont plan on using Afrin for more than three days again. I dont want to have to deal with prednisone anymore, as there are problems with that, too.
A: Nasal decongestant sprays like Afrin have a clear warning: Do not use for more than three days. Use only as directed. Frequent or prolonged use may cause nasal congestion to recur or worsen.
The official name for rebound nasal congestion is rhinitis medicamentosa. That means a stuffy nose triggered by medication overuse.
When people use topical decongestants such as naphazoline, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine and xylometazoline for more than few days, their noses adapt to the vasoconstriction. When the medicine is stopped, blood vessels dilate and create congestion that can be challenging. Because allergies last longer than three or four days, decongestant nose sprays are inappropriate to treat the resulting congestion and runny noses.
Another reader found a different solution: I have always been plagued with nighttime congestion, but Ive had great success with NasalCrom. If I forget to use it, the congestion comes right back. When I start to use it again, my congestion is gone!
What Happens If You Use A Dns For Too Long
Typically when you experience congestion, your nasal passages have become swollen, shrinking the amount of space in your nose that air can move through. Decongestant nasal sprays work by immediately shrinking the swollen blood vessels, which provides fast relief and helps you breathe easier. However, when the drug wears off, your blood vessels swell up again .
DNSs are only intended for temporary relief . After a few days of using a nasal decongestant spray, your nose becomes less responsive to the effects of the medication. Youll find yourself needing more and more to get rid of your congestion. Or, when you stop the spray, your congestion may return right away. This rebound effect, or Rhinitis Medicamentosa , is often mistaken as addiction to nasal spray. If you continue to use a decongestant nasal spray for too long or too frequently, this swelling can become worse and lead to tissue damage inside the nose.
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