Cover image for oxymetazoline nasal spray

People with blocked noses often use over-the-counter nasal sprays for getting relief. One of the most effective of them is Oxymetazoline nasal spray. 

Oxymetazoline is a nasal spray that is used as a decongestant for nasal congestion. This nasal spray works by shrinking the blood vessels in the nasal passages. 

The medicine provides temporary relief from blocked noses and sinuses for people suffering from a common cold or sinusitis.  (Also Read: How Do I Tell if I have a Sinus or Migraine? )

How to Use Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray 

This is a solution that is sprayed into the nose. A person should not use this medicine more than twice a day. 

 

To use this nasal spray:

  • First, gently blow the nose. Keep the head upright and insert the tip of the bottle into one nostril. Make sure that you close the other nostril with your finger. While breathing in, gently spray the medicine inside the nose. Repeat this process with the other nostril.
  •  After using the nasal spray, do not blow the nose for a couple of minutes. 

 

To use the nasal solution:

  • Sit upright with your head tilted back as far as possible, or lie down with your head hung over the side of a bed. 
  • With the help of a dropper, put a few drops of the solution into the nose. 
  • Gently bend your head forward and move it left and right. Continue seating like this for a few minutes. 
  • After this, do not sneeze or blow the nose for a couple of minutes. 

 

After using the solution, wipe the tip of the spray bottle with a tissue and store it in a cool and dry place. Place the lid tightly when not in use. 

Side Effects of Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray

It is not compulsory that everyone taking this medicine experiences side effects. Some of the common side effects that Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray can incur are-  

  • Feeling a sensation of burning or stinging 
  • Dryness inside the nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Increased nasal discharge 
  • Vision becomes blurry
  • The heartbeat becomes fast or irregular
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Drowsiness or lightheadedness
  • Blood pressure becomes high
  • Changes in the mood 
  • Shaking 
  • Feeling weak
  • Difficulty in sleeping 

 

Allergic reactions to this medicine are rare. But if an allergic reaction does get triggered and you notice symptoms such as rash, itching of the face or tongue or throat, visit the doctor as soon as possible. 

 

Amongst the aforementioned symptoms, some of them require immediate medical attention while some of them don’t. 

 

As the body adjusts to the medicine, these side effects may go away on its own. If any of the side effects continue to bother, check with the health care professional immediately. 

Dosage of Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray

It is imperative that you take the medicine exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by the doctor. Changing the dose (reducing or increasing the amount) can prove to be fatal. 

 

For adults, the usual dose for nasal congestion is 2 or 3 sprays in each nostril. Each dose should be between every 10 to 12 hours. 

 

For children over 6 years old, the dosage remains the same. However, children under 12 years of age should take this medicine under adult supervision. 

Precautions to be taken 

For using this medicine, there are no specific restrictions related to diet. Hence, people can continue with a normal diet.  However, remember the following regulations to make sure that the medicine doesn’t pose any severe damage to health. 

 

Inform your doctor/Pharmacist – 

  • If you are allergic to oxymetazoline. The reason being that this medicine contains active ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction. 
  • If you are suffering from any other medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, difficulty while urinating, enlarged prostate, thyroid or any other heart-related diseases.
  • If you are pregnant, expecting to get pregnant or lactating. The medicine can pass to the breast milk hence, talk to your doctor first. 

If you are taking prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products. 

 

Moreover, children can be susceptible to side effects after using this nasal spray. Consult with a Paediatric ENT before taking this medicine for your children. 

Conclusion 

The Oxymetazoline nasal spray only provides temporary relief from the problem of nasal congestion due to allergies or a common cold. Moreover, using this medicine for more than 3 days causes another condition known as rebound congestion. Some symptoms of this condition are redness and swelling inside the nose and an increase in a runny nose. In such cases, consult with an ENT doctor who can guide you better.

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