Addicted To Nasal Spray

Unless it has happened to you or someone you know, it can be difficult to understand how a person could become addicted to nasal spray.   Unlike other addictions, people who are addicted to nose spray do not derive any pleasure or “high” from using it.   Those who use topical decongestants (such as Afrin) have no cravings.  What others may perceive as an Afrin addiction is the act of self medicating to relieve the severe nasal congestion that completely blocks their airflow.

Individuals can become addicted to Afrin (or any other brand of topical decongestant nasal spray) if they continue to use them beyond the recommended “safe period” which is typically 3-5 consecutive days.  Once the addiction to Afrin (or other brand) has developed, the treatment is always the same; these individuals must discontinue the use of the sprays.

From a physiologic standpoint, the root cause of the congestion is oxymetazoline rebound which causes the nasal turbinates to swell and block the airway.  This condition is not an oxymetazoline addiction, but rather a sensitivity to oxymetazoline, which is a topical vasoconstrictor.

Discontinuing the use of decongestant nasal sprays is what presents the challenge in treating these patients.  If the decongestants are abruptly withdrawn, complete blockage of the nasal airway will occur and persist for 4-7 days.  Very few individuals are able to bear this discomfort.

If the decongestants are gradually and precisely withdrawn over a period of 2-4 weeks, these patients will maintain normal nasal airflow during the weaning process.  The patented Rhinostat apparatus and diluent solution is the only patented product which is specifically targeted at treating this patient group.

Please visit our page:  How Rhinostat Works