BE AWARE! Using common nasal sprays (Afrin, Neo-Synephrin) can come with a hefty price. Look for the active ingredient Oxymetazoline. If you see this ingredient, read the label very carefully.
“Do not use more than 3 days. Frequent or prolonged use may cause nasal congestion to recur or worsen” – Most 12 hour nasal sprays.
As far as I can tell, it means once you have used it for three days, you should NEVER use it again. Even if you just use it once a year later, you may end up with a stuffy nose for weeks because of the medicine (as I did). The warning should be plastered all over the bottle as this is a serious side effect, Yet it is just printed in the middle like no big deal.
There hundreds if not thousands of people out there who have been using these sprays for 10 to 20 years. Can you imagine the profit? We are talking thousands of dollars per “addict”. This is a scam, a bit like Aspartame. We think it is good for us, but it quickly becomes addictive and we cannot stop.
The main withdrawal symptom is not being able to breath through your nose without it. At first this seems harmless. “I can’t breath through my nose, oh well I have this spray”. Then you notice you need hit half way through the next day. Then again the next night. Next thing you know you cannot ever be without it.
Addiction: in this case, meaning “physical dependence,” whereby your nose has developed a tolerance, and you will experience negative physical symptoms of withdrawal resulting from abrupt discontinuation or reduction in dose.
First off, nasal spray addiction does not seem to have the classic withdrawal symptoms of Aspartame. It usually comes without the emotional “I gotta have it” feelings. Nor are you likely to get a headache, sluggishness or other flu like symptoms. But not being able to breath out of your nose can be plenty debilitating. I hope you never find out what I mean.
Secondly, you can slowly get off of it by using a few methods.
- Use a steroid type nasal spray such as Flonase or Nasonex (for as short as you can)
- Some people just start adding saline solution to the bottle and just let it slowly dilute (did not work for me).
- Just use it in one nostril until the other is off the drug (This did not work for me)
- Going “cold turkey”. This is how I did it and it took over a week.
Going cold turkey was a horrible experience. But I finally just said “no more”. I woke up several times each night with dry mouth (when I could sleep at all). My nostrils were closed so tight it made it hard to swallow. It was a FULL WEEK before my nose began to open up. Each night I would get one side to open up just a little. Now almost two weeks after, I just have a slight sniffle.
Please send me your feedback on Nasal Spray Addiction. I really want to help others on this. To me, this is an obvious scam that everyone should know about.