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What are nasal decongestants?
What are nasal decongestants?
Decongestants are used to treat nasal congestion. Nasal decongestants are applied to nasal passages to reduce congestion and discomfort due to allergies and the common cold. Decongestants cause blood vessels in the nasal passages to shrink (vasoconstrict). Vasoconstriction reduces nasal congestion by preventing fluid from draining from blood vessels into the tissues lining the nasal passages.
Examples of nasal decongestants include:
Short-acting nasal decongestants
- ephedrine (Not available in the U.S.)
- levmetamfetamine or L-desoxyephedrine (Vicks Vapo Inhaler)
- naphazoline (Privine)
- phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine, Little Noses Decongestant Nose Drops, 4-Way Fast Acting)
- propylhexedrine (Benzedrex Inhaler)
Long-acting decongestants (8 to 12 hours)
- xylometazoline (Triaminic Decongestant Spray Nasal & Sinus Congestion)
- oxymetazoline (Afrin, Vicks Sinex, Zicam Nasal Gel)
What are the side effects of nasal decongestants?
Side effects of nasal decongestants include:
- Local irritation
- Rebound congestion (Rhinitis medicamentosa)
- High blood pressure
- Fast heartbeat
- Dizziness, and
- tremors may also occur.
What drugs interact with nasal decongestants?
Nasal decongestants decrease levels of intranasal nicotine. They prolong the time to reach peak concentrations and decrease peak concentrations of nicotine intranasal.
What formulations of nasal decongestants are available?
Nasal decongestants are available as sprays, drops, and inhalers.
Are nasal decongestants safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Intranasal decongestants may be absorbed into the blood stream. They have not been adequately evaluated in pregnant or breastfeeding women. They should only be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding if the benefits outweigh the risks.
REFERENCE: Pray, W., et al. "Safe Use of Nasal Decongestants." Medscape.
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Know Your Allergy TriggersAllergies are an overreaction of the immune system where the body's defenses react to substances such as pollen, food and more. Learn about common allergy triggers and how you can avoid an allergy attack.
Allergic CascadeThe allergic cascade refers to allergic reactions that happen in the body in response to allergens. A variety of immune cells and chemical messengers participate in the allergic cascade. Symptoms of the allergic cascade range from mild swelling and itching to full-blown anaphylactic shock. Allergen avoidance and medications are used to prevent or treat allergies.
AllergyAn allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Allergy Treatment Begins At HomeAvoiding allergy triggers at home is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation are a few ways to allergy-proof the home. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters also helps control allergies.
Cold & Flu QuizAches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and sickness from influenza virus.
Cold, Flu, AllergyBefore treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Common ColdThe common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Cold Prevention SlidesThe common cold is arguably the most common human illness. Learn how long the common cold lasts, treatment for the common cold and ways to prevent it.
Common Cold QuizTake this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. Test your knowledge of colds; get prevention tips, and learn what you may want to avoid when treating a cold!
Hay FeverHay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
HivesHives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
Allergy-Proof Your HomeTake this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home is.
Indoor AllergensIndoor allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Common sources of indoor allergens include dust mites, cockroaches, molds, pets, and plants. Avoiding indoor allergens is one way to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
Lungs Design And PurposeThe lungs are primarily responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air we breathe and the blood. Eliminating carbon dioxide from the blood is important, because as it builds up in the blood, headaches, drowsiness, coma, and eventually death may occur. The air we breathe in (inhalation) is warmed, humidified, and cleaned by the nose and the lungs.
Natural Cold & Flu RemediesWhat natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea, zinc, neti pots, garlic, vitamin C, saltwater gargles, nasal strips, or bed rest. Find out what cold and flu treatments work the natural way, and what doesn't.
RashThe word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.