Afrin Nasal Spray : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Afrin (Oxymetazoline) nasal spray is used to relieve nasal discomfort caused by colds, allergies, and hay fever. It is also used to relieve pressure and congestion in the sinuses. Afrin nasal spray should not be used to treat children under 6 years of age unless recommended by a doctor. Children 6 to 12 years old should use Afrin Nasal Spray with care and under adult supervision. Oxymetazoline (Afrin) is in a class of medications called nasal decongestants. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages.
How should this medicine be used?
Afrin (Oxymetazoline) comes as a solution (liquid) to spray into the nose. It is usually used every 10 to 12 hours as needed, but no more than two times in a 24-hour period. Follow the directions on the package label or your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use Afrin nasal spray exactly as directed. Do not use more or less, or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor or indicated on the label.
If you use Afrin nasal spray more often or for longer than recommended, your congestion may get worse or better, but come back. Do not use Afrin nasal spray for more than 3 days. If your symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment, stop using Afrin and call your doctor.
Afrin nasal spray should only be used in the nose. Do not take the medicine.
To avoid the spread of infection, do not share your aerosol dispenser with anyone else. Rinse the tip of the dispenser with hot water or clean it after use.
Follow the directions for using the nasal spray on the package label. If you are using a product that comes in a pump dispenser, press the rim down several times before using your first dose to prime the pump, according to the directions on the label. When you are ready to use the spray, keep your head up without tilting it and place the tip of the bottle in your nostril. For the nasal spray, squeeze the bottle quickly and firmly. For products that come in a pump dispenser, press the rim down with a firm, even motion and inhale deeply.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using Afrin,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Afrin or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medications or have stopped taking them in the past two weeks: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, diabetes, difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate, or thyroid or heart disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using Afrin nasal spray, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
This medication is usually used as needed. If your doctor has told you to use Afrin regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Afrin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- increased nasal discharge
- dryness inside the nose
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast heartbeat
- slow heartbeat
Afrin nasal spray may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat, light, and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze the medicine.
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
If you use too much Afrin nasal spray or if someone swallows the medicine, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has passed out or is not breathing, call your local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about Afrin nasal spray.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
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Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.