Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Afrin

(Oxymetazoline)

  • Nasal spray
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Clears your sinuses.

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Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Afrin (Oxymetazoline) clears stuffy noses well, but don't use it for more than 3 days in a row or your congestion could get worse.

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  • It works right away and each dose provides relief for up to 12 hours.
  • Can use for nasal congestion caused by colds and allergies.
  • It only affects your nose, so there aren't too many other side effects.
  • Available as a nasal spray and a nasal mist.
  • Afrin (Oxymetazoline), like all other sprays used for stuffy noses, can make your congestion worse if you use it for more than 3 or 4 days in a row (called rebound-congestion).
  • Can cause temporary stinging, burning, or dryness in your nose.
  • Can't be used for kids younger than 6 years old.

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Side effects for Afrin (Oxymetazoline)

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These are side effects of Afrin (Oxymetazoline) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

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What to expect when you take Afrin (Oxymetazoline)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Use 2 to 3 sprays in each nostril every 10 to 12 hours. Don't use Afrin (Oxymetazoline) more than two times a day.
  • Keep your head upright and don't tilt it back when spraying Afrin (Oxymetazoline) into your nose.
  • Breathe in with quick sniffs while spraying and wait a few minutes before blowing your nose.
  • Don't use Afrin (Oxymetazoline) for more than 3 days in a row since it can worsen your congestion after a few days of use.

Risks and Warnings for Afrin (Oxymetazoline)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using Afrin (Oxymetazoline) for more than 3 days

    Don't use it for more than 3 days in a row. Continuing to use Afrin (Oxymetazoline) for longer may cause “rebound” congestion once you stop using it, meaning your congestion could come back again, just as bad or even worse. It's best to slowly lower the amount you use over a few days and use a non-medicated nasal spray, like saline (salt-water), to clear up stuffiness.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Afrin (Oxymetazoline)

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The FDA category for this medication is N. It is advised that you: Unknown
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  • I used Afrin and other generic sprays as well and they all seemed to work the same. After using it for a couple weeks 2 to 3 times a day i did notice i had to use it more often throughout the day and that when i wasnt using it such as at night while sleeping my congestion did come back worse from prolonged use like the botyle says. This stuff works great though and fast too. Relief starts withing minutes
    Age: 35
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Nasal congestion