5.1/ 7 average rating with 599 reviewsforAfrin

Afrin

(oxymetazoline)

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Clears your sinuses.

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Our bottom line

Afrin (oxymetazoline) clears stuffy noses, but can worsen your congestion if it is used more frequently than 3 days in a row.

Quick facts about Afrin
  • Drug class: Respiratory
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (oxymetazoline)

Upsides

  • It works right away and each dose lasts up to 12 hours.
  • The effect is limited to your nasal passageways so it may be safer than other decongestants you take orally.
  • Available as a nasal spray and a nasal mist.
  • Can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription.
People’s experience with Afrin

599reviews so far. What do you think?

Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Downsides

  • Sometimes Afrin (oxymetazoline) causes temporary stinging, burning, or dryness of the nose.
  • Talk to your doctor first before using it in children younger than 6 years old.
How it works

Afrin (oxymetazoline) is a nasal decongestant. It reduces the swelling and improves the drainage in your sinuses.

Quick facts about Afrin
  • Drug class: Respiratory
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (oxymetazoline)

Dosage forms

  • Nasal spray
People’s experience with Afrin

599reviews so far. What do you think?

Worth itNot sureNot worth it

What to expect when you take Afrin (oxymetazoline) for Nasal congestion

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Side effect rates for Afrin (oxymetazoline)

From clinical trials of Afrin / nasal congestion

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. Chronic use can lead to “rebound” congestion, which means your symptoms could get worse or come back after completing your treatment. If you're having stuffy nose for longer than 3 days, consider using a non-medicated nasal spray, like saline (salt-water). Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to take care of your congestion.