Afrin is a topical decongestant meant for nasal use. Afrin is available in both nasal spray and mist formulations and can be used to treat nasal and sinus congestion associated with allergies and upper respiratory infections. The active ingredient in Afrin, oxymetazoline, is a vasoconstricting agent. Afrin nasal spray when sprayed into the nose, causes narrowing blood vessels, which results in a temporary improvement in nasal swelling and congestion.
Uses of Afrin nasal spray
Afrin nasal spray is used to relieve congestion in the nose caused by various conditions including the common cold, hay fever, sinusitis, and allergies. It works
Narrowing the blood vessels in the nose area reduces swelling and congestion. Afrin nasal spray should not be used to treat children younger than 6 years of age unless it is recommended by a doctor. Children 6 to 12 years of age should use Afrin nasal spray carefully and under adult supervision.
Use this medication in the nose as directed. 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 often than twice in 24 hours. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor or directed on the label.
Gentle blow your nose before using this drug. Use your finger to close the nostril on the side not receiving the medication. Keep your head upright and place the spray tip into the open nostril. Spray the medication into the open nostril as you breathe in through your nose. Do not use this medication for more than 3 days or it may cause a condition called rebound congestion. Tell your doctor if your condition gets worse or lasts after 3 days.
Is Afrin bad for you?
Overuse of Afrin or other topical nasal sprays that contain oxymetazoline can cause a medical condition called “rhinitis Medicamentosa”. Symptoms of rhinitis Medicamentosa include nasal stuffiness or congestion, swelling, or pain. Excessive use of Afrin may also cause blood pressure and heart rate, dizziness, or fainting.
Afrin nasal spray may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms include:
Increased nasal discharge
Serious side effects
Afrin nasal spray may cause some serious side effects. If you have any of these symptoms you call your doctor immediately.
Young children are more likely to experience side effects after Afrin use due to their smaller size, most Afrin products should not be used in children less than six years of age.
If you use too much Afrin nasal spray or if someone swallows the medication call your poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. Call local emergency services at 911. The primary treatment of rhinitis Medicamentosa related to the overuse of Afrin involves discontinuation of nasal spray, although topical nasal steroids are sometimes prescribed to the affected patients to alleviate the worsening symptoms that may occur after stopping Afrin.
Is Afrin safe for children’s use?
Most Afrin is not useful for children less than six years of age, but there is one formulation of Afrin that is specially designed for use in children as young as two years of age. Afrin should be used with caution, as it may cause toxicity if swallowed or if too much is sprayed into the nose.
Children may accidentally swallow the Afrin that drips from the nose into the back of the throat. As little as half a teaspoon of Afrin can cause life-threatening toxicity if ingested by a young child.
Is the use of Afrin safe during pregnancy?
Afrin use during pregnancy may be harmful to the fetus. One investigation of decongestant use during pregnancy noted a potential link between fetal kidney abnormalities and the use of Afrin in the second trimester of pregnancy. In another report, maternal use of Afrin nasal spray during pregnancy was associated with changes in fetal heart rate.
Storage and disposal of this medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat light and moisture(not in the bathroom). Do not freeze the medication. You should not flush this medication down the toilets. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage department to learn about take-back programs in your community.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (pills, patches, inhalers, cream, and eye drops). To protect young children from poisoning, always lock them safely in caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location.
Ask your pharmacist any questions about the oxymetazoline nasal spray. It is important to keep all the medication reaching the children. You need to write a list of all of the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.