What Kind of OTC Nasal Sprays Can Be Addictive?

What Kind of OTC Nasal Sprays Can Be Addictive?


An over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant nasal spray used by allergy sufferers can be addictive if used more than a few days in a row. The medical name is rhinitis medicamentosa and is due to rebound effects that occur with chronic use. These sprays can be used occasionally, for a few days, to give relief of nasal stuffiness.


A decongestant nasal spray opens nasal passages by reducing swelling and, in the beginning, gives quick relief. However, an OTC decongestant nasal spray has to be used more frequently as the blood vessels in the nose gradually respond less to the medication. Chronic use worsens the very symptoms one is trying to clear. Saline nasal sprays and OTC Nasalcromâ„¢ do not cause rebound effects. Prescription corticosteroid nasal sprays also work differently and are sometimes used to treat patients who are having rebound effects from chronic use of an OTC decongestant nasal spray.