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Nasal Spray Addiction 2


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Hi. I found this page on a web search and was so happy to find out im not the only person with this problem.Been using otrivin nasal spray for at least 14 years. I started using it just at bedtime and over the years got more frequent. When I was pregnant i started carrying them around and using it all day for the past almost 8 years. I constantl get the flu and colds like literally every month usually more. I tried all the percription sprays saline etc but nothing worked. I knew i was going to live the rest of my life like this. Got to the point at night I was using it every 10 mins! it is so dry in our building and the vaporizers dont help. Well after reading your forum and finding out it is harmful to the heart i had to stop. i thought it would be impossible as i tried before and only last a couple hours. you guys gave me hope and strength and I have been off it for more than 4 weeks now. But the right side of my nose is still all stuffed up. Was using allergy and sinus meds untill i realize those had the decongestant the same as the sprays. The pharmacist said it is also harmful to the heart but doesnt cause rebound.So been taking it days when its really bad and im hoping once i can breathe normally I will stop the allergy meds too i also using rhiocourt but i dont get relief from either. If I touch the inside of my nose it literally stuffs up right away. I hope its not damaged. Isnt 4 weeks a long time for it not opening up yet? No matter what I cant go to the sprays. Im a single parent and I dont want to hurt myself anymore for my daughters sake. I have severe pain in head and face. I have tmj artifical joints and nerve damage the pain is bad and have to live on morphine and fentanol. So this nasal problem causes more pain there as well. The pain was brutal when stopping the otrivin. If it wasent for this website i dont know if I could of ever quit but you inspired me.
elissa last decade
If you've been using the sprays every 10 minutes for 14 years, its going to take a while to heal.

You need to see and ear, nose and throat doctor or an allergist
dzfromny last decade
i just started using it every 10 mins not on a daily basis but when i had a cold or when its really bad just at night recently before i stopped. I saw ENT and allergist and they said nothing can be done just stop taking the otrivin.
elissa last decade
Hi all my name is Melissa and Im 20 years old. I have been using nasil spray such as otrivium for the past month around about 2-3 times a day to clear my nose and my ears that were all blocked up. I have now become addicted, I recently got another cold and used the nasil again. This time around Ive used it every hour and Ive noticed I cant smell things also my hearing is blurry. It does say not to use nasil more than 5 days or 1 month after opening. After reading some story's of what others have mentioned here I guess I want to let it pass. I was just wondering will these symptoms stay with me? I hope to end this addiction and If I continue will this make my nose explode?
Sundaydress last decade
hi Melissa
i'm new here too please read what i posted above.You need to stop it now. The longer you do it the harder it will be. For over 13 years i tried to stop and i couldn't. I started only using it during the night then a few times a day then every hour then every 30 mins that will happen to you too. I was off it for a 2 months now but I just used it once a day for 3 days because ive had a really bad cold and the pain was so bad. I was so mad at myself and almost cried because after the struggle to stop. But I dont think i had rebound from that spray but the right nostril has not cleared at all since i stopped the otrivin. Because of my heavy usage it could take months to open up. I wish I was 20 years old again like you and just at the beginning of the addiction. I spent so much money buying them once a week over all these years and the harm it does to your heart is not worth it. I now am a mother so that is why I stopped it will only give you short term relief but it causes such long term problems.
elissa last decade
Thanks for your support and after reading your story it has inspired me to stop using otrivium or any other product with thesame effects. It has been hard for me today because I depend on it but you have given me hope for my health too in this point.
Sundaydress last decade
Try going to an Ear Nose and Throat doctor or an allergist. It sounds like you may need some other help.

You can also try over the counter medicine like Sudafed (you have to ask the pharmacist for it now). It comes in 4-12-or 24 hour doses. You can also try Claritan. The Sudafed will help with the stuffy nose but it might also keep you awake at night. The Claritan will help with a runny nose.

A doctor can prescibe other medications which will include a steroid nasal spray that isn't additcting.

Go to a doctor for help.
dzfromny last decade
VAPOR RUB IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY> I took afrin during my pregnancy. I am still suffering the rebound 4 months later and the stuffiness happpens BAD at night. Plus it is dangerous afrin & pregnancy. Could cause placenta to detach from inside. I put vapor rub alot around my nose last night. It helped much more. Tonight I will do that and put a little in a cup and heat up in micro then inhale the steam. I hope it works too.
vapporrub last decade
If your nose is to closed to inhale fumes I pull my nose out a liitle from inside nasal holes and it just opens the passage. Take your two fingers put them inside top of nose and pinch and pull (gently) all of a sudden my breathing is normal again until I let go.
vapporrub last decade
its been four night and my nose is slowly openeing up. last night I went to bed with one side finally opening up. I slept great.
vapporrub last decade
Tonight I'm VERY depressed about my breathing sitation. I started using Afrin a little over 4 years ago who I was congested from pregnancy. Even though I tried to avoid using it while pregnant I couldn't breathe at all through my nose and felt that I was dying so I started using it for relief. Anyways I've tried several times to get off of it but I can't breathe without it! The first time I went cold turkey for three months and after my nose not opening up at all - and therefore not hardly sleeping for three months (and having to sleep in a chair every night for sinus pressure relief) I went back on it. The second time I was off of it for about 2 1/2 months with same results. Right now I've been using it in only one nostril for three months and I still can't breathe out of the nostil that that has been free of it for three months.

I've been to ENT's and tried all the steroid sprays and none work. Oh, and I can't use Sudafed b/c Pseudoephedrine gives me severe tachycardia and the new Sudafed forumla doesn't work at all.

I'm just very depressed right now. I'm tired of being dizzy all the time (sometimes it's hard to drive). I can't even bend down to pick something up without almost falling over. I can only use the Afrin at night b/c if I use it during the day it stops working so for the past four years I've been breathing out of my mouth all day and only at night do I have relief. Because I don't use it during the day my head is stuffed up during the day and I feel like I dan't think. It's like having a cold for 4 years. Anyways, I just feel depressed and hopeless.
kimsmom last decade
hi kimsmom we sound very similar. Read my post above. I still have not opened up on one side the second i touch inside the nose it instantly stufs up and very sore im not sure what is going on with that. No doctors would help they just say stop.After so many years i did stop and then i got sick and had to use it once at night for 2 days i dont think i had rebound though. And i had to use it a couple times a week ago as my dog is dying and litearlly spent hours crying which really stuffed it up so bad i couldn't take the pain but i have not used it for at least a week at all. The doctor said since i used it for so many years will take a long time but i dont know if it will ever come back i think its so damaged. but xrays showed it was normal and that was while i was still taking it. this drug should be illegal as it is more addictive than acohol or any illegal drug. I just got so scared that it could be damaging my hurt and for my daughter i had to stop. But at first i did the one side at a time. I dont find the over the counter medications helped just reactive with sinus but it has the same bad ingredient the spray has but doesnt cause rebound so u can take that untill it starts to open up. I know you said you cant use it and to be honest i think its the only way u will be able to stop i tried so many times and couldn't and been on every perscrption for sprays there is!
elissa last decade
my dog died and ive been cying non stop and used otrivin today and last night the rebound was very bad and painful now i will have to start all over. the greif is so bad so im very stuffed up
elissa last decade
I have been addicted to nasal spray for 3 years, I will not name a brand for legal purposes but I will tell you it's the kind that has the extra menthol kick that other brands don't have. I have been using it every night in order to sleep knowing it was possibly harmful. I have had nose bleeds as well. I knew this problem was getting out of hand when each time I would go to the doctors office I would have a sinus infection and pressure behind my ears, every time I was prescribed an antibiotic and it did help somewhat but my sinus infection always came back. I don't have allergies. I could never kick the habit of having to have my nasal spray by my bed at night and when the bottle was lost or misplaced I would go into a fit and freak out like an addict. About 2 months ago I had an onset of motion sickness, the whole dizziness along with the feeling nauseous. I couldn't get up and walk without being physically sick or tipping over. I was out of town and went into a clinic and was diagnosed with Vertigo which is basically motion sickness in which the doctor gave me a prescription for which I learned later was basically Dramamine. I took it 3 times a day along with some old antibiotics that were left over from a past sinus infection (this is not recommended) It took me 3 weeks to finally get over this 'spell' in which I was bedridden and yes, still using my nasal spray.
Just recently I had been feeling the motion sickness/vertigo come back and decided to tell my doctor about my spells of vertigo while I was having my yearly physical she checked my ears and nose and told me 'wow you have so much pressure in your sinuses and ears I can't believe it!' of course I was too embarrassed to tell her I was addicted to the nasal spray. I was infected once again with a sinus infection, in which I had no clue. I was not stuffed up at the time and didn't even have a cold. She said that when pressure builds up into the sinuses and the inner ear it can actually break the delicate bones in your ear and cause vertigo. So now my little problem of using nasal spray only 1 time a day is not so little. Not only is it harmful to your nose/nasal passages it can cause so much damage you have to have surgery to put your inner ear bones back together. She wanted me to have a scan of my head and I told her I just could'nt afford it right now. She prescribed me a heavy dose of antibiotics and a steroid nasal spray in which she warned me it would take a while to work. I knew I had one chance to cure this, once I took the antibiotics I could never take one spray of my over the counter nasal spray again or I would be back to square one. I knew it was going to be hell but I had comfort that I would have the steroid nasal spray to use, I just had to wait for it to kick in. The 1st night was awful I was congested, couldn't sleep. I finally took a OTC oral decongestant (the kind the pharmacists have stashed behind the counter) and it worked enough that I could sleep. The 2nd night I used my steroid nasal spray and woke up congested again but a little bit better than the night before again I popped the OTC oral decongestant and went back to sleep. The 3rd night, used my steroid nasal spray and slept through the whole night without any pills, I was so excited! Now keep in mind I have been on 3-4 days of heavy duty antibiotics that are probably taking effect now. Each night it gets better. Less dizziness and nausea. No more nose bleeds! I am convinced you have to have the combo of the steroid nasal spray AND the antibiotics at the same time to cure the nasal spray addiction. I now know it is possible to overcome the addiction thanks to recent posts. I know I will never be able to go back to using nasal spray even for bad colds. I hope I have not permanently damaged my inner ear bones and my nasal passages which will require surgery and hope I wont have to live with vertigo forever. I will continue to finish my antibiotics and steroid spray and will let you all know how it goes. Nasal spray addiction is serious and no one should hesitate about talking to your doctor about it.
givemeineed last decade
Making up your mind to give up the sprays is a great start.

Make sure you tell your doctor about your use of the OTC sprays. Most don't take it seriouly but some will. I also use the OTC decongestant and also an antihistamine as needed.

If you have a cold or a serious sinus infection ask your doctor about a shot of cortizone. It works wonders to help reduce the swelling. Keep using the steroid nasal spray too.

If you haven't done so, throw out the OTC sprays so you won't be tempted to use it again. At some point you will want to use it again so make sure its not around.
dzfromny last decade
I've been addicted to nasal spray for about 30 years, and aside from the nuisance and the cost, I never had suffered any ill effects. Then back in Sept, because of nagging from my mother, husband and best friend, I decided to try and get off the stuff. In the beginning I just cut back on the usage and suffered with some congestion for longer periods. The first week seemed pretty good, and I was able to stay off the spray for 27 hours in one nostril and 24 in the other. I felt like I was going to beat the addiction. Then my nose began to go haywire: pain in septum, irritation of septum, tons of post nasal drip, then extreme dryness, my nose completely stopped producing boogers. Also, I began getting sinus pressure and congestion further back, which I had never in 30 years experienced. Each day it was something different. I then began cutting the spray with saline to about 55/45 spray/saline and found it worked just as well as the full dose, but my nose continued to go thru an array of weird symptoms weekly. I decided to go to an ETN to get advice. He sprayed some awful stuff in my nose to 'numb it', gave me a cortisone based spray to use once a day and told me to stop the regular spray. Within about 18 hours of the visit, my right tear duct was swollen, and the spray he gave me did no good at all (it actually STUFFED UP my nose). I went back to my diluted mixture. Bought some Sinus Buster, which also stuffed up my nose. I decided I would just have to continue with the diluted mixture, then suddenly last Tuesday my nose stopped opening near the front. The spray still worked on congestion further back, but the front was clogged unless I gently pulled my nostril out on either side, then it was completely clear. I can manage during the day, but at night must use one of those nasal strips so I can sleep. I feel like my life has become a nightmare, I am getting panicky, suicidal and am just plain terrified. I have an appt. with an allergist on Tuesday, but am afraid it will just be more paying out of money to someone who will not be able to help. I have no health insurance and am constantly struggling to pay bills, so to keep spending money on doctors and meds that don't do any good is just not possible for me. I am at the end of my rope and just don't know what to do anymore. The ironic thing is that my nose was fine and I was happy and healthy until I tried to get OFF the nasal spray...
Wallie last decade
willie tried to post my email wouldnt let me i wanted to talk to you about it. I posted before i got rid of it after 14 years and then my dog died and i was crying so much would plug me up. After a couple months of stopped the OTRIVIN i dont care about legal problems these drugs need to be taken off the market. Then i started again but had to use it one spray every few days or so. My nose never opened up during these months but because of all these years i patiently waited. I have been really sick the last month and a half on and off. And I sprayed once a day on the side that is always swollen and more stuffed up, and then 2 days ago i gave in after feeling so sick and the nausea was so bad that i needed some relief. I have to take morphine for my joint problem in my face so even without this nose thing i have to live every second of my life in severe pain in my head and face. I felt so proud of myself stopping the otrivin and one little spray and I am starting all over again. That one little spray in the side that I havent used for months now rebounded hours after I took it. I was desparate to sleep this morning as i woke up at 5, i was already sick and couldnt miss any work and i needed to fall back to sleep which i didnt and i sprayed and rebounded after only a few hours. So I am back to square one. I havent sprayed since this morning but this is torture. I know I will spray tonight if i cant sleep but on the bad side only. When I stopped it, I went cold turkey. I find the saline spray stuffs me up more. I take the allergy and sinus tablets but it doesnt help and it keeps me up all night but I have to take it anyway. So after being so proud of myself I made a huge mistake. I should of thrown them out so I wouldnt be tempted. I take the rhinocourt as well which i find makes me more stuffy and when I dont take it I dont find that I'm anymore stuffed up when I do. please feel free to email me we can talk I know the desparate feeling. I already suffer enough with my pain, this sinus pain is adding to it. I've had my open face surgery 3 times now, I've had ribs taken out. Had my jaw wired shut for 2 months and squirted liquid food in the side of my mouth for 2 months. I had radation. But I can honestly say that stopping the otrivin was/is the hardest thing i've ever done.
elissa last decade
Well, I went to the allergist and he was young and kind and compassionate. So that was good. He also only charged me half the fee - even better, and gave me an inexpensive prescription and some free samples of Astelin. Problem is, the Astelin does exactly what every other prescription spray does - it completely closes up my sinus passages in less than a minute. My nose was actually fairly open when I used it, and within 30 seconds it felt like someone had put fast drying cement in there. I am unable to get any air at all (fortunately I was smart enough to only use it in one nostril). I've tried using plain saline several times in the last hour, but it won't even go thru the passage - just ends up dripping back out my nose. I looked up Astelin on teh web and found it is a histamine blocker - that really bummed me out as I fail to see how that is going to help with rebound congestion, which is a blood vessel issue. I am trying to tough this out, but unless I can get at least a little bit of air going thru within the next hour or so I know I will break down and use my nasal spray. Oh - the prescription was for prednisone - an anti-inflammatory, took that about a half hour ago, but no change. I used the Astelin over an hour ago and still completely clogged.
Wallie last decade
If you go back to the allergist ask him for a shot of cortizone. Its an anti inflammatory steroid. You should feel relief from the stuffiness within hours.

Personally, I hate prednisone. They gave it to me once for a sinus infection and I will never take it again. Its like taking speed. My energy level was out of this world, I couldn't sleep, I was waking up at 5 AM to go and exercise.

12 hour Sudafed works wonders for me but that might keep you up at night also. Try taking it about 6 PM and see if that works.

I was also using the sprays for almost 30 years, only at night so I could sleep. The combination of a cortisone shot, the 12 hour Sudafed and the rhinocort spray has kept me off the sprays for 18 months which is longer than I have ever gone. I don't even have the desire to try them again.

Keep up with the Rhinocort, it takes about 2 weeks for it to really start to work. If you start to get nose bleeds, reduce the amount you are taking.
dzfromny last decade
I have a much better way to get rid of nasal spray addiction. I have used nasal spray for 20 years, I finally get rid of it. Here is how. simple and easy, all you have to do is dilute the nasal spray 10% with salt water (or pure water) the first week, and then 20% salt water the second week, and keep going. By doing this, your nose won't know the difference, and you can continue use your diluted nasal spray. after 7 or 8 weeks, you shall notice you won't need much nasal spray any more, after 10 weeks, you are using salt water 100%, and you can stop that any time. I gave this method to a couple of my friends, both of them got rid of nasal spray in 2 months..If 1 week is not enough time for you to go down on percentage of nasal spray, do it every two weeks. go slow, and your nose will adjust to it sooner or later...
hypogirl80 last decade
I've been diluting my spray, but started at just under 50/50 - that worked just as well, but have been using it like that for about 3 weeks now - kind of afraid to go to the next stage of dilution.

My biggest problem is that the front of my nose is already ruined - I can only get it open using a Breath-Right strip - I guess the veins are frozen in a slightly swollen position. Dunno if there is any operation that can do something about removing the swelling - I have heard it is like having varicose veins in the nose.

Prednisone is not keeping me awake at all, but I don't think it is helping either.

I am going to continue with the dilution and pray that the veins in the back passages hold out until I can get clear. I don't know if the front damaged vessels are from the spray (it happened very quickly) or if it is a result of some stuff that the ENT sprayed in my nose a few days prior to that difficulty that may have upset it.

My biggest problem is fighting the depression that this is causing me, plus the constant obsession on my nose, I just can't stop thinking about it, every waking moment.

I cannot use any of the cortisone sprays - they immediately plug me up as if I put cement in my nose, and it refuses to clear at all...
Wallie last decade
If you already at 50/50 dilution, you should go down more, slowly, may be 5% per week or 2 weeks, so that your nose won't noticed the difference. I am not sure your other nose problems are related to nasal spray, but to get rid this nasal spray may help, if not, then go from there. at least you take care one problem first.
good luck..
hypogirl80 last decade
I tried last night to cut the spray a bit more - just added a few extra drops of saline, but found that my nose wasn't responding to it. I had to use 3 sprays instead of one, giving me the panicked feeling that it is getting worse, not better. I kept the Breathe-Right strips off for 72 hours (including one full night) but had to use one last night to sleep. And now it doesn't even seem to be completely helping on the one side, even with the strip my breathing is more limited, leaving me fearing that the veins are swelling more in the front. I just feel like I am being tortured every minute. :-(
Wallie last decade
it is hard to believe that your nose is so sensitive, may be you had other problems at that time. Anyway, try just one drop see what happen. you also have to know how many drops of nasal spray in the bottle too. the percentage(%) must be exactly correct. If 50/50 works, then 51/49 ought to work. no human nose that sensitive...
hypogirl80 last decade
I told Wallie my opinon on diluting. I was an extremly heavy user, going no more than 30 mins in between sprays except when I'm asleep for years. I didn't try diluting but by diluting you are still going to have rebound. So I went longer periods without spraying and once side at a time. I started with the good side as I knew the bad side would take longer to respond. It only took 24 hours for the good side to open. I was shocked I expected it to take weeks. The bad said never opened all the way but it was tolerable to go on with life without using the spray.It took alot of willpower. But, now I startd using again the past week once every 12 or 24 hours and i am ashamed of myself. I've been sick so much the last couple months and could not tolerate the pain it was causing me. Again, I have artifical tmj joints so I already live with severe pain my head and face and the nose conjestion worens the pain. I have to wear a fentenol patch and take morphine tablets every few hours. Quitting the otrivin was the hardest thing i've done.Much harder than having my ribs taken out, the inside of my face reconstructed 3 times, radation and having my jaw wired shut for months. Being sick, my dogs death,my grandmothers current battle with cancer, has caused alot of crying which in return stuffs up my nose for hours. I had to spray at night as I went 5 nights last week with only a few hours sleep, and I do customer service so when on calls being stuffed up I could hardly talk as I couldnt breathe from my mouth. I have to start over again but I dont feel hopeless as I did it before. Before I was using it constantly now I have been using it every 24 or 12 hours. I am so mad at myself I have to do this again and I promise you when I do it again, otrivin is going in the garbage so I will never be tempted again. Even after a few months without it, only one spray in one side of my nose caused rebound!! I strongly feel these sprays should be illegal or only avail by perscription. No doctor will allow you to overdose. I dont want to spend the rest of my life having to leave the room so I can snort nasal spray. I dont feel any better than a street addict. If it wasent for this site I wouldnt of even tried to stop as I did in the past with no luck. It is painful and uncomfertable but think of your love ones and what damage this is doing to your heart. I am taking the allergy and sinus which also is harmful to my heart but once I get rid of the spray again I will then get rid of the allergy pill.
elissa last decade
The reason that I like the dilute method is because you won't suffer at all. You can still use your spray (diluted) as many times as you want. At end, it is all salt or pure water, there will be no rebound even you use it many times a day. In fact, after you get rid of 70-80% of nasal spray, rebound affect is already diminished by that time.
hypogirl80 last decade

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