≡ ▼
ABC Homeopathy Forum



Similar posts:

Nasal Spray Addiction 2


The ABC Homeopathy Forum

Nasal Spray Addiction Page 8 of 11

This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
I am sitting here at work and I was reading these posts. I am 24 and WAS addicted to nasal spray for just over 2 years. It all started with a cold and I used it and was unable to stop. I too felt the same way that everyone on here felt and that is that I could not live without it. I was that girl that had a little white bottle in my nitestand drawer, in my purse, in my car, in my locker at work and freaked out if I ever went on vacation or camping anywhere away from home and didn't have it. I thought about a year ago that I was addicted and then thought....There's no way you can be addicted to Nasal sprays. Well while I was sitting here at work one nite I looked up Nasal Spray addiction online and realized I was not alone. I realized at that point that it is possible to get addicted to this stuff and that it can cause longterm damage down the road. I got to the point where I was using it frequently during the day and ALWAYS right before bed...it wasn't just the one puff in each nostril it was three or four just to stop the congestion. I realized about mid december that the inside of my nose was completely raw and that everytime I'd blow my nose blood would come out. I honestly felt like a crack addict. That is when I realized this madness has to stop and I'm a stronger person than this and that I cannot let Nasal spray control me. I know it sounds stupid but those that have been addicted to it know what I'm talking about. I stopped cold turkey on December 20th 2009 and let me tell you it's the best thing I've done for myself. I've read about Rhinostat and diluting the substance, but by quitting cold turkey you are giving it up completely and get off quicker...I believe anyway. I decided that on the 20th I was done...I went home and threw out my 6 bottles I had stashed around my house....6 BOTTLES!!! I mean seriously I was soooo embarassed by this. I went to walgreens and bought sudefed PE and I took that for three nites in a row and DID NOT use the spray. It was a little rough but after the sudefed kicked in I was better. I also slept with my head elevated a little in bed...that was rough because then my neck hurt from laying a different way. Within 5 days I was completely off and will NEVER use it ever again!!! It's the best feeling to not have to depend on something as silly as nasal spray to help you breath. If you have patience and the motivation to get off this stuff you can do it within a week guaranteed!! I know the first few days are going to be hard, but it will get better I promise!!! My nose to this day still is sore on the inside and sometimes hurts to blow it but the blood has stopped and I believe it's healing up on it's own. I can definitly sympathize with anyone that is going through this...good luck to anyone trying to get rid of thier nasal spray addiction...
Coley last decade
meanwhile after I posted i will not do it again, I did. I have a really bad cold. I used it twice a day yesterday, one today and at night for a couple days. I only used as directed, every 8 hours but I hate myself. I think I have a sinus infection. I am going to try to go to the doctor tomorrow. last time i was sick i did use it once at night for 3 days but did not get back in the habit. I took tablets but they arent doing anything. I just pray this isnt going to force me back into it again. I feel so shameful. Almost 5 months without it, I still was stuffed up, but I put up with this, but with this illness its just so bad I cant function and had to do it :( going to try to get to a doctor, maybe i need antibiotics.
elissa last decade
see i say i will never go back again and this cold is unreal! I sprayed it once at night for a couple days today i had to spray 3 times, once every 5-6 hours. I am terrifyed after this cold I will be back on it. Its such a brutal struggle. I wish we could get this medication banned. We should go public witho ur addictions, maybe will help others.
elissa last decade
I forgot to ad maybe we should bring this website to their attention. Yes we didnt follow the warnings but they should put long term effects under side effects, and how damaging it is. I am sure I have a sinus infection. I've been since since Tuesday night but the cold go so much worse today. I took tablets, I tried SO hard not to spray but this is one of the worst colds i've ever had and the congestion and pain is unreal. I will go to a clinic tomorrow, but even after being clean for 4 months, I am ASHAMED in myself as I'm sure my family is too :(
elissa last decade
Solution to otrivin addicts or afrin addicts is here: Use fluticasole propionate or Flonase. This is a steroid. Should be used for 30 to 40 days to get rid of otrivin addiction. I used otrivin for 3 years. My indian Doc suggested a surgery. He said that I have Deviated Septum. Luckily I had to go to USA immidiately before I could get surgery done. I consumed otrivin stock which I have carried with me. Then I had to see a doc there in US. He gave me this medicine. I could get reid of otrivin. With first use of Fluticasole for 30 days, I was Ok, but this slight nasal block was still there. I repeated the therapy again and now ok with it.
mahendrask last decade
I've literally read this whole thread from start to finish. Like many others, I found it while doing a Google search for Nasal Spray Addiction. I share similarities with so many of the posters here, its uncanny!

I never struggled with nasal issues or allergies while growing up, but after the birth of my second child, I started having bad reactions to dust and cats. I'm not convinced its a full on allergy, because I don't have any other allergic symptoms, other than having my nose block up and my eyes itching.

My mom used to use a nasal spray called Drixine - the equipvalent of Afrin (the packaging even looks the same). She suggested I use this a couple of times when I started losing sleep from not being able to breathe.

From there on out, my story is pretty much the same as everybody else on here. The panic attacks, the anxiety of almost running out of spray, the constant worry about where I put the bottle...

After reading this thread yesterday I decided that I need to kick the habit permanently. I have diluted my spray with a 80/20 ratio of spray to pure distilled water solution, and I am using it in *one nostril only*. So far, it seems to be working just as well as the undiluted spray, and if this holds up, I will dilute further. The unsprayed nostil did block completely for a large part yesterday, as well as when I was sleeping, but I find as long as I am able to breathe through at least one nostril, I don't panic so much.

I noticed that the unsprayed nostril also discharged a liquid, runny and absolutely clear as water for about 3 or 4 hours. That has stopped now, thankfully!! This morning, it seems much much clearer than it has been, and I don't have that awful dryness from the spray that the other side has!

Will keep everybody up to date with how I get on. Thank you so much for everybody who shared their stories and successes with giving up this awful habit.
Pixelwitch last decade
thats how i quit, the website gave me strength. Since my last post I have not used it.I used it for those 5 days while i was sick. I did end up having a sinus infection, and after the antibiotics kicked in. I am happy I had the willpower to not let it go out of hand. To the posters who write you can use this perscription spray and you will be okay, that is not the case with 90 percent of us. I have been prescribed every nasal spray and none of them helped. I
am currently still taking rhinocourt but I do not feel it does anything, but if I dont the doctor says I may end up having infections.
elissa last decade
The itchy eyes are a symptom of an allergic reaction. You should consider going to an Allergist for testing.

I'm sure you've read my earlier posts about combining prescription Rhinocort with over the counter psuedophedrine. If your mucus is clear, that is another sign of an allergic reaction. For a runny nose, take Zyrtec or the no name equivalent.
dzfromny last decade
Hi dzxfromny,

Yep, its quite possible it is an allergy of some kind, but I rarely get 'itchy eye syndrome' - only really occassionally outside while someone is the area is mowing their lawn or if my cat spent too much time on my lap. I would prefer not to use any other medication at all, although I keep Clarityne on me in case I get the itchies. I think in New Zealand Claratyne might be different than the Claritin I've seen posters refer to. Claritin here is an OTC allergy medicine which works pretty well.

I'm planning on putting some effort into giving up - if I am still having issues 3 weeks from now, I will seek medical assistance. Meanwhile, today has actually been pretty good! :D
Pixelwitch last decade
keep at it pixelwitch you are doing what i did. I took the sinus cold tablets and allergy tablets but didnt really help, I felt the same without it then I did with it, and all those pills are bad for your heart.
elissa last decade
Its been 3 difficult weeks, but I'm finally over it! Haven't taken any spray, diluted or otherwise for 10 days now, and I am finally able to breathe freely without it! There is still some congestion in one nostril at night when I sleep, but the other is completely clear. Its not enough to keep me awake at night, I can breathe well enough.

I can't tell you guys how glad I am I found this thread and the inspirational advice that helped me get rid of this digusting habit. Thank you!!!
Pixelwitch last decade
Congratulations on your victory. Its tougher to do than most people realize.

Just be aware, there might come a point where you are tempted to use the sprays again. Just make sure you avoid the temptation and stay off them.

Great job.
dzfromny last decade
I am a professional fighter and suffered a badly crushed nose on november 7th, 2009. i couldn't breathe at all through my nose for over 2 months. It was impossible to sleep through the night and training was a little difficult.
However I was getting ready to appear on an upcoming television series competition and needed a quick fix. I have no insurance and can't get surgery so I thought to try Afrin.
It has been about a month now and I think I am working on either my 3rd or 4th bottle.
I read most of this thread in search of answers and remedies. I'm amazed to find that so many people have this problem. This thread has been going on for years! And somehow the stuff is still on the market, even though I've found several accounts of people claiming to have become suicidal from this!
If anyone has any good remedies please post them! Right now the most common thing I read is to delute the Afrin with saline solution and slowly ween yourself off or to quit cold turkey, and after a week of hell should be ok.
Look forward to finding out more.
clebo last decade
I started using Afrin for a really horrendous sinus infection, and I was using it for a week and a half, 2-3 squirts each side 3-4 times per day. I made up my mind to get off it, and this is how I did it. I started with only using it in my right nostril, and only 1 squirt when I REALLY needed it. It took about 3 days for the left side to completely heal, and it wasn't too hard because I could breathe through my right nostril. Then came the hard part- quitting altogether. The last time I used it was last night around 8 pm. I didn't sleep for a single moment all night. The way I got through it was to put a few drops of Sunbreeze (it's an essential oil mixture of menthol, eucalyptus, and some other stuff) in a mug of hot water and inhale it. Doing that kept my left side open enough that I didn't have to run back to the Afrin. I have been doing that literally alllll night long, and my right side remained completely blocked. Then just a few minutes ago, miraculously, my right nostril just opened up all of a sudden and I can breathe almost normally now. I'm so jittery from lack of sleep and panic, but this is the best feeling in the world.
CEMcGee last decade
Don't be surprised if you get the urge to use it again at some point just because its quick and easy. Just be strong and keep off the stuff or you will be back to square one.

dzfromny last decade
I have been a user of Otrivin nasal sray for well over 25 years and it was like the only spray that would relieve my congestion.I even mentioned this to my doctor.In early Dec I got a sinus infection that took 4 courses of different antibiotics to get rid of it(not to mention heavy usage of Otivin) and I convinced my doctor to refer me to a specialist.At the visit I was diagnosed with nasal polyps and he told me I was an spray addict and had to come off it if we were to proceed with treatment which may or may not include surgery.He prescribed Prednisone to shrink the polyps and within 3 days I had radical improvement and could breath without the aid of nasal spray.I will never take that S#*& ever again.I am fearful to what the long term affects are as my sense of smell and taste has been declining and I am left with a funny kind of irritating sweet smell which hopefully will get better with time or treatment.Do yourself a huge favour avoid these over the counter sprays at all costs and see a specialist
pjstephe last decade
Otrivin is bad, but Prednisone is worse. Do not take Prednisone more than one or two months. and you should reduce the dosage slowly until all stop..... Go read on the internet about Prednisone. Based on my experience (40 years), dilution method is the best.. good luck to you..
hypogirl80 last decade
I am in day 2 of quitting Otrivin cold turkey after a 1 year addiction. I've had enough after reading what it is doing to my body. As of late I have unexplained headaches, blurred vision, and my sinus cavities ache. My phsician told me to try Aerius 24 hour plus a saline solution nasal spray, which makes me 'feel' like i am getting a hit. I actually can breathe somewhat with the allergy pills, which is making this tolerable although my sinuses feel swollen. Night time relief includes nasal strips that open your passages immediately - they do work. If I could, I would walk around with these on all day! Question for you out there who have been down this road - how long until I feel like myself? I feel a bit panicky that I will never be able to breathe properly again. Thanks all, and good luck.
hardtobreatheinont last decade
You might also want to try some Sudafed it comes in a 4-6 hr, 12 hour and 24 hour pills. Buy a generic brand to save money. It might make you restless but it will help with the stuffiness.

The symptoms of your year long use of the sprays will gradually go away. If its only been a year I would say you should feel some relief over a few days but it might take a while to make it permanent. Whatever you do NEVER use them again or you will be right back to square one.

If have allergies, it will be a constant battle depending on the pollen count.
dzfromny last decade
I have glanced at this thread a few times in the past few years, and decided to give my input. Like many others you guys have helped me understand the nature of this addiction and for that I thank you.

First off, given the nature of my addiction I have little to offer some of you long term users beyond moral support, which I gladly give. I sympathize with what you guys are going through - this stuff sucks.

Here's my story. I never had any allergy symptoms until I was about 13 or 14 years old (I am 22 now). I never had a doctor identify exactly what I'm allergic too (for which I blame my parents) but my symptoms are seasonal in the spring so I believe they're typical seasonal allergies. Anyway, when I first got allergies I began using Otrivin to relieve congestion. Otrivin was a product my parents introduced me too as a kid when I would get the occasional cold, and I had never had addiction problems with it before. When I started using it for allergies it got to the point that I was using it a few times a day for about 6 months, not understanding that my congestion was due to a dependency on the spray rather than the allergies themselves. I get the classic cemented-shut sinuses which most of you have described. I saw my doctor eventually and he explained to me that products like Otrivin were addictive, and with a combination of Sudafed and willpower I went cold turkey and eventually kicked it.

Basically my addiction today goes like this. Once a year I typically get addicted for a two week to month long period. Usually I start using in the spring because of allergies, but sometimes its a cold (though I don't get sick too often, for which I am thankful) that sparks it. I always say I won't use it, but I inevitably give in.

For me this is because the addiction is a combination of sleep and social issues. The biggest thing, like most of you, is that I cannot sleep a wink when my sinuses are completely plugged - not a wink. This is why when I get sick or allergy congestion I inevitable give in. What sparks it is also social - there will be something for which I HAVE to be able to breathe clearly. The runny nose and cemented sinuses can be socially awkward or make concentrating difficult. Something like a job interview, university exam, or social engagement will cause me to give in. These are the usual reasons why my rebound periods start after I give in due to cold or allergies.

Luckily, I usually manage to quit after a few weeks. Essentially it comes down to shocking my system. My advice is a combination of Sudafed, Tylenol Cold, Fisherman's Friend candies (which help to a very small extent with the rebound congestion, atleast for a few minutes), lots of hot tea, neo-citrin (for the same reason as the cough candies), Breathe Right strips, and above all committing yourself to a few sleepless nights (obviously the hardest part). If I can get through this horrible period I can usually kick the habit (my allergies are mild enough to control with 24hr Reactine). It certainly isn't easy. My rebound congestion can get pretty severe, to the point where I cannot even swallow without badly popping my ears. The depression and anxiety this all causes makes prolonging the use of the spray SO tempting, but eventually you need to commit yourself to kicking it.

Obviously this method will not work for some of you with more long-term issues. Because I have not suffered from long-term addiction quitting is usually a relatively short if horrible process. When I get hooked I can feel the damage Otrivin does to my nose and throat, and I suppose my overall approach is that ANY kind of irritant up there will only make things worse.

I am sorry I have little to offer you guys that have long term and more serious underlying problems. All I can offer is that a healthy active lifestyle has certainly helped me stay off the stuff for the most part. I take vitamin C and a multivitamin everyday, and try and stay as fit as possible. A healthier lifestyle improves your health in ALL ways, including sinus health. More practically, it will help you avoid the colds which so often cause us to relapse.

I am currently hooked right now due to allergies and trying to kick the stuff before I go away for the weekend at the end of April. I only got a few hours of sleep last night and that was only because I caved and used it on one nostril, but today my real quitting attempt shall begin. I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes and if I try anything new that seems to work. I think that, especially because I have revisited this forum, this could be the last time I get addicted. No matter how bad cold or allergy congestion gets this is simply not worth the relief these products provide. The situational social/everyday life stuff which makes using more tempting will certainly be a challenge during allergy season, but I'm just gonna have to commit myself to never picking up a bottle of the stuff again, period.

I guess in the end we all have to hang in their through the worst of it. There is always hope. Always. Thanks for starting this discussion guys. It has reminded me of that even in the most frantic late-night moments. I wish you all the best of luck.
benphi26 last decade
Oh, and it must be noted that combining medictions, like combining Sudafed and Tylenol cold should be done with extreme caution, expeiaclly with Sudafed formulas that contain Ibuprophen
benphi26 last decade
My nose spray addiciton started as a child and continued through out adulthood. I got a brief reprieve after a rhinoplasty in 1993, but a few years later I started using Afrin again during a bad cold and have not been able to sleep without it since. Unless I have a head cold (once every 3 hours), I have been using it at least once a day. I tried going cold turkey, but it was just impossible...giving up smoking was easy by comparison. I would like to share a withdrawal process that seems to be working. It combines 3 separate tools but does not include doctors visits, prescription steroid sprays, oral prednisone, or anti-biotics:

1) Nasal irrigation: I ordered a Nasaline irrigation kit (it is a large 2 oz syringe with a soft plastic bulb at the end...not terribly expensive like some of the electric nasal irrigaters and works even better. I also bought 50 of their pre-measured saline packets. I irrigate each nostril morning and night. It is important to do this BEFORE your breathing gets congested! If your nose is stuffed, the saline will back up into your ear canal or you'll just swallow it. My breathing during the day and early evening(without a mid day hit of Afrin) has never felt this clear. The main issue remains the late evening and bed time:

2) BreathRight strips. These work wonders but won't do the job alone. I put one on (after gently rubbing the nose with alcohol to help the adhesive) a couple hours before bed. I found that putting the nasal strip on before irrigation helps clear the passages enough so you don't have to take a hit of Afrin to un-clog.

3)VERY gradually diluting the Afrin with non-preserved saline solution. There is a titration kit sold on the internet for ~$35.00+S&H but I figured I would try it myself since I'm using saline w distilled water for the irrigation anyway. The internet site suggests a 15% titration rate. It is important not to over do it. You just need a small(6cc syringe)and an empty bottle to mix the solution. I started with 5cc (80%)Afrin to 1(20%)cc saline. I'm adding .25cc saline every night. In less than a week, I'm down to 60% Afrin. I am using
lfnyc last decade
i thought i should share this in this forum.I am 57 yrs old.Remember to have been having this nasal blockage problem since i was say 11yrs old. i distinctly remember my mom taking me to a local doc and him putting a drop or two of some nasal spray.may be once or twice a month till i was about 15. then i had to shift my place of residence to join some college. Though i remember distinct bouts of nasal blockages and cold we were not that wel off to go to a doc for such silly things! yeah thats how my problem appeared to my folks and even me too!then i went on to do engineering and sayed in a hostel. But I was growing up to be a strong boy and healthy hostel food, games, exercise etc must have given me some immunity from this nasal problems. Or i was so occupied with my various activities and this problem wasnt bothering me. not once i remember to have used any spray till 1975. Now i had started earning and i used to buy sprays and keep though rarely used em. it gave a confidence that if my nostrils get blocked i have a solution. Then got married. Not wanting to have a blocked nose/ snore as a result of a blockage started using regularly since then. Now it is almost 26 years. at times I use nasal drops at night only. and at times three/four times a day when having cold or congestion. Only one particular brand suitys me. salt mix sprays do not suit me. I am yet to see a doctor for this. But as I am otherwise very healthy and very active in sports etc i never thought of addressing this as a problem.Or is it a problem?
noseyguy last decade
Hi, my name is V, I have been using nasal spray for over 5 years. I started using it only at bed time at first but it progressed to the point where I use it every two hours now. It totaly changed the quality of my life. I wake up several times at night to use spray, even spray alone doesnt work any more, I have to rince my nose with the sailine solution first and then use spray. Sometimes I cant go back to sleep and I go to work tired. Its realy efecting my job preformance. I am very irritated. I cant enjoy food, because I have to swallow it with out chewing properly. I stoped working out, because I am getting dizy from the lack of oxygen. I also had a couple of panic attacks. Evry area of my life is efected by this ediction. I am not enjoying my life todey. If you can help me I will be very gratefull.
vovachec last decade
First of all I strongly encourage noseyguy and voyachec to seek medical help from and Ear, Nose & Throat or Allergy doctor.

I only used the sprays at night but it was for over 35 years. The sprays cause a 'rebound' effect that makes your sinuses more stuffy requiring you to keep using them.

I have successfully used a combination of a cortizone shot from my Dr. along with generic Zyrtec, generic Sudafed and a prescription cortizone spray.

Even with all this quitting cold turkey was very challenging. I did it when I had a few vacation days when I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep.

Please seek medical attention but you must be mentally prepared for the challenge.
dzfromny last decade
V, dilution method should help you. do it slowly...
hypogirl80 last decade

Post ReplyTo post a reply, you must first LOG ON or Register


Information given in this forum is given by way of exchange of views only, and those views are not necessarily those of ABC Homeopathy. It is not to be treated as a medical diagnosis or prescription, and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified homeopath or physician. It is possible that advice given here may be dangerous, and you should make your own checks that it is safe. If symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention. Bear in mind that even minor symptoms can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and a timely diagnosis by your doctor could save your life.