I posted this on the addiction board and was advised that I might want to post it here instead. So, here goes...
I have been using Afrin regularly for about 9 months. I started using it because it openend my nasal passages wide and helped me to sing better. Now I have to use it 3-4 times a day to breathe. I tried to stop it only to be unable to breathe at all. A few days went by and I finally crumbled. I had to use it again. I couldn't sleep or talk. I was miserable.
I carry one bottle in my pocket, keep one at work, one near the bed, one in the bathroom, and I even have one in my gym bag for fear that it will wear off and I won't be able to breath again. It is that uncomfortable.
I need some help to be able to breathe again without the use of Nasal Spray. Anyone know what I can do?
I'm addicted to it too! I just carry it with me at all times. Is there something OTC I can switch to to wean me off? The decongestants in Nyquil and Dayquil don't do it.
No, ordinary decongestants don't alleviate this. I was also informed that using this nasal spray all the time can cause high blood pressure. Who would have thought? I agree, if there was something out there not addictive I could use to wean off of it that would help.
I tried saline nasal drops on a recommendation, but that didn't help.
My ENT told me you just have to get off it cold turkey.Then you use saline nasal sprays.They don't work as well but as long as you are using the Afrin and try to do it you are getting a rebound effect and it makes it worse.The longer you use it the worse your symptoms will get.
Becky, Did your ENT say how long it might take to kick? I mean, I can't sleep when I can't breath. It's like having the stuffiest nose from the worst cold in the world that won't go away.
I do understand the rebound effect. Every time I stop and then start a couple of days later it works less than it used to so I have to use more. I can't believe I am addicted to this stuff.
I think there should be more than just a little warning on the bottle that says "do not use for more than 3 days. Frequent or prolonged use may cause nasal congestion to come back or get worse."
It does not mention that it is a habit forming and a drug one may become dependent on.
Think the surgeon general and I need to have a talk... heh.
I have a solution for you to try. It still is not the best but I heard that it works. I was also addicted and tried to go "cold turkey". It was miserable. Anyway, I read that the way to break this addiction is to just use the spray in one nostril at bedtime or whenever and leave the other nostril free. As you start to get used to this, then go " cold turkey". At least you are not dealing with both sides at once and can still breath. Hope this helps.
I have had so many problems with being addicted to this stuff!! The last time I went to my ENT, he told me it is bad not only because of the rebound effect, but because also because it can damage the inside of your nose (and it cannot be repaired--he told me he used to use Afrin and is now paying the price for it). This scared me, so now I make such an effort not to use it.
The way I "got clean" was my ENT gave me a steroid shot. It didn't help right away, but after a few days I was off the Afrin. I was also using a decongestant. I still use decongestants everyday, and from what the ENT told me, this is OK. So I would say by all means, go ahead and use the sudafed. Good luck in "kicking the habit." I know it's tough! God bless!
I used an Afrin type nasal spray for MANY years and never had a problem. I heard the warnings about rebound but never saw it. I was using it during the day and then later mainly at bedtime because I would wake up stuffed and couldn't breathe. It got to be a habit to use a small spray at night, but then I realized I didn't need it during the daytime an maybe I didn't need it at night. I stopped and realized I didn't need it anymore. I don't know why. The strange thing is about that time--a year ago, my husband started having the same problem I got rid of and he is using the spray.
I don't remember Rick-its been a long time.I was never addicted to the stuff but I do remember it was hard to do without it.Try the saline spray as a substitute.Its not perfect but it will do til you can kick the habit.
Thanks everyone. What a wealth of knowledge. I will try the one side at a time theory mixed with sudafed. Problem with sudafed is that it has ephedrine in it and keeps me up at night. Pehaps sudafed in the day and benadryl at night.
Who knows, maybe i can get addicted to Benadryl instead. hehe..
No, using the Afrin in one nostril will not remedy the situation overnight because you didn't develop the addiction overnight. Using Sudaphed during the day works for me however, I can't use it at night because it keeps me awake. Another solution is to start using Flonase. It is a steroid but doesn't get into your system just your nasil passages. It can take up to a week to become effective but I found that in using it, I had less symptoms. Hope this helps.
I also have been addicted to afrin for many years, my husband has been now for 2 years. I am currently on it due to a severe sinus infection I can't get rid of, but I have been off of it for months until recently. My ENT put me on an oral steroid and a nasal steroid (nasaril) and an antihystamine. With in one week I was completely off but have always had to continue the nasaril and allegra. I was up to using the afrin 12 times a day so I too know what it is like to have one by the bed and in the car and in the purse and anywhere else I may need it. I hope you get some relief soon.
I was able to get off of Afrin by using Flonase instead. My dad had a horrible time with Afrin, he used to daily for several years. I would never recommend it to anyone. Yes it works when you use it, but later on you always pay the price. I was using it so often I was getting nosebleeds.