Any helpful ideas for how to more comfortably wean down from chronic afrin (oxymetazoline) during allergy season? The rebound rhinitis is tough!
Afrin (oxymetazoline) overuse. Topical decongestants, like afrin, reduce nasal congestion by constricting blood vessels in the nasal membranes and reducing blood flow. While they help reduce nasal congestion temporarily, after 3-5 days, the membranes can become even more swollen after they wear off. The answer is using other medications during a pollen season, such as nasal steroids, oral and topical antihistamines, etc.
Cold turkey. 1. First go cold turkey on afrin (oxymetazoline) as weaning oneself rarely works. 2. Use a topical corticosteroid spray at maximal recommended doses to suppress allergy and the chemical inflammation caused by overuse of afrin (oxymetazoline). 3. Use a saline rinse to relieve congestion until all symptoms resolve.
Afrin (oxymetazoline) addiction. Addiction to nasal decongestant sprays, (vick's, afrin, 4-way, neosynephrine etc.) is called rhinitis medicomentosa. It occurs when someone uses these products for more than 3 days uninterupted. The only effective therapy is to stop using these products however, side-effects (continued congestion will last about a week). Nasal steroids such as : nasonex, (mometasone) flonase, Omnaris might be helpful.
Rebound. I would try sudafed and zyrtec during the acute phase and use ocean nasal spray. It should not last but a few weeks but you will be stuffy.