Precautions and Warnings With Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray

Educating yourself on precautions and warnings with oxymetazoline nasal spray before using the medication can help ensure a successful treatment process. For example, using the nasal spray for longer than three days could cause your congestion to become worse. Also, you may not be able to safely use it if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, glaucoma, or heart disease.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking oxymetazoline nasal spray (Afrin®, Nostrilla®, Sudafed OM™, and many others) if you have:
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using oxymetazoline nasal spray include the following:
 
  • Oxymetazoline nasal spray can cause problems in people with glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or heart disease. If you have one of these conditions, do not use this medication without first checking with your healthcare provider.
     
  • Do not use oxymetazoline nasal spray more than directed or for longer than three days at a time. Rebound congestion (a worsening of congestion due to the medication) could occur (see Afrin Addiction for more information).
     
  • Oxymetazoline nasal spray could potentially interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray).
     
  • Do not tip your head back when using the nasal spray, as this increases the chance of it running down your throat, which may increase the absorption of the medication into the bloodstream and might increase the risk of side effects of oxymetazoline nasal spray.
     
  • Do not share your the nasal spray with anyone else, as this could spread an infection.
     
  • Oxymetazoline nasal spray is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is unknown if oxymetazoline nasal spray passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before using this drug (see Oxymetazoline Nasal Spray and Breastfeeding).
     
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