Pharmaceuticals/OTC Nasal Spray

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Question
I believe that I had a slight addiction to using OTC nasal spray. I eventually was able to get over the constant use of OTC nasal sprays and was able to breath fine on my own. Recently though I got sick with a cold and opted to using again an OTC nasal spray. The next day after using it I feel the effects of my previous addiction. I'm worried that I'm never going to be able to use OTC nasal sprays when I truly need it, and that I've ruined my nose forever.

My question is will I ever be able to casually use OTC nasal sprays without feeling the compulsion to keep using them? What OTC Nasal Spray alternatives can I use instead? I've tried nasal decongestant but they don't seem to give the same effects as OTC nasal spray.

Answer
Christina,
The nasal spray isn't addictive as drugs are per se, but the vessels inside your nasal passages get accustomed to the spray causing the membranes to shrink, therefore the vessels become "lazy" for lack of a better term. In that way, they are habit forming.
You could try the nasal strips to see if that will open up your nasal passages. An option which doctors like to recommend now is saline spray into the nostrils several times a day and especially  at night. In fact, doctors feel that the saline spray or drops can prevent colds by changing the pH of the nasal membranes. One on the market is Simply Saline. You may want to try that.

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Patricia Morrow

Expertise

I would like to bring a nurse's perspective to this area. If someone has a question about a medication, and feel more comfortable directing it to a nurse than a doctor or pharmacist, then I'll try my best to help. PLEASE NOTE: I DON'T USUALLY PROVIDE ANSWERS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT TIL SAT NIGHT AS THIS IS THE JEWISH SABBATH.

Experience

Graduate in 1976 from nursing school. Taken extra courses in pharmacology due to great interest in this field. Actually considered going to pharmacy school for a number of years.

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Have volunteered with AllExperts in this field before, a few years ago.

Education/Credentials
Graduated nursing school, have taken extra CEU (continuing education units) in pharmacology due to interest in subject.

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only from volunteering with AllExperts before.

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