It started off as appropriate self-medication, honestly it did. Just once or twice a day, and sweet, sweet relief. I could finally sleep! I’ve used a lot in the past, but I’ve always been able to keep it under control. But now it’s gotten out of hand, and I need another fix and I have to quit. Cold turkey’s really the only way to go, there’s no medical support for this.
The shitty thing about Afrin and related products is that using them over the course of a couple days actually causes irritation, which leads to swelling and, er, sinus congestion. So you can’t breathe unless you use it, but if you use it you can’t breathe.
I’ve found that just irrigating with plain saline works about as well as anything–use some Afrin or whatever to shift things initially, then in a few hours (about halfway through the dosing period, usually) irrigate with plain saline to clear out whatever’s gathered since then. Repeat saline irrigation as needed.
Nasal decongestant sprays are BAD with a capital B.
Not giving medical advice, but my father tapered off NeoSynephrine by gradually (and increasingly) diluting each bottle with saline. He still had stuffiness, but not nearly as bad as quitting cold turkey.
Yep. I’ve had seriously terrible allergies this fall (first year ever!) and bad nasal congestion. Claritin worked for about 2 days, and then nothing, and Sudafed and Phenylephrine don’t do squat for me. Afrin, however, works great! I’ve used it before for up to about 5 days with no problem. I guess I lost count this time.
The good news is, I think the Zyrtec I took this morning kicked the allergies (unless it’s another one day wonder) 'cause I don’t actually have any more *runny *nose. But it’s completely, utterly, mouthbreathingly blocked up. Just not with mucus. It must be inflammation.
I’m going to go check out the bottle and see if it can be opened and filled with saline instead. That sounds like a plan.
That’s what I did, as well. Once I realized I was addicted, I bought a new bottle and used half of it. I filled it back up with sterile saline, then used half of that mixture. Refill, use half, repeat as necessary. Worked like a charm, and I never suffered.
Problem at the moment is *nothing *is passing, not even air. I will admit, I suggest neti pots to other people all the time, but I’ve have a lot of trouble doing it on myself. Images of waterboarding dance through my mind…
After investigatin’, the Afrin bottle is one solid molded plastic piece so I can’t take the top off and pour saline in, but I bet if I squeeze it and hold it in a puddle of saline, it’ll suck it up well enough.
Upon further investigatin’, this bottle of Afrin expired two months ago. Oops!
I find that the key is having the water temperature and salinity exactly right. I fill the pot with hot water first (so it doesn’t chill the water I’m actually going to use), then fiddle with the faucet until it feels just slightly warm to my fingers. Then I dump the hot water and make my solution with the warm water (1/4 teaspoon to 1 cup of water).
I’ve been trying to get my family off the nose spray and into using neti pots, but they all assume that it’s horrifically painful, despite my denials. (As if spraying cold drugs up your nose is so very pleasant…)