Home remedies for runny nose (need answer fast)

My nose was runny yesterday evening, and I took my customary antihistamine, and it didn’t work. So all night I was up with a runny nose. Not much congestion, no other symptoms, just a dripping nose, like a slow, annoying faucet.

First thing in the morning went to Walgreen’s and talked to the pharmacist about antihistamines. He said people can become acclimated to antihistamines and often rotate among several different ones. Anyway the one I had been taking was “old school,” and suggested I try the Walgreen’s version of Zyrtec. The one I’ve been taking for years (which apparently doesn’t work for me any more) is a 4-hour pill. So if you don’t get immediate relief, you can take another pill in 4 hours. I like this.

The Zyrtec knock-off (like all of the newer pills) is a 24-hour pill. The pharmacist said it should start working with the hour. That was nine hours ago and I haven’t had one SPECK of relief. My nose has been running steadily and I’ve been sneezing my head off all day.

And I can’t take another pill for 15 hours! WTF am I supposed to do in the meantime?

And anyway, why take another fake Zyrtec when the first one did NOTHING?

It was fun at the hairdresser today. Every time I got ready to sneeze, I gave her a signal, so she could pull the scissors away from my head for safety’s sake. Many other people at the salon and at work were sneezing. This is probably the annual invasion of cedar pollen that happens around here, but I’ve never had it this bad.

I’m at my wits’ end. I’ve already:

  1. Had hot tea and inhaled the vapors from the cup
  2. Sat on the edge of the bathtub and breathed in steamy vapors from a scalding shower (for about 10 minutes).
  3. Pressed on acupuncture points on my face and earlobe as suggested by one website.
  4. Right now I have a wad of kleenex dipped in Vicks VapoRub stuffed up each nostril (and boy, do I look cute). The inside of my nose is still itchy and scratchy even through the iciness of the Vicks.

This is driving me insane. I got about two hours sleep last night.

Any home remedies? Hanging upside down? Hitting myself in the head (or elsewhere) with a hammer?

You can stack antihistamines. If the cetirizine doesn’t work by itself, you can still try your old school, sounds like you were using chlorpheniramine on top of it, or switch to old school diphenhydramine which is a 6-hour dose. Of course, the most common side effect is drowsiness, which you may be used to but might happen if you take the second one.

I find Allegra to help, personally, more than the Zyrtecs and Claritins of the anitihistamine world. And I use diphenhydramine to sleep.

Other than that, I’ve been known to sleep with tissue stuck up my nose.

Thanks, I was using the chlor-whatyousaid… The pharmacist also said I could take one on top of the Zyrtec. I may do that at bedtime. I can only hope it makes me drowsy. I’ll get some Allegra to keep on hand. I’ve not taken any of the (relatively) newer products. I’m behind the times in so many ways.

I just tried this, and amazingly, my left nostril is now dry and open. The effect is temporary, but it’s something I can repeat in the wee sleepless hours.

Also there are the saline rinses, with either a neti pot or the pressure sprays you can try from the store. The medicated basal sprays you can try, too, though you do have to be careful with how much and for how many days you use them. I use one application a day of the medicated ones, if I need to, just to keep me from snuffling my way through a work shift in front of clients.

Anyway, I hope you’re feeling better soon and get some good sleep!

Hmmmm… Just looked in my stockpile of remedies and found some Allegra. I guess I tried it, but don’t recall that it worked very well for me. Anyway, when the Zyrtec wears off tomorrow morning, I’ll take an Allegra and see what happens.

I can’t find the bottle of chlorpheniramine. It might be out in the car where I threw it in disgust when I figured out it wasn’t working. It’s too cold to go out and look for it and I’m already in my jammies. (Yes, I’m a wimp. A wimp with a leaky honker.)

My hairdresser also suggested the neti pot, but you know, I cannot stand the sensation/feeling/*taste *of water in my nose. My late H couldn’t stand water in his ears, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Even getting a little water in my nose when I’m in the shower is beyond icky. It’s for that reason that I also don’t like nasal sprays. And I know people can get dependent on them. My father was.

If I going to get dependent on something, I want it to be something pleasant like eclairs or Jack Daniel’s or expensive shoes.

Thanks for your comments. I will sleep tonight, come hell or high water. :cool:

You do not need more antihistamines. You need to try guaifenesin and/ or pseudoephedrine (they have combo meds). There is also a prescription medication Reson. Be careful not to buy phenelyephine in place of pseudo (many companies have switched the two due to DEA regulations, but current studies are showing an ineffectiveness of oral doses). The nasal srays such as afrin do work amazing, but have awful rebound congestion if used for a prolong period of time resulting in a pseudo-addiction to the relief that it provides. I got to the point that my nasal cavity would become so inflamed that I had to use it multiple times a day for relief (even though that was the cause). I also LOVE the Neti pot. Once you get use to it, you won’t even be phased.

I had been taking guaifenesin (Mucinex) when I had a cough/congestion thing a while ago. I didn’t think it was indicated for simply a runny, irritated, inflamed nose. My nose feels like there are fuzzy caterpillars up in there. I got no problem with taking guaifenesin. In fact, I’ll take some right now.

Can you give me a play-by-play on using the neti pot?

I take the guaif/ pseudo combo and it may actually be the pseudo that works the best. One breaks it up, while the other dries it up. I suggest watching an instructional video on YouTube (that is what I did), that way you see how exactly they tip their head.
Remember to keep your mouth open too!
I have done it with a tea pot when I couldn’t find a Neti pot. Also, I make my own solution at home (never use plain water, because it WILL BURN due to the pH). You want to add 1/4 tsp salt (non-ionized if you have it) and 1/4 tsp baking soda. You may also use just salt or just baking soda. If you are just using one then you want to use 1/2 tsp total. Everyone has a different pH so you end up using less or more than 1tsp total, but thy is about average and a good starting point.

Do you mean non-ioDized salt?

That’s interesting. I will watch it later. Have to get ready for work at the moment. Thanks.

FWIW, I also recommend using the neti-pot after you’ve been in a steamy shower for a little bit - the steam will loosen the gunk then the neti-pot washes it away. I, too, hate water up the nose, but love my neti-pot.

I can’t use neti pots anymore after the water flowed into my ear canal (yes, from the inside) and gave me a serious inner ear infection. It worked well for a month, but I had to swear off it.

Yes, non-IODIZED

I forget – is it distilled water that you’re supposed to use?
Concur on not using tap water – the 1st time I tested our tap water (new fish tank) I was astonished at how alkaline the tap water is around here. Like, off the charts blue (the color the fish tank tester thingy uses to indicate alkalinity) so … yeah, don’t use tap water.

They say to never use tap water without sanitizing it due to possibilities of amoeba (probably bacterium and viruses too). I personally use tap considering the chances of something like that are so low. When I had a well with extremely alkaline water I noticed that it would become base at about only 1 tsp baking soda. It is something you have to play around with. Also, most people actually have a higher pH than average (diet related), which probably affects nasal membrane.