How long does the rebound effect from nasal spray last?

Monday morning, after a weekend of suffering from some sort of sinus distress, I took a sniff or two of afrin so I could go out in the yard and work without having a bucket attached below my nose. I knew that this would shrink up the membranes and allow me to breathe normally again for a time (12 hours, supposedly).

Tuesday, I woke up pretty congested, and I expected this, too, since I know these medications have a rebound effect (ie when they wear off, your membranes return to normal size and then some). How long does that last? I am still quite stuffy, and if it’s just lingering effects of my sinus dealio, I’ll sniff a little more afrin tonight so I can sleep.

I am aware of the “addictive” nature of this medication, and I have no intention of using it for a prolonged period. But I would like to get a decent night’s sleep (and so would my wife…me sleeping w/ my mouth open means she gets an earful of snoring).

If the rebound effect can last this long, then I’ll keep waiting for it to subside before I decide to take any more afrin.

IME, it lasts about two days. And those are some of the worst days ever. Feeling like you can’t breathe and all you want is just one more snort of nose spray. But I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I’ve made it past the withdrawal.

Likewise it takes me 2 to 4 days. The breathe-right strips are a godsend, and I can tell you that prescription steroid sprays help a lot.

Try to gut it out and don’t use the Afrin… speaking from experience, it really sucks to depend on $6-a-bottle nose spray just to be able to breathe.

A method I successfully used to get off the Afrin was to only use it on one nostril, and let the other one recover, and only then stop taking it altogether. That way, I could at least breathe through one side of my nose.

Holy shit! 2 days? ok, well, I’m not using that stuff again, even though it had a near-miraculous effect, I don’t want to have to deal with the aftereffects for longer than the releif period.


It’s useful as an emergency measure. Anything other than emergency, see your doc for whatever is deemed necessary… antibiotics, anti-allergy pills, steroid sprays, whatever.

What about using pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) to help with congestion during the transition from Afrin-based to non-medicated? Would that help relieve the symptoms while the Afrin-rebound is wearing off?

Well I can tell you that the pseudo-sudafed (sudafed PE) they’re selling nowadays doesn’t help the swelling much. There is so much swelling that there were small parts of my sinus membranes overflowing into my nasal passage.

:eek: Now there’s a scary image!!! :eek:

For what it’s worth, you can still get real Sudafed - around here, at least, it’s behind the pharmacy counter and you have to sign for it. No prescription is required (perhaps it’s required in some other states?).

As a lifetime sinus sufferer, I highly recommend a daily saline spray. Little Noses is mild and effective, even for adults.

I routinely find the generic versions at Target, K-Mart or CVS for 1.99 a bottle. Same size, same ingredients

I was additcted to it about 10 years ago.

But now I can use it occassionally and I have no rebound effect. It really varies, but at one time I used it so much that a normal dose barely lasted me 6 hours.

I had to quit using it. I found that a lot of running pretty much clears my nose just as much. I have asthma too, and both have declined to pretty much zero, as long as I run for 60 minutes or more a day. Something to look into