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Medications for Nasal Congestion

Other names: Blocked Nose

Nasal congestion refers to a stuffy nose. In most cases, the nose becomes congested when the tissues lining it become swollen. The swelling is due to inflamed blood vessels.

Drugs used to treat Nasal Congestion

The medications listed below are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
pseudoephedrine 6.5 88 reviews for pseudoephedrine to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Brand names:
Sudafed Congestion, Sudafed 12-Hour, SudoGest, Sudafed 24-Hour, Suphedrine, Cenafed, Children's Dimetapp Decongestant Infant, Chlor-Trimeton Nasal Decongestant, Drixoral Decongestant Non-Drowsy, Zephrex-D, Contac Cold, Genaphed, Nexafed Nasal Decongestant, Silfedrine, SudoGest 12 Hour, Suphedrin
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph
phenylephrine 6.1 20 reviews for phenylephrine to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC C N
Generic name:
phenylephrine systemic
Brand names:
Sudafed PE Congestion, Neo-Synephrine, Contac-D
Drug class:
vasopressors, decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information
Sudafed Congestion 7.1 15 reviews for Sudafed Congestion to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Afrin 3.4 132 reviews for Afrin to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
oxymetazoline nasal
Drug class:
nasal antihistamines and decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Sudafed 12-Hour 5.8 6 reviews for Sudafed 12-Hour to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
oxymetazoline 4.7 223 reviews for oxymetazoline to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
oxymetazoline nasal
Brand names:
Afrin, Afrin Original, Afrin NoDrip Extra Moisturizing, Afrin NoDrip Severe Congestion, Mucinex Sinus-Max Full Force, Vicks Sinex 12-Hour Decongestant Nasal Spray, Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief, Zicam Sinus Relief, Afrin NoDrip Sinus, Afrin Severe Congestion, Afrin Sinus, Vicks Sinex Severe Nasal Spray, 12 Hour Nasal, 12 Hour Nasal Decongestant Spray, Afrin Allergy Sinus Nasal Spray, Afrin NoDrip Original, Allerest 12 Hour Nasal Spray, Dristan 12 Hour Nasal Spray, Duramist Plus, Duration, Four-Way Nasal Spray, Genasal, Mucinex Sinus-Max Clear & Cool, Mucinex Sinus-Max Moisture Smart, Nostrilla, Vicks QlearQuil 12 Hour Nasal Decongestant Moisturizing Spray, Vicks Sinex Moisturizing 12-Hour Decongestant UltraFine Mist
Drug class:
nasal antihistamines and decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Claritin-D 6.4 50 reviews for Claritin-D to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC B N
Generic name:
loratadine / pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
upper respiratory combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Sudafed PE Congestion 5.5 2 reviews for Sudafed PE Congestion to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
phenylephrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Saline Nasal Mist 4.0 3 reviews for Saline Nasal Mist to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
Loratadine-D 24 Hour 10 1 review for Loratadine-D 24 Hour to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC B N
Generic name:
loratadine / pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
upper respiratory combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
SudoGest 0.0 2 reviews for SudoGest to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Sudafed 24-Hour 5.0 6 reviews for Sudafed 24-Hour to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
sodium chloride 4.7 78 reviews for sodium chloride to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Brand names:
Saline Nasal Mist, Ayr Saline Nasal, Deep Sea Nasal Spray, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit, Ocean, Saline Mist, Simply Saline, Ayr Saline Nasal No-Drip Spray, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Packets, 4 Way Saline, Afrin Saline, Altamist, Ayr Baby Saline, Ayr Sinus Rinse Kit, Ayr Sinus Rinse Kit Refill, ENTsol, Little Noses, Nasalcare Rinse Starter Kit, Neilmed Nasogel, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Hypertonic Packets, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Pediatric Kit, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Pediatric Packets, NeilMed Sinus Rinse Small Kit, Ocean Complete, Ocean Kids, Rhinaris, SaltAire, Sea Soft
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
Ayr Saline Nasal 4.5 25 reviews for Ayr Saline Nasal to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
Claritin-D 24 Hour 6.0 6 reviews for Claritin-D 24 Hour to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC B N
Generic name:
loratadine / pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
upper respiratory combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
loratadine / pseudoephedrine 6.6 70 reviews for loratadine / pseudoephedrine to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC B N
Generic name:
loratadine / pseudoephedrine systemic
Brand names:
Claritin-D, Loratadine-D 24 Hour, Claritin-D 24 Hour, Claritin-D 12 Hour, Alavert D-12 Hour Allergy and Sinus, Loratadine-D 12 Hour, Allergy & Congestion Relief, Clear-Atadine-D, Leader Allergy Relief D-24
Drug class:
upper respiratory combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
phenylephrine 7.0 31 reviews for phenylephrine to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
phenylephrine nasal
Brand names:
4 Way Fast Acting Nasal Spray, 4-Way Menthol, Neo-Synephrine Nasal, Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray (old formulation), Afrin 4 Hour Extra Moisturizing, Little Noses Decongestant, Nasal Four, Neo-Synephrine Extra Strength Nasal, Neo-Synephrine Mild Nasal, Rhinall
Drug class:
nasal antihistamines and decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Neo-Synephrine Rate Add review
Rx/OTC C N
Generic name:
phenylephrine systemic
Drug class:
vasopressors, decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Deep Sea Nasal Spray 8.0 1 review for Deep Sea Nasal Spray to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
epinephrine Rate Add review
Rx/OTC C N
Generic name:
epinephrine topical
Drug class:
miscellaneous topical agents, mouth and throat products
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Claritin-D 12 Hour 7.7 6 reviews for Claritin-D 12 Hour to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC B N
Generic name:
loratadine / pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
upper respiratory combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
doxylamine 1.0 1 review for doxylamine to treat Nasal Congestion
Rx/OTC B N X
Generic name:
doxylamine systemic
Drug class:
miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit 7.3 11 reviews for NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
Ocean 1.0 2 reviews for Ocean to treat Nasal Congestion
OTC C N
Generic name:
sodium chloride nasal
Drug class:
nasal lubricants and irrigations
For consumers:
dosage, side effects
Suphedrine Rate Add review
Rx/OTC N N
Generic name:
pseudoephedrine systemic
Drug class:
decongestants
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information

Frequently asked questions

View more FAQ

Alternative treatments for Nasal Congestion

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Nasal Congestion. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However, there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Nasal Congestion.

Learn more about Nasal Congestion

Medicine.com guides (external)

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription only.
OTC Over-the-counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over-the-counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Expanded Access Expanded Access is a potential pathway for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.