Oxymetazoline (Topical application)
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Dermatological Agent
Chemical Class: Imidazoline
Uses For oxymetazoline
Oxymetazoline topical cream is used to treat facial redness caused by rosacea that does not go away (persistent) in adults.
Oxymetazoline is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using oxymetazoline
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For oxymetazoline, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to oxymetazoline or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of oxymetazoline topical cream in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of oxymetazoline topical cream in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking oxymetazoline, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using oxymetazoline with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Methylene Blue
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of oxymetazoline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood circulation problems or
- Enlarged prostate or
- Heart or blood vessel disease, severe or unstable or uncontrolled or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure), uncontrolled or
- Irritated skin or open sores on the face or
- Narrow-angle glaucoma or
- Raynaud syndrome or
- Sjören syndrome or
- Scleroderma or
- Stroke, history of or
- Thromboangiitis obliterans—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper Use of oxymetazoline
Use oxymetazoline exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Oxymetazoline should come with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
- Oxymetazoline is for use only in your face. Do not get any of it in your eyes, mouth, or vagina. Rinse it off right away if it does get on these areas.
- If you are using the pump for the first time, prime it by holding the pump upright and press down several times until the cream is dispensed onto a tissue. Pump three more times onto the tissue and throw away the tissue.
- Press down on the pump one time to dispense a pea-sized amount of the cream to your fingertip.
- Apply a thin layer of the cream to cover the entire face (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin). Do not apply the cream to irritated skin or open wounds.
- Wash your hands after applying the medicine.
The dose of oxymetazoline will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of oxymetazoline. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (cream):
- For treatment of facial redness caused by rosacea:
- Adults—Apply a thin layer to the entire face once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of facial redness caused by rosacea:
If you miss a dose of oxymetazoline, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using oxymetazoline
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it.
If your condition does not improve within a few days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
You will also need to have your blood pressure measured before starting oxymetazoline and while you are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Do not use oxymetazoline for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Oxymetazoline Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
- cracked, dry, scaly skin
- swelling or pain at the application site
- worsening of rosacea pimples
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about oxymetazoline topical
- Oxymetazoline topical Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 37 Reviews
- Drug class: topical anti-rosacea agents
Other brands: Rhofade