Generic Name: oxymetazoline nasal (ox ee me TAZ oh leen NAY sal)
Brand Name: 12 Hour Nasal, Afrin, Afrin No Drip Sinus, Allerest 12 Hour Nasal Spray, Dristan 12-Hour, Duramist Plus, Duration, Mucinex Full Force, Mucinex Moisture Smart, Nasal Mist, Neo-Synephrine 12 Hour, Nostrilla, NRS Nasal, Sinarest Nasal, Sinex Long-Acting, Sudafed OM Sinus Cold, Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief, Zicam Sinus Relief
Medically reviewed on May 23, 2018
What is Afrin?
Afrin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Afrin (for the nose) is used for temporary relief of nasal congestion caused by allergies or the common cold.
Stop using Afrin and call your doctor at once if you have ongoing or worsening symptoms, or if you have severe burning or stinging in your nose after using the nasal spray
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Afrin if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
a thyroid disorder; or
enlarged prostate or urination problems.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Afrin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether oxymetazoline nasal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use Afrin?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Using the medication too long or too often may worsen your symptoms or cause nasal congestion to clear up and come back.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 days of treatment.
Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Sharing a nasal spray bottle can spread infection.
To use the nose drops (nasal solution):
Blow your nose gently. Tilt your head back as far as possible, or lie down and hang your head over the side of a bed. Hold the dropper over your nose and place the correct number of drops into your nose.
Sit up and bend your head slightly forward, then move it gently left and right. Stay seated with your head bent forward for a few minutes.
Avoid sneezing or blowing your nose for at least a few minutes after using the nose drops.
To use the nasal spray:
Blow your nose gently. Keep your head upright and insert the tip of bottle into one nostril. Press your other nostril closed with your finger. Breathe in quickly and gently spray the medicine into your nose. Then use the spray in your other nostril.
Do not blow your nose for at least a few minutes after using the nasal spray.
Do not use the nasal spray more than 2 times in 24 hours.
Wipe the tip of the spray bottle with a clean tissue but do not wash with water or soap.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
Keep Afrin out of the reach of children. Certain nasal medications can cause serious medical problems in a young child who accidentally sucks on or swallows medicine from the nasal spray bottle.
What should I avoid while using Afrin?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Afrin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Afrin and call your doctor at once if you have:
ongoing or worsening symptoms;
severe burning or stinging in your nose after using the nasal spray;
chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate; or
Common side effects may include:
mild burning or stinging of the nose;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Afrin?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Afrin if you are also using any of the following drugs:
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Afrin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.03.
More about Afrin (oxymetazoline nasal)
- Afrin Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: nasal antihistamines and decongestants