My Nose Spray Addiction

I Have a Nose Spray Addiction – I’m Addicted to Afrin

This is a story on how I relieved my Afrin addiction with some simple helpful tips.

So there I am standing in the isle of of the drugstore with a head cold and sinus congestion when I see a bottle of Afrin. Twelve hours of nasal congestion relief? Sign me up. I got some important phone calls to make at work and I can’t sound like I’m all stuffed up and sick. I gotta be professional sounding and clear headed.

How My Nose Spray Addiction Started

There is nothing worse than lying in bed at night trying to go to sleep with a stuffy nose. Finally there was something that I could take before bed that would allow me to breathe through my nose… Afrin nose spray.

The results were phenomenal. A couple of sprays up each nostril and within minutes I was able to breathe through my nose. So I stuck the Afrin in my pocket and it remained there for many weeks.

Why had I never used nose spray before? Why isn’t everyone using nose spray throughout their colds? Well, unfortunately I found out the hard way why it is not a good idea to use Afrin throughout the duration of your head cold.

Why Afrin Has a Hold on Me

There are warnings on the back of the Afrin bottle that explain that you should not use Afrin longer than three days in a row. I did read that warning. I however, did not pay attention to that warning. The sinus clearing results that I got from using nose spray were too good to just stop.

I decided on the fourth night to go ahead and use Afrin for another night.

What I wasn’t aware of when I decided to use Afrin longer than the recommended durations is a little something called rebound congestion. Rebound congestion occurs when vascular constricting properties of nose sprays begin to cause abnormal swelling of the nasal mucosa.

This can block the nasal airway completely, causing extreme discomfort.

Rebound congestion is temporarily relieved by the use of nose spray giving the person a small window of relief. You can see how this can become a vicious circle right? Too much nose spray use causes more nasal congestion that can only be relieved by using even more nose spray… etc., etc.

So the answer to the problem of rebound congestion seems simple right? Just stop using the noses spray and allow your nasal mucosa to return to normal. Well that is much easier said that done. Being unable to breathe properly through your nose can drive you crazy. It can send you running right back to that nose spray even though you know that it’s the nose spray that’s causing the problem.

How I’m Breaking Free from My Afrin Addiction

Now, you could just stop using nose sprays altogether and suffer with your rebound congestion for a couple of weeks until it goes away and you will be broken of your dependence on nose sprays.

My Nose Spray Addiction

I don’t see myself doing that so I have done some reading up on the subject and have begun a one nostril at a time withdrawal program.


That’s right. I still use Afrin in one of my nostrils and am allowing the other nostril to heal.

Once this first nostril is all healed and I can breathe through it, I plan on stopping the use of Afrin in the second nostril. After a little while I will be able to breathe comfortably again through my nose without the use of nose sprays.

So how are you planning on breaking your nose spray addiction? I would love to hear people’s different methods for breaking nose spray addiction.

Important Update: Hello everyone. This is Ken Savage the author of this post. I wanted to tell you that I’m building a new community website around Nose Spray and Afrin addiction.  I working with an ENT Dr and a retired ENT nurse on common conditions of nasal congestion, ways to relieve the pressure and inflammation and how to get off of the nose sprays.

I’ll also let you know in an email and comment here when the new site is complete.  Should only be 2 weeks or so. I have a dozen articles written already and hope to provide you more help and information.

Good luck on your struggles everyone and let’s hope we can all work together to free ourselves from nose spray addiction.

afrin addiction ebook

661 thoughts on “I Have a Nose Spray Addiction – I’m Addicted to Afrin

    • I was addicted to Afrin, and then it stopped working on me, I switched to all the others and the only thing that worked was 4way, which i was addicted to for the past 5 yrs…YES, 5 yrs, I cant tell you how long I was on afrin and others before it stopped working on me. I used to blow my nose and blood would come out. I used to panic when I would leave home without it, I bought them 3 or 4 at at time, left one by the bed, one in work bag, one in car and one in living room.

      How i beat it?

      Zyrtec D and Nasonex

      When i was a little stuffed, i used the 4way mist, its a white and blue bottle, not addicting menthol spray.

      If I can beat it, anyone can…..

  1. I’ve been on and off the stuff. I am back on now and I am determined to quit again. It’s been about 7 or 8 months since I’ve been back on it. When I quit it took about 3-4 days to breathe normally again without the stuff. If you’ve been on it for years it could take a couple of weeks. It really suck though I have allergies to pet dander and i live with animals so i always get stuffed up when I’m around them so afrin would save me from that. But i’m going to quit one nostril at a time and use the saline spray and my allergy medicines to help with getting off. Good luck!!

    • i have been on it for 6 years! i recently went to the doctor for high bp..(184/115)…and headaches! the doc told me it was all from the afrin addiction! I have been workin on getting off of it for a week and its goin well.Try this dilute the afrin half with saline spray and the other half afrin and DO NOT use it untill you ae miserable.Also only use about half a squirt.i havent used any for about 15 hours now and im breathing fine…

  2. Obviously Shaina, you can just get rid of the pets and clean up your place but I’m sure that you thought of that. What about getting a allergy shot prescribed by an allergenist?

  3. Just letting you guys know, I have been addicted to nose spray for about 2 years. I started using the Breathe Right strips, and they are working great. So far, so good!

  4. Hi..I am addicted too.:( The problem with me is that i have sleep apnea and have to sleep with a CPAP mask…it blows air through your nose all night to keep the flap in the throat from closing so you don’t stop breathing off and on through the night.If my nose is stuffy ..I can’t use the mask at all (you can’t open your mouth with the mask on..the pressure is so much that if you open your mouth the pressure going in your nose just blows out your mouth.It seems though that if it were making it through to my mouth..than it would be getting past the stuffiness and working correctly after all.However..all I know is that I can not breath with it on if I am wake to find it off and then the whole next day is horrible for me…it’s like I only slept about an hour.
    Anyway…sorry for the rambling…I really just wanted to know how you were;an update.
    I did what you are doing the first time i was addicted to this stuff and it worked for me.But the next time I had a bad cold..I succumbed to the spray again.:( This time I think it’s been about 8 mths addicted….and it seems harder for me to go through the one nostril thing.I use breathe right strips,have tried saline, and am also on nasonex.
    i heard that a netti pot could help..anyone tried that?

  5. Ahhh…. I’m not alone in the world!

    I had heard of nasal spray addiction, there was even an episode of “Yes, Dear” dedicated to it, but I had no idea the reality of it! 😛

    I started using it at the behest of my Ear-Nose-Throat doctor as a possible way to alleviate snoring until I could get a sleep study done … I was hooked. If I was out w/o it, I would stop and buy some (and at $8 a bottle, not cheap!) … and if I didn’t have any, I was miserable.

    Miraculously, one morning I woke up w/ only moderate Affrin-withdraw congestion and decided enough was enough. I went cold turkey and for about 2 days I had moderate congestion (nothing as bad as the usual withdraw) and have stayed away ever since.

    “Affrin… here’s to breathing easy!”


  6. I started using Affrin when i was about two months pregnant and I’m eight months pregnant now. I am miserable then ever when I run out. I use it about five or six times a day sometimes my throat even starts to hurt because I use it so much. I asked my doctor what to do. He told me to use sudafed it does not work I even tried saline drops its don’t work i tried using a vaporizer it don’t work I don’t know what to do.

    • did the doctor mentioned if afrain can harm your baby? Ive been addicted to afrain for years and Im afraid if I get pregnant that if it will harm my baby.

      • Afrin will not harm your baby. My dr. has told me to use it during pregnancy becuse of my nose being so stuffed up and i can’t take much else.

      • I am addicted to afrin too and i used it all 9 months of my pregnancy and it didn’t harm my baby at all. I am searching for a way to stop using it though.

        • ugh…ive been using just a generic brand of nose spray for a while during my pregnancy…actually several different types and my baby seems fine but i certainly am not…im pretty sure im getting addicted to nose spray…the discomfort of congested nostrils just drives me up the wall..pregnancy is already uncomfortable as it is…i tried to go without taking nose spray today and i couldnt do it i was just to uncomfortable…please help me if yall have any advice.

      • Don’t worry about it harming your baby. the day i found out i was pregnant, my friend called a pharmacy and talked to someone. he suggested i switch to saline spray. he said nasal spray won’t hurt the baby, but it should be the last resort. i tried the saline spray, but it did absolutely nothing. i stayed on with the nasal spray and michael james was born perfectly healthy. 🙂 i’ve been addicted to that crap for about 4 years now, and i too read the warning label but didn’t listen. i have to be able to breath through my nose at night, and this stuff was awesome. (i started using it when i had a cold) i’ve been wanting to quit the stuff for ever, but i have almost a panic attack when i decide to quit one day and then BAM i’m plugged up, so i always go back, lol.

  7. Sade, have you tried the Sudafed BEHIND the pharmacy counter? Not the PE stuff. That usually works for me.

    Also if you’re taking Affrin that often then you have an addiction to it. You gotta continue to use it or get off of it by suffering a bit.

    Maybe try 1 side at a time for a few days and slowing ween yourself off?

    Let us know how it goes.

    • Sade, don’t take the real psuedophedrine behind the counter at the drug store–you should NOT take it when you are pregnant because it messes with your blood flow to the baby. When I was pregnant, I was congested the entire pregnancy! I did take the PE sudafed and I was prescribed a nasal steroid as well, and all that combined worked for me. Also, my doctor told me it was OK to take 2 benadryl at night if I was having trouble sleeping.

  8. Sade,
    It is not a good idea to take Afrin that often while you are pregnant. It constricts blood vessels, like those in the placenta, and can put you at risk for placental abruption (where the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus). I know this because I am a labor and delivery nurse, and I was addicted to afrin while I was pregnant. I have been off of afrin for 8 years, and just started using it again a few days ago. For some reason it has been nearly impossible for me to stop this time. Its like I jumped right back in a few days to where I had been after using for years.

  9. wow the one one nostril at a time withdrawal program sounds like it might work for me. ok heres how im addicted to the crap well i was so severly congested i went to the er thinking they would probly tell me that its my allergies (im elergic to everything but wood food even grass and even never herd of this before im elergic to tar likr=e the tar in roads) so as im sitting uncomfrtble in the little rom the doctor strolls in and and says what im going to have you do is go to wal-mart and buy a bottle of afrin personaly ive never herd of the stuff before being that i was 14 at the time well im 15 no and the stuff the first time i used it was great i slept like a baby for the first time in a week. well after i knew I was addicted it started to not work for me so I switched to the afrin no drip severe congestion. and its starting not to work and im having to use almost 5 sprays in each side of my nose and im going through a bottle a week and alot of people think im trying to be lie normal teens and use drugs as drugs well u know what i mean but im not that kind of kid anyways do u think the method of using it in one nostral will work and if anyone has ever done this please let me know how it works im getting tired of using this shit and using atleast two bottles a week. ok thanks heres my email,

    Mackenzie F.

  10. Mackenzie,
    You need to see a different doctor!! If you have really severe allergies you will need to get that under control with daily meds, maybe shots. Using afrin in only one nostril at a time will be helpful, but the reason you started using it probably has not gone away, and it will make it harder to stop. I would recommend seeing an allergy specialist, and ask him/her if they can help you to stop using Afrin, maybe with a steroid + antibiotic + decongestant. I hope you are able to get this under control, and feel better soon!

  11. I have a website I just got started. It’s for people with nose spray addiction. I was addicted myself, then I discovered a method that works when everything didn’t. I provide instruction on how to withdrawel completely and with ease while breathing through the whole process. check it out becuase it could change your life. I was on spray for 8 years and I want to get the info out there so other people can be helped too.

    • I’d like to read your website. I’m hooked again. Can’t take most meds because I have high blood pressure. Saline is a waste of time. The pollen that started all this is still in the air. Been down this road before. I know where it leads and really don’t want to go there.

      • If you just click on my name, It should take you to my website, but it is SprayFree4Me dot com. However, the website is down right at the moment, I am trying to fix it. It hopefullly will be back up today. I have been revising it so it holds more information.

        and yes, I understand where you are coming from. I believe my method will help you get off the nose spray, but you should see an ear, nose and throat doctor for your allergies. I have them too, bad. You might need allery medicine or allergy shots. I do. You have to get your underlying cause treated while you are getting off the spray so that you don’t have the congestion from your allergies going on.

  12. Years ago, I was also addicted to Afrin for a few months. I could go nowhere without carrying along my bottle of “sniffs.” Once, on the way to a business meeting across the state, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my sniffs. Panic stricken, I drove 40 miles out of the way to find a drugstore that sold Afrin nosespray.

    I used the little red Sudafed decongestant pills to get off of the Afrin. It worked like a charm. Needless to say, I have never used a nasal decongestant spray again.

  13. also, I wanted to say that taking sudafed decongestant doesn’t work for most people. and you are getting on a decongestant with another decongestant. and you said you were addicted for a few months. it is a little easier then. but a lot of people are addicted for years. and it is harder and harder.

  14. I am 9 months pregnant and have 30 more days left until I have my baby. I was using Afrin only at night for a while but now need it all day long. Without it I start to panic. My fear is after I have the baby I will still be addicted to Afrin. I want to stop now but due to pregnancy my nose will most likely still be congested and I won’t be able to tell if I am no longer addicted to Afrin. My OB doctors says that my body will change after the baby is here and I will just be able to stop. I have to use it about once every 3-4 hours but having panic that it will just stop working. Anyone ever been pregnant and just stopped the habit after the baby came.

  15. Hi, lisa, I wanted to reply to you becuase that is exacly how I got addicted to nasal spray. While I was pregnant with my son. No, you do not just go back to not being addicted to it after the baby. not unless you are super lucky and you didn’t over do it before. I also had panic attacks when I didn’t use it. That is one of the reasons I had such trouble getting off the stuff. I was on it for eight years. Unless you stop the cycle, that could be you. I was even panicking during the birth of my son becuase of needing the nose spray. I tried everything. I researched to see what I could come up with. I tried various things listed on the web. cold turkey, one nostril, rhinostat. nothing worked. but then I finally figured out what did. that is why I created my website. I give lots of info and detailed instructions on how to get off of it. it works great for those of us who have panic attacks becuase you can breath through the whole thing. you can get started right away before your addiction gets worse. I was using it every 15 min. it won’t take you as long to get off if you get started now. click on my name and it will get you to my website. also feel free to email me if you have questions. my email address is also on the website. what do you have to lose?

    • April, my mouth dropped open when I read this. I too have panick attacks when I don’t have my afrin and I had the WORST panic attack a few weeks ago when I was in labor with my son. I had to get my sister to sneak my afrin to me when my husband and the nurse were out of the room. I’m going to check out your website now. Wish me luck!

      • yes. I was very paniked with my babies too. My first son, that is when I got addicted. And I remember, I had to go in the hospital early becuase of my blood pressure and I had only one bottle of nose spray with me and it was close to being empty. I made my mother go to the store and buy me a new bottle so I would have it with me. that was 7 years ago. And then with my second son, which was 3 years ago, I had to hide my nose spray in the pocket of the hospital gown when i went in for my C-section. That’s how panicked I was to be without it. Now, I am clear of all of that becuase of the method I came up with. It took a long time for me to figure this out, but it is the ONLY thing that worked for me. I would appreciate it is others would go to my website and leave their stories in my guestbook.

      • April! You are such a selling vulture. Were you really ever addicted to Afrin? I mean you seem to have a lot of the same symptoms that everyone has had. It’s like someone posts “I had anxiety attacks” and you’re all “oh wow, me too!” You are using a public forum for addiction to pimp your product. Not cool.

        • firsty, I was not addicted to Afrin. I was addicted to 4-way nasal spray. and yes, I was addicted and for 8 years. I have never made a statement on this sight or any other that is not true. And it really pisses me off for those of you that are mad becuase I want to charge 8.00. You are either willing or you arn’t. and my method works. you people are pissed off at this, but as one of my clients said, it is okay to pay mega dollars for diet pills that don’t work, but not okay for me to charge this little bit and for something that works. And how is it helping anybody for me to talk on this sight and not say anything about my website when it helps. and the reason I have the same symptoms is becuase they are common with everyone that has this problem. You bad mouth me without even seeing what I have to offer. and for your info, I don’t charge everyone. there has been a handful of specail cases that I talk to and give my method to for free. and also why is it that no one seems to bad mouth all the other nose spray methods that charge way more that I do.

  16. I was addicted to 4-way nasal spray for almost 8 years back in the ’80s. It started when I ran into 7-11 one night with a stuffy nose and I bought my first bottle. What relief! Before I knew it, I had a bottle in my nightstand, one in the kitchen, one in my purse, one in my desk at work. I had to spray every 3 or 4 hours, around the clock. I would try to get off it every so often, but was just too miserable, even doing the one nostril at a time thing. This went on for 8 years, until I happened to mention it to my son’s Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. He gave me a 10 day prescription of oral steroid medication and that did the trick. I hate that I spent 8 years of my life addicted to the spray, and am thankful I didn’t suffer any health consequences as a result.

    • I am glad that a steroid spray worked for you. What works for some, may or may not work for others. I am confident that my method will work for everybody as long as they stick to the instructions and go slowly. 4-way was the one I was addicted to.

  17. April,
    I checked out your website and noticed it says that you want to help but…why 8.00?If you REALLY wanted to help and actually have ground breaking information for an addiction..why wouldn’t you just share it with the world?(no offense or anything..just too many scams out there..and maybe you are not one of them but I am skeptical of people who say they have all the answers and breakthrough methods but only IF you pay money for it.)

    PS…has anyone on here from previous posts paid and tried April’s method?
    I would love to hear honest reviews.

    • I understand your skepticism and you should be careful. there are a lot of scams out there. I am not one of them. I do want to help people, but just becuase I want to also make some secondary income in this ecomony does not make me a bad person.
      There are people all over the internet that charge for information that could be free. I have worked very hard. If I posted my method free on a couple of blogs, chances are a handful of people would see it. I am trying to get to as many people as possible. My website cost money. It has cost me money to promote it and It has cost me a lot of time. And I am working hard to make this website a one-stop place for infomration with most of the infomration being free. As of yet, I have made no profit on this. All of it has gone back into it plus addictional money from my own pocket. But I am like anyone else. I am married, have three kids and my family makes about 45,000 a year combined. I have to make a living. I charge 8.00 for something that I truely believe in, when others charge way, way more. I tried to make this as cheap as I could without putting me in a hole.
      As far as others who have tried my method, there arn’t many yet. I have a few testimonials on my website, but I don’t have anyone that has finished my method yet. I have only been doing this since end of feb. But I have a few people that are making good progress. that is all I can say. I wish I could offer a money back guarantee, but once you read the report, you have read it. I can’t give back money on that.

      • April, since you’re practically advertising here on my website, why don’t you send me the product and I’ll review it and let viewers here know whether or not it is a quality product.

        Hell I’ll even link directly to your site and promote it for ya.

        • Hi Ken,

          I went to my Dr yesterday for help with my Afrin addiction. I do not know how they keep this stuff on the market. It should at least be behind the counter with the Sudafed, really. Anyway, she prescribed a prednizone (Sp?) tapering dose pack, which I’m starting today, and a steroid nosespray (Nasonex). She said I should be fine in 6 days, but that I would benefit from using the Nasonex for a few weeks. I will keep you posted.

          I felt like such a junkie at the doctor’s office. You should’ve seen the look she gave me! You would think I was telling her I’m hooked on cocaine, though I’m sure cocaine isn’t half as good as Afrin! 😉


          • Whitney,
            I have the prednisone too…the tapering pack.About 3 mths ago I tried prednisone (it wasn’t a tapering pack though just a dosing schedule that my doc gave me.The side effects were too intense for me so I only lasted on it for like 3 days but in those three days I went from using Afrin so many times a day I lost count to using it only before bed and then about mid-day.So if you can handle the prednisone….it will work wonders.
            sad to say that for about a week and a half my usage has increased again.Not as bad as before but bad enough.
            I really want to give prednisone another chance and have that pack here when i’m ready.
            I was wondering if you could let us know how the side effects are for you…and your age (if you don’t mind) and if you are a smoker etc.I am 35,a smoker…and have some anxiety.I just imagine prednisone may react differently on say 20 somethings vs 30 somethings and so on.
            My son is distracting me like I hope all that came out
            Good Luck!

          • Hi Cyndi,

            I am 33. My Dr explained this is these are the same prescriptions she gave me when I was in my 20s for this same reason and it worked, so the same Dr is trying it again with me. I didn’t notice any side effects the first time in my 20s but I’m wondering if I’m noticing some now. I just started with the 6 pills today and tonight I’m having joint pain and a headache that is so uncomfortable, but I’m not sure if that was from this medicine or not. I figure since it is tapering, maybe today is the worst day either way… I haven’t noticed anything else, but will keep you posted. I’m not sure if I told you I started Zyrtec about 2 weeks ago too, so together I’m trying Zyrtec, I started my Nasonex yesterday and the prednisone today. I did not need my nosepray at all this entire day UNTIL just now before bed. As soon as I tried to lie down, I got stuffy and the Nasonex wasn’t helping. But considering I have Afrin bottles everywhere and then keep one in my pocket and use several sprays each time I use it, this one spray tonight is a HUGE improvement. I’m accrediting that mainly to the Nasonex though this early because I’ve been using that today instead of the Afrin. The Dr said Prednisone and Nasonex together are the key. Also, no I’m not a smoker anymore. I was smoking in my 20s when I was on this the first time though but like I said I don’t think I had any problems then. I’m sorry you’re getting back on the increase currently. I was off of it for years and then had this bad allergy attack with congestion lasting for days and I still remember standing in the aisle at the store convincing myself I’d only use it for 3 days. That was 2 and 1/2 years ago. It is just so easy… I’ll keep you posted this week!


        • Hey Ken,
          Did that April chick ever respond to you? I couldn’t find it. I agree, she is pushing her product alright. I think she should at least ask your permission.

  18. So I read all these stories and can relate.. I am addicted to afrin and i am 8 months pregnant. My nose hurts from using it and im trying so hard not to use it.. I have tried everything.. every medicine .. the neti pot EVERYTHING.. nothing works like afrin.. but the oxymetazoline is horrible for you., and I am having the rebound congestion. Curious to know April.. whats the ingredients in your sprayfree4me?.. please let me know and email me at and let me know im curious to buy some.. just want to know whats in it. thanks

    • Crystal,

      I’m not sure if you are as bad off as I was, but I would say you should bring Breathe Right strips with you to the hospital. The clear ones for sensitive skin work the best. They have a stronger grip than the tan colored original ones so they help open your passages up more. I was in such a mess during my delivery that I didn’t even care about the pain from labor! I mean, can you imagine? They wouldn’t let me sit up at all and I can’t breathe when I lie flat on my back so I panicked. They brought in a fan to blow in my face, so that may help you if your hospital has one. (I have NO idea why they didn’t give me oxygen…) I ended up using my Afrin during the delivery so if you’re comfy doing that then have it with you. Good luck and congratulations on your baby!! Also, if you haven’t tried prednisone, you may want to consider it when you’re able to take it. I’m doing the 6 day dose tapering pack this week, and I’ll post updates on this site this week as Ken asked us to write what we’re trying. -Whitney

      • I know what you mean about panicking duriing childbirth. I had a c-section, but I was like you, they wanted to lie me flat, and I coudln’t breathe and for some reason, they didn’t give me oxygen. and I was having a panick attack. I had my nose spray in my hospital gown pocket, but in the position I was in, I really couln’t spray enough to relieve me. Plus I was scared to death as it was. and to boot, the anetheaologist told me I was acting like a baby. My husband wanted to punch him. and now, i am going in tomorrow morning for lapband surgury. I am free from the nose spray this time, so I won’t have to worry about that. but I am still scared to death the close it gets to tomorrow. anyway, good luck with the methods you are trying. predisonze can make you gain weight and kind of swell up, kind of puffy in the face and increase your appetite. one of you said you had headache and it can cause that. I am not sure about the nervousness. and the nasonex is good for allergy control. It is always good to get treatment for any underlying problems you have like allergies, so that when you try to get off the spray, it works. good luck.

  19. Hi, Crystal and Ken. I can’t tell you the specific ingredients here, once the full secret is out, then my business is done for. I do want to help people, but I do want to make a living too just like everyone else. I will tell you that one ingredient was recommended to me by my ear, nose and throat dr. And the entire method is safer than what you are doing now. And it will work. I am 100 percent confindent about that. You just have to decide whether it is worth it to you to try it. Ken, I would love for you to link to me, but I can’t send you the product for you to do it. It is just a method and you have the tools already. And I would never ask you to promote it unless you are addicted to nose spray, bought my method, used it and it worked for you. I just want people to know that I went through all this for 8 years. I got on it when I was pregnant. I had the panic attacks. I had the terrible rebound congestion. I took the bottles everywhere I went, even room to room in my house. I freaked if I had an almost empty bottle and hadn’t bought a new one yet. My nose hurt, my blood pressure kept going up. I also wanted to get lapband surgury, but coudn’t because the dr wouldn’t do it while I was on nose spray. That is when I really seriouly began trying to find a way to get off. That was three years ago. I had tried many times before, but I was set on doing it now. It took three years for me to figure out how to do it. The answer was simple, but yet I hadn’t thought of it until recently. I used the method and I am sprayfree completly now. and I feel free. It is amazing once you realize that you don’t have to carry a bottle with you all the time or worry about all those problems associated wiith it. And now, I am finally geting my lapband surguy this very week. So you decide.

  20. Hi everyone,

    I wanted to give an update – I took my last dose of the Prednisone pack today (I started on Tuesday with 6 pills, and tapered down to one pill today). I haven’t used my Afrin since Wednesday and I don’t even need the Nasonex now. I feel wonderful and I can breathe and for the first time in 25 straight months, I am throwing away my Afrin for good! I really recommend the prednisone. I did gain weight (about 4 lbs) but I kept drinking water because I noticed my fingers seemed to swell and my face got puffy and flushed. It seemed to be more of a water retention problem than actual weight gain, but I expect to get back to normal now that I’m finished with the pack. The water did help me with this. Like I said, I had some joint pain the first night which I read is a side effect of prednisone, but other than that all was fine. Good luck everyone!

  21. The answer is so simple I can’t believe I’ve not seen it anywhere else. I was addicted too and broke it by simply going cold turkey one nostril at a time. Took about two weeks for each. As long as I could breath out of one nostril, I was fine. Once the first nostril cleared up enough for me to breath through it, I quit Afrin altogether and just had to wait for the second one to clear up.

  22. Hey everyone! I was addicted to Afrin Nasal Spray for a long time. My story is very similar to a lot of those already posted. I would get sick and use the spray for months at a time. One time I tried to quit cold turkey and it was HORRIBLE! So a few years ago I figured I would try something new, so I went down to Walgreen’s and I tried this stuff called Benzedrex. It comes in a small tube, kind of like a Vick’s inhaler. I thought I’d give it a shot, and see if it would work better than Afrin and break the addiction. I was very happy with the results because it works really good! It takes a few minutes to kick in, but it cleared up my sinuses fast. I must caution you when you use it, because it does burn and sting a little, but it works so good it is worth it. I used it for a few days, and after that my congestion went away completely. Now I use Benzedrex whenever I get sick and will never use Afrin again. But don’t overuse Benzedrex, cuz the label says it can be addicting as well.

  23. hi everyone I’m addicted to afrin. it started when i was pregnant with my 2nd child. i started to have a stuffy nose then my doctor told me to use afrin. and i been using it for almost one year now. I am trying to get rid of it, I’m trying not to use it no more but i cant. i also been taking over the counter claritin but it doesn’t work. so does anybody have any tips i could use to help me quit using afrin, thank you i would really appreciate it if you would write back.

    • Anyone who is addicted to Afrin should go see and ENT. They can prescribe you some steroids to help you stop using Afrin. I was prescribed Prednisone and by the first evening I had a little bit of air. Enough not to have to use the AFrin. It still took a while using the steroids but it really helped a lot.

  24. Mayra, look at my website. It has a lot of info about nose spray addiction with includes afrin. I was addicted for eight years. I finally got off. the website will tell you how you can get off it for good. I got addicted when I was pregnant too from the pregnancy hormornes that give you the stuffy nose. And I have lots of good testimony now that is in favor of my method. I can’t believe your doctor actally told you to use afrin. every doctor I have met is agaist OTC nose sprays becuase they know what can happen. good luck.

  25. Anyone who is addicted to Afrin should go see and ENT. They can prescribe you some steroids to help you stop using Afrin. I was prescribed Prednisone and by the first evening I had a little bit of air. Enough not to have to use the AFrin. It still took a while using the steroids but it really helped a lot.

  26. I just wanted to say that yes, steroids can help you breath easier, but it doestn’ help very much in the addiction fight. You still can’t breath while you are using it and you still want to use nose spray. and Prednisone will make your skin puffy and cause weight gain. It makes you want to eat all the time.

    • I would rather eat and gain weight for a little while then be stuck on Afrin for years. I am sure there are down falls to any method someone is trying but the steroids helps the swelling in your nose go down which gives you air to breath. With the little air it gives each day, maybe an individual can have some will power not to use nose spray.

  27. Prednisone (Corticosteroids) may not help with the actual addiction but they WILL help you survive the rebound while you stop using the afrin.
    They are AMAZING at helping you breath while you are withdrawing/rebounding.
    Generally you will be on them for about 6 days and the first day of the steriods you will probably still need the afrin but by the second day and with a tiny bit of will power you will be… for the most part comfortably withdrawing.After 5 days of no afrin most people will be over the rebound.
    They may not work for everyone …but nothing will.I do believe they are most people’s best bet.

    Ps..Corticosteroids are serious drugs…not something that you want to casually take.Make sure they are prescribed by your doctor and the dosing instructions are followed.

  28. I posted above that I gained 4 lbs and had a puffy face and fingers when I took prednisone for my Afrin addiction. I did NOT feel hungry. I was just gaining weight without eating more. I finished the pack in the 6 days and the following week the puffiness and extra 4lbs on the scale went away day by day. 6 days of puffiness was WELL worth it to me. I’m completely medicince free now. Decide for yourself.

    If you’re like I was, if you’re so bad off that you actually found this website, I’m begging you to see your doctor. Prednisone or not, your doctor will have the best option for you. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

  29. I was addicted to nostrilla nasal spray for about 2 years. I felt absolutely hopeless until just a few months ago, i visited an ear nose & throat doctor. He prescribed me with prednosine tablets (as mentioned above) and after about 5 or so days of taking them, I was nasal-spray free and able to breathe out of my nose perfectly. Yes, I had to deal with a lot of discomfort during those 5 days, but it was SO worth it. Seriously, anyone who is suffering from this should know that it is not as hard as you may think to break the habit and live your life normally again 🙂

  30. I just like to leave an update here occasionally to help keep the site updated. I was addicted for 8 years to nose spray. Started with pregnancy. tried everything and was very discouraged. I finally came up with an idea on how to quit and I still think it is the best method out there. I am currently trying to send it to ear, nose and throat doctors all over US My site has can get you to the method to stop too. but most importanly, go to my site for free info on nose spray addiction. This has most anything you need or want to know and it also has a links page that goes to just about everything other site on internet about nose spray addiction. so one stop place. Good luck to everyone. I know what you are going through.

  31. The Afrin Addiction consumed a huge part of my life. I got addicted to the stuff when I was around 7th grade actually. Once in a while i’d be thankful that my doctor would inject me with a steroid that helped for a few months but never actually cured my addiction to the Afrin. So after I had graduated Highschool.. I went on for a few years still addicted….
    Eventually I said enough was enough and just went cold turkey. I couldn’t breath through my nose for days so i also couldn’t sleep for days. But I’ve been off the stuff for about 5-7 years now? I do use it once in a while when i have a cold. But thankfully i haven’t fallen back into the addiction. Because I take the whole 3 days thing VERY VERY SERIOUS.

    However my sister and my mother tend to still get addicted to the stuff.

  32. 3+year addiction to Afrin (every 3-4 hours- I have pretty bad allergies in addition to the addiction). I tried numerous times to quit by weaning and cutting the Afrin with saline, but with bad allergies, it just was not enough. Went to ENT, got 10 days of oral prednisone and Nasonex. First day/night and second day were miserable. Up most of the first nigh staring at the Afrin bottle, but held firm and did not cheat. Feeling great now and glad to be off the Afrin (I will always need allergy meds, so the non-addictive Nasonex is a better choice for me).

  33. Atrox,

    I hope you continue to get better! Your description of being up most of the night staring at the bottle made me laugh so I wanted to write. I have been there before many, many nights, and I also used prednisone to get better. I still say I do not know how Afrin is still on the market.

    Take care,

  34. I am 21 wks pregnant and have been addicted to afrin for about 4 months. I used it one night against my better judgement when I just could not breathe at all and wanted to sleep SO bad. I tried to go off it cold turkey on Tuesday and I was miserable, so when my husband came home I told him to go to the store and get me some. He came home and brought me not Afrin but a generic store brand that isnt Oxymethalizone (sp?) but Phenylephrine Hydrochloride. I didnt even realize it was different until after I used it a few times. I didnt think it was good to take Phenylephrine while pregnant so I sent him back to the store for Afrin and now the Afrin does not work on me anymore since using the other stuff. I try to go cold turkey but my whole face gets swollen and then I start gagging from not breathing and I throw up…so I give in and I am using the Phenylephrine in one nostril and only in both at night. Problem is that it only lasts about an hour…an HOUR can you believe it? I am miserable…all I think about is my scheduled C-Section in January and how am I going to use my decongestant while being operated on? I ordered the Rhinostat system today, has anyone had success?

  35. Hi Ken,

    I just stumbled across your website… I just currently moved to Germany with my husband for him to attend grad school. And… I just ran out of Mucinex nose spray. Yikes. I have never thought of myself as having an addiction. However, I was googling how I could ship Mucinex, Afrin.. heck, any kind of nose spray over here and stumbled across nose spray addiction sites. In Germany, I haven’t found a nose spray yet that has Oxymetazoline… instead, they are all saline sprays. So, I bought a bottle of the saline spray yesterday when I started freaking out that I was almost done w/ the Mucinex. I didn’t even realize it was a saline spray until I translated the bottle. I woke up about 5 times throughout the night not being able to breathe. It was horrible. It only brought relief for an hour or maybe a few hours… but not complete relief :-). However, I am still using the saline spray whenever my nose is stuffy because it’s all I have now… well, that and Flonase but, it doens’t seem to help. I spent a lot of money getting all this Flonase so hopefully it will start working. I also have year round allergies which isn’t helping anything. Basically, after reading a few websites and reading this website, I’ve come up with the fact that maybe I am addicted to nose spray. Kind of embarrassing. My husband agrees so I guess I am. I didn’t want to think I was because my nose will completely shut if I don’t use it…so I just assumed there was something wrong with my nose. It all started back in the Spring of 2006 when I got a bad cold. I started using nose spray and have been on it daily since. I would keep 2 bottles in my purse just so I always had a backup. Honestly, not only does it get expensive but due to the fact that I can’t find my “drug of choice” over here, I guess I have to get off of it. I start freaking out when I can’t breathe through my nose… I cannot STAND that feeling. Can anyone tell me how long (days) this rebound congestion will lasts for? Please! And, are you sure it will just stop one day? I guess I’m just not sure what to expect and the thought of being severely congested for days is kind of depressing/scary. Also, after a few days the congestion will just stop? How is that possible? I just want to be normal again 🙂 Oh, and can I keep using the saline spray throughout this whole process? Please say yes 🙂

  36. Hi, kimberly, I feel for you. I know the anxiety you are feeling, and I can’t imagine being in a country that doesn’t have the nose spray you are addicted to. I just wanted to say that I have found that it is kind of individual to how long the congestion will last., some get over it after a few days, some it takes up to 10 days. and it will be harder for you becuase you have allergies. I do too. And I had to get treatment for the allergies also. Keep using the saline. It won’t help but so much, but it is non addictable, and ear, nose and throat doctors recommend it for helping and clearing out nasal passages. the flonase will help with allergies too. but depending on how bad your allergies are, you might need more help. I wish you good luck.

  37. Jennifer, that is how I got addicted to nose spray. when I was pregnant with my first son eight years ago. I had pregnancy induced congestion, same as you. It is almost impossible to get off the nose spray while you are still pregnant unless you want misery. and it is just almost impossible to withstand. It will not directly hurt the baby. but you have to keep watch on your blood pressure beucase the spray can cause high blood pressure if used much and long term. the rhinostat system may work, but you shoudl be warned that you have to be only usuing your spray every six hours before you can start the system and then there is very little spray for you to use before you change dilution. it didn’t work for me. my method worked and if you email me, I will send you the method free. You have already spent money on rhinostat, and I don’t want you to spend more. when you email, list sprayfree4me in subject line.

  38. also, jennifer, I forgot to tell you that the c-section isn’t easy. I had two of them while on the nose spray. I had panic attacks. I just made sure that I sprayed rigth before they took me in surgury. also, ask for oxygen if they will give it to you. It helps make you think you are breathing better. also have a good support system to be there and help keep your mind off your nose. my second c-section while on spray, I acutally hid my spray in the hospital gown pocket, but didn’t use it. but I felt better having it with me. and let your ob/gyn know. sometimes it helps to know they know why you are freaking out if you do. good luck.

  39. Tulsa tom, my comments are not just advertising. If you will read them all, you will see that a good handful say absolutely nothing about my website. And of coarse, I charge before I give out the method for nose spray withdrawal. Do you go to the store and they let you take out the merchandise before you pay for it? no. I don’t know why everyone is always so mad becuase I charge 8.00 for my method. all these other methods online charge a whole heck of a lot more, and they don’t even work. I provide all the other info about nose spray addiction on my site free. I am trying to make a living just like everyone else, but I also know that my method is not a lie and it works. And everyone that seems to knock it haven’t even seen what it is about or tried it including you.

    • well, nobody wants to pay for something that may not even work, not knowing what it is, with just your hype to go to your website and buy it. here’s what does work. ONLY SPRAY ONE NOSTRIL, THE WORST ONE AND THEN STOP SPRAYING ALTOGETHER IN A FEW DAYS. IT WORKS AND THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THE INFORMATION.

    • April – No one is mad at you, I just don’t think is the appropriate place to advertise your product. Ken’s nice enough to post some information out here on his OWN WEBSITE in order to help people, and you’re out here “trying to make a living”. That’s not the purpose of this blog. Do your own advertising and stop hijacking blogs, ok?

  40. I just have to let everyone know that I wasted over 30.00 on Rhinostat and it did not work. What they dont tell you on the website is that you have to be down to using the spray only once every 4-6 hours for the system to work. I used mine at least every 2 hours so that ytwas not helpful at all. They offer a way to “wean” yourself down to 4-6 hours by adding 15 min increments to your spray time, but that was not practical for me.
    April Hutcheson was kind enough to send me her system AT NO CHARGE just like she promised in a prior posting, and I must say I feel very positive about it, I am due to give birth soon and I know that if I follow her directions I will not have to ask my fiancee to smuggle Afrin into the delivery room. Thank you April for helping me out, I truly appreciate it!!

    In response to TulsaTom…The one nostril thing does not work for everyone. In my case, I have a deviated septum and dont breathe well out of my right nostril. I tried to do the one nostril method and it did not work because I was not getting enough air out of my right nostril alone…I needed both to breathe!! And I am sure I am not the only one with this issue.

  41. I have been addicted to nose drops for two years. It was awful, the expense, I always carried it on me, I’d secretly use it when I “needed relief”. It was terrible. Last week, on Tuesday, I used it several times and was getting no relief from it. After two years I couldn’t get my fix. I went to the Pharmacist and asked what I could do. He said I had rebound congestion and I had to quit because it wasn’t good for me. I already knew that. He said my red blood vessels in my mucous membranes were probably engorged and my nasal passage will close up. He said it would take about a week of hell in order for the membranes to heal and to get back to normal. I decided to do it. I had no choice, my nasal passage was completely blocked and no air was going through. It was awful. I had to breathe through my mouth. My lips were chapped, I had to drink lots of fluids, and I couldn’t talk normal. My friend said I sounded like a robot because I couldn’t breathe through my nose. The first and second nights were hell. Especially the first night. I was up all night, wanting and wishing I could have my fix. I bought the Breathe Right strips and it didn’t help since my membranes were swollen. I tried saline solution to help flush out the nose, did the steam to add relief but it didn’t work. I used mentholatum under each nostril and it didn’t help. It was cold turkey without relief but I knew I had to do it. The third night was easier, I used the strips and slept for 5 hours. The most I slept in two days. Today, day four, it’s a lot better. I can breathe about 80% better today. I’ll still use the strips tonight, they help out. I should be completely normal in another three days. Just like the Pharmacist said, one week. It’s hard, very, very hard to quit. But if I could do it anyone can. I’m a weak guy and have no patience. It was hell at the beginning but was worth it. I’ll never do nose drops again. Good luck.

  42. I too have been addicted before..It sucks.. I have used all available antibiotics to get rid of sinus infections, they always come back…I stay on pseudofed from am to pm to breathe and keep my allergies ar works..get the one from the pharmacy though. I also researched a natural way to help with my sinus infections etc. and found collidal silver. You can dilute it with saline and use it as a nasal spray and it really helps! There’s also ecinechia and goldenseal..the goldenseal helps with your mucous and the echinecia to help fight off colds etc. You can make a tea out of oregano that can really help if you are super congested! I have helped many a sick person with this tea..Make it til it’s light green and add honey and lemon and sweeten to taste.
    Good luck and happy breathing 🙂

  43. My husband is completely addicted to afrin. This is probly going on the 4th year of continuous use. It is in every vechical, diaper bag, my purse, bedroom, and theres even a bottle at my parents house just in case he needs it when we go there to eat/visit. He has had breathing problems since he was a child, he is now 30. He has severe rebound conjestion and now is complaining of fatigue, inability to sleep or breathe deeply. I am very worried and have tried to get him to stop using it but its he says he feels like he is suffocating if he doesnt use it. So what would be the best thing to do? make an appt with an allergist or start with our family dr? He doesnt think goin to dr will help because he’s been on every allergy medication/shots with no results. Also we have been to a surgeon that suggested nasal surgery but we would like to try somethin less invasive if possible

  44. Hi, I just wanted to share with you something I tried and actually helped. I’m 26 yrs old and I’ve been addicted to nasal spray (actually my favorite was the CVS brand spray bottle) since I was 15. In high school, people always thought I was running to the bathroom constantly when I really just wanted to spray my nose. I always carried a purse so I can have a place to keep it with me. It wasn’t until this past summer my husband noticed how often I would have all day runny noses or how I complained that I was getting more and more addicted. He went to a local drug store and bought me a bottle of Alkalol, a “soothing nasal wash, mucus solvent and cleaner.” The bottle says its been around since the 1800’s. Anyway, what I did after I tried using this solely in my nose with no avail, was added it to a half full bottle of my nose spray. It added a slight menthol scent which I liked. The important thing, I still felt like the nasal spray cleared my nose. Then when the bottle was a quarter empty, I filled it again with the Alkalol. So it was twice diluted. By that time about 2 weeks later, i felt less of a need to use it as often. Then when that bottle finished I just filled it with the alkalol. So there maybe was a tiny bit of nasal spray in there but hardly. By the end of that bottle i had gone threw a full day and not used it once. I decided that night to try to go one day without it. I was stuffy and had to sleep on my back but i survived. And the next day and day after. 3 months later still no nose spray. Try looking up the product online for its ingredients if you cant find the same thing near you. Please try it though, i always felt like my nasal spray addiction was my dirty little secret. Not anymore.

  45. I used 4-way for 10 years!!! I couldn’t stop. My dr. prescribed me steiroids. Plus flonase…that took care of it immediately…ahhhh i can breath by myself again!!!

  46. I have been addicted to afrin for 25 years, and because of my high blood pressure I had to get off it. I have tried many many times, but this time I went to an Ears Nose Throat MD, he said I had a deviated septum(SP?) Anyway he gave me a shot and then some steriod nose spray to use 2 shots each nostril twice a day. One night one I found that 2 “breathe right” strips helped and I am on day 4 and still WITHOUT AFRIN. Last time I did it was before the EENT MD. I still keep my afrin bottle around, like at work in my car and not in my pocket….but I know its in the car, if it gets too bad. This morning I reached into my pocket like 5 times before noon out of habit. I didn’t realized how much psycho it is! GOOD LUCK! You can do it….. the first 24 hrs was the worst!

  47. I’m glad to know that i am not alone in this addiction. I threw away my Afrin today and asked my boyfriend to throw away any that were at home for me. My addiction started from severe allergies. I just like to breath lol. Well, i now have nose bleeds, blow out blood anytime i blow my nose, on top of that…. I’ve lost my sense of smell. I hope that returns when i am off the nose spray. My addictions are periodic, during allergy season. I had no clue these sprays are this bad to so many people. I really have to quit and I’ll suffer through the cold turkey method.

    Cynthia – I tried the neti pot… it does not help with the addiction or to clear up a stuffed nose from rebound congestion. But, i love the concept of it and will use it once i am clear of Afrin addiction.

    Ken – Thanks for posting this site, whether i find any of the info or methods useful or not…. i am so happy and comforted by the fact that i am not alone.

    April Hutcheson – I dont know if anybody would pay $8 for an email with no guarantee or refund if it doesnt help. Yes i spend money on Afrin, but if it doesnt work…. Walgreens will give me my money back. I can also read the ingredients in OTC products…. how am i to know if any of the $8 miracle method is something i may have an allergy to? If you truly want to help people….. you would give info and ask for donations, kinda like non-profit organizations. And to even post your way of “Earning a living” in the same paragraph as diet pills gives me the impression that it is only about money not about help. And you mentioned you havent seen results for testimonials because you just started this in February? Might as well stay on Afrin if it takes months to heal from using your method! Plus, you declined Ken’s offer after trying to use his site to advertise. Whether you want to help or not…. that is advertising!

    • well, I am sorry some of you have a problem with me. I am not posting on here anymore. If you want to find me, you can get to me. This is the only site that has had a problem with me. And everyone that has said something has not talked to me nor bought my method. My site is what it is and those who read the site and try the method know what it is about. and to date, I have helped over 60 people get off nose spray. Most don’t leave testimony, but do talk to me by email personally. Believe it or not. It’s your nose. I don’t offer refund, becuase I am not selling a bottle of nose spray from walgreens. I am selling an e-report on how to get off and what you need to do it. Once I send the e-report, they have it and it can’t be returned to me. And nobody is going to donate when something like this is free. And I never said it would take months to heal. It takes aprrox 4 monts or less to complete. and if you put toghter all the time you spend trying to get off it with everything else or trying to do it yourself, you are still on it for months, years. so 4 months is worth it, when in the end of it, you are free. I will say no more. I will post everywhere else online with those that don’t have a problem. becuase I am tired of trying to explain myself.

  48. I posted on 10/25/09 stating that I was one week in to going cold turkey. It did get better, but was still a long process. After stopping I went through various stages. Sometimes I could breathe, other times I couldn’t. Night time was the worst because when I’d lay down I couldn’t breathe very well so I’d have to prop my pillows up and sit up and sleep. It helped. My nasal membranes were in the healing process so it was very moist inside, sometimes dripping like a runny nose. For one whole month after I stopped nose drops I went through various stages of healing. Not to be gross but to be honest, for two years I had not produced dried nasal mucous (boogers). I finally started to. After one month and two weeks of being off nose drops my nose is completely healed! No runny nose, no blood, and no swelling of my nasal membranes. I can breathe on my own and it feels great. Nose drops will never be in my house again, bad, bad, bad stuff! If I can do it, anyone can. It’s worth the little hassle you have to go through. Good luck!

  49. i was hooked on afrin for months and months and got off by spraying only one nostril. it lets one side get over it and then you start weaning off the other side. when i was uncomfortable, i would spray, but only the one side, that went on for about a week, then i skipped spraying one day, because i didn’t seem to need it, then did spray the next day, but only needed it once, then nothing. off, the whole deal was over and it was not hard or scary. i’ve been off for a month now and never give it a thought. actually, about a week ago, i sprayed once at bedtime and have been fine ever since. i’m normal again.

    this may not work for people who have a deviated septum that blocks one side, but if you can get air though both nostrils, it is the way to go. good luck and easy breathing to all.

    la la la, ha ha ha :)))

  50. How I ended the afrin addictionl I should tour schools. I was addicted on afrin since april of 2009. I took it everyday, twice a day and sometimes three times in October. I saw an allergist who prescribed me steroids and nasanex. Neither of the two worked. I then saw my regular md for something else and I told her about this, she said to use both the nasanex and afrin at the same time. She said it would take about three days for the nasanex steroids to work. Well it worked somewhat, but I was still using. Then last Friday, today is the following Wednesday, I suddenly got a nose bleed. See, I had my nose cauterized a couple years back, so it should have bled. I told myself that this cannot happen again as I was getting constant nose bleeds. I decided to cut, as they say, cold turkey. I went to the store and bought nasal moisturizing spray/nasal saline, and just went to town with it. I have not used for 5 days. I can tell my nose is very dry and still squirting the saline but I have got off the addiction. The problem with afrin is is that it raises your blood pressure and there are no studies as to what happens for prolonged use. I still think afrin is a very good drug, but one must use it with great moderation and not to get into an addiction. I would also suggest to anyone with an addiction who wants to stop to cut cold turkey, with a little nasanex or flonaise. These are nasal steroids that would help repair the damage done by afrin. Happy breathing everyone!

  51. I’ve been addicted to nasal spray since I was very young. I think the first time I used it I was about 8 years old, and now I’m 34. I’ve taken oral steroids, steroid nasal sprays, done the one side spraying, ect. The oral and nasal steroids helped the most. I only wish my doctor would give me a fill as needed prescription on the nasonex so I won’t be tempted to use the nasal spray the next time I get sick. What frustrates me the most is that no matter how many times I swear to get off the stuff, I find it is also a mental addiction as well. I absolutely LOVE that feeling when I’m all stopped up and suddenly I can breathe. But not just breathe, it’s all clear and tingly. Should I seek out psychological help for that side of the addiction? Thanks.

    P.S. It’s a good idea to keep a nasal steroid around even after you’ve completely quit the Afrin.

    • Hi Amanda,

      I know exactly what you mean. Afrin does feel wonderful when you first use it after being sick then you try forever to get that same feeling. Honestly, HOW is this stuff available OTC??? I too started using it when I was a little girl. (Thanks, mom!) I finally used the oral 6 day dose pack of prednisone to wean off it in May. I’ve been off ever since. BUT, back to what you were saying. I’m wondering if you could get the same relief (or at least close) if you tried pseudephedrine (behind the counter- the real stuff) with a Breathe Right strip AND a little dap of menthol under your nose (like Vicks or something.) At least it might get you out of a bind without prolonging an addiction.

      But, I don’t know about getting psychological help. I would say no. Unless we all need it. Maybe we do. I call this site my Triple A group. Afrin Addicts Anonymous. Take care and good luck!

  52. Hello everyone!
    Have I been addicted the longest? I am 41 years old and have been addicted since my late teens. I remember as a teenager riding my bike up to the store to buy the nose spray (not Afrin, but a store brand, which is what I’ve always used).

    A few years ago, I tried a product I found online called Rhinostat. Basically, they send you a kit that helps you slowly dilute your nose spray until eventually you are taking only saline spray. It worked!!! It took just a few weeks and the best part was that there was NO discomfort. But I got re-addicted…. 🙁

    I bought the Rhinostat again, and this time it just didn’t work for me. To make matters worse, over the past few months, I’ve found that my regular nasal spray is losing its effectiveness. Talk about PANIC! I could always count on that stuff to clear me up, but lately I was still congested after using it. One evening, I could NOT get my nose to clear up no matter how much of the stuff I used. I got no sleep that night, and the next morning I called an ear, nose & throat doctor and begged for the first available appt.

    I went yesterday morning. I was afraid the doctor would just tell me to go “cold turkey” or berate me. It is an embarrassing addiction. But he didn’t.

    He prescribed 3 things for me: a 12-day pack of Prednisone steroid, a nasal spray steroid called Omnaris, along with a nasal spray antihistimine called Astepro. He told me that I should avoid using my regular nasal spray altogether except at night if I absolutely have to. He told me I should begin feeling relief in a few days, but he will see me back in 4 weeks to see how much I’ve improved. I am hopeful, especially after reading some of these comments about how the steroids have worked for many of you. Like every other woman out there (LOL), I am afraid of weight gain and bloating from Prednisone, but if it helps me break this addiction, I will do ANYTHING! I have been addicted for over 20 years! (at $5/bottle…sometimes as much as a bottle a week…how much money have I wasted???!!!!).

    I am only on day 1 of my doctor’s medication cocktail, and I am very stuffy right now, but not totally congested (yet). I know the next few days will be tough, but I am hopeful.

    BTW, my doctor did say that if this doesn’t work, there is a surgery I can have?? I have never heard that before, and I would never jump into that without thoroughly researching it, but has anyone else ever heard of it? He said they go in and open up your passages widely somehow. Sounds scary. I feel like I can do this if I hang in there and give the meds a chance to work.

    Someone earlier posted that these medications should be kept behind the pharmacy counter. I thoroughly agree!! This stuff is horribly addicting, as I’m sure everyone who found this board already knows. The warnings on the label should be larger as well.

    Wish me luck! I will report back in on how I’m doing. I’ve promised myself that if I break the habit again this time, I will NOT touch another bottle of OTC nasal spray ever again, no matter how bad I am congested due to a cold or allergies. It’s like an alcoholic trying to have “just one drink.”

  53. I’ve been addicted to afrin for about 6 months (which isnt long in comparison to some of you, i know), but I knew I had to stop when I started getting nose bleeds & making emergency runs because i ran out. I tried a couple of times to do it ‘cold turkey’ & it didn’t work.

    This time, I’m in the process of trying the 1 nostril thing & ITS WORKING. A couple words of advise though:
    1) wait for cold weather, keep your house freezing & DONT turn on the heat
    2) put afrin in 1 nostril & sleep on your side with that afrin nostrill on the ‘bottom’ closest to the pillow & the other nostril on the ‘top’ because it keeps it somewhat clearer
    3) use claritin or sudafed that first night (or both…I used both hah)
    4) even though its FREEZING in your bedroom…turn the fan on ALL night (again, it seems to help)
    5) keep yourself elevated on pillows (like 2 or 3 pillows)

    Its only my 2nd day, but i do feel a lot better already in that 1 nostril. Last time I tried, it was still hot & humid out (I live in florida), & that’s what really did me in last time, so i’m using this week of cold to try to get off it as much as possible.

  54. Update on my posting from 12/29.

    I am on Day 3 of the medication cocktail prescribed by my ENT. IT IS WORKING! Per my doctor’s instructions, I am only using my nasal spray at night “if needed” (so far, I have needed it, but only one small drop in each nose is all I need for complete relief overnight). Day 1 was really tough and I was congested all day. Yesterday was better, but I was still congested although not as bad as Day 1. Today, so far, is so much better. I feel only slightly congested. I am just amazed at how well this is working, but I have another 9 days on the Prednisone, and then will only continue with the other 2 spray meds he gave me until I see him in a few weeks. I really think that in the next day or so, I will not even need that drop of “regular” nasal spray in the evenings at all. I will be completely free of the stuff.

    If this can work for me after a 20+ year addiction, it can likely work for anyone! And very minimal discomfort. Yes, the first couple of days are full of congestion, but NOTHING like that total congestion you get when you stop cold turkey.

    Wish me luck! I hope to be totally med-free soon!

  55. Hi. My name is Joe and I am a nose spray junkie. Have been, on and off (more on than off), for over thirty years. My condition is so bad that sometimes at night, my nasal passages are so stopped-up that I can’t even blow air out through them. I have to get out bed and sit upright in a chair to clear my nasal passages enough so I can squirt (I am beyond a simple spray) some of the magic juice up there.

    My problem is further complicated by the fact that I have severe allergies and a deviated septum. I’m not sure what role, if any, the deviated septum plays. Other than this is part of the reason why I have nasal congestion in the first place. And I think this is the reason why one nasal passage is worse than the other. However, it’s the allergies that are most problematic.

    What am I allergic to? You name it. Dust, trees, grass, cats, smoke, etc. (some seasonal, but mostly non-seasonal irritants). There are even some foods that aggravate my allergies. I did allergy shots for about five years and this helped. But my treatments lapsed about ten years ago and my allergy conditions are now as bad as ever. I guess I should have stayed on the maintenance plan because – as I have discovered – there is no cure for allergies.

    For the longest time, I was an oxymetazoline HCL user and usually I could get by with just using the stuff a few times per day. But this was when I had the allergies under control. When my allergies are acting up (as they have been for years), I have constant congestion that I am trying to combat, which means I am now using the spray several times per hour. I have various bottles strategically situated around my house so I always have a bottle at the ready when needed.

    Another side-effect of the allergies is constant post-nasal drip, which causes a chronic cough. So I eat decongestants (i.e. Sudafed) like M&M’s, which is causing my blood pressure to reach the minimum threshold of the problematic spectrum. The decongestant tablets help curtail the mucous, but they don’t fully shrink the nasal membrane. That’s where my trusty nose spray comes into play, once again!

    Lately, I have experienced a new phenomenon, whereby the oxymetazoline is no longer working for me. This started when I inadvertently switched to a different type of spray. I never knew there were different active ingredients in these nose sprays (who reads the package?). I thought one was the same as all the others. In fact, I would try to buy the generic store brand whenever possible in order to save a few bucks (the generic is at least half as expensive as Afrin). Mine isn’t a terribly expensive habit, but if I can save a few bucks, why not?

    I’ve been using a spray with phenylephrine HCL for the last month or so (i.e. “Novartis 4 Way” brand) and when I ran out, I tried to go back to oxymetazoline HCL. But the oxy doesn’t work anymore. Only the phenylephrine does the trick. I suspect this is because the oxy compound is 0.05%, whereas the phenylephrine is 1.0% (i.e. it’s more potent). I would squirt, not spray, the oxy and no matter how much I flooded my nasal cavity, nothing would happen. Except my allergies would become severely aggravated and I would have to pop a couple of Benadryl to arrest the symptoms. The downside to doing this is that I fall asleep. Interestingly, sleep has become the best part of my day because the body doesn’t produce histamine when you’re asleep. Even though I am still congested, I am at least free of the allergy symptoms.

    When the oxy failed to work and I was out of the phenylephrine HCL, I actually started to panic. I went to the store immediately and bought some phenylephrine. But I can’t live like this any longer.

    By the way, I also am trying a nasal rinse that my wife picked up for me, but it’s not really doing anything. The treatment sounds good in theory so I’ll keep doing it, but I’m not optimistic.

    I was previously under the care of an ENT, who helped me beat this addiction years ago. He has since retired, but I am going to find a new doctor. I know there are some drastic treatments out there. I am willing to try anything, including surgery, if necessary. I will report back on my progress. I am making the commitment today to so something about this terrible condition, once and for all. I’m going to get on this right away. But first, I need another squirt!

    • OK, I’m back. I went to see the doctor last week. Because allergies are the root of my problem, I chose to see an allergist. But I also picked a doctor who has experience in the general area of sinus problems. He looked up my nose and his facial expression screamed, “Yikes”!

      By the way, I’ve been reading the recent posts on this page and one thing is abundantly obvious to me, which is that there isn’t a single solution to kick the nose spray habit. The benefit of a forum such as this is to gain an understanding of the various remedies that have worked for different people. That being said, I do not plan to copyright my treatment plan and sell it to anyone!

      Anyway, the doctor said he wants to try to get my alergies under control first. Because people respond differently to allergy medications, he gave me a few things to try. This includes Singulair, which is a daily pill to reduce the nasal secretions that were causing the congestion, as well as the post nasal drip that causes the chronic cough. He also gave me Nasacort and Patanase, which are allergy-relief nasal sprays.

      I’ve been following the doctor’s orders for five days now and I have noticed some improvement. I am not yet off the over-the-counter nose spray, but I find I am using it less. The allergies are also a little better (I haven’t taken any Benadryl in a few days). These are small improvements in the grand scheme of things, but any progress is good at this point.

      I go back to see the doctor in another three weeks to do skin testing (I have decided to go back on the allergy shots). He said if I don’t respond to the current treatment, he will consider some more drastic measures, such as steroid pills / shots. He was reluctant to start out with this plan of attack because he said the treatment is very aggressive and not without risks. I didn’t inquire as to what they might be.

      One thing for certain is that it’s going to take a while for me to get this addiction beat because I have to treat the underlying problems first. My hope is that I am completely free of OTC nasal spray by the summer. I honestly think it’s going to take that long. Stay tuned,,,

  56. Oh my gosh, I for sure thought that I was the only person in the world that was addicted to nose spray. It started when I was in high school, a friend recommended that I try afrin, I did and couldn’t believe that I went so long with out it. Then I got off of it and was only using it when I was sick, I was no longer addicted. Then when I was twenty five and having a baby I of course get the whole congestion thing because of the hormones or what not, and I bought it again. I know it sound horrible, but. I would not have made it thru my pregnancy with out it. Then I had my child, 13 mths ago, and the congestion went away for about a month, 12 mths later here I am addicted again. I can’t quit, my life revolves around nose spray. If I forget it at home, I have to go buy some. – have like 30 bottles around me at all times, if I run out I freak out! So I’m going to give this a try, relieving one nostril at a time! Thanks for the advise.

  57. as it seems no one will ever say this, i will : ” April fuck off stop trying to sell your crap in a blog where there are people really worried because of their addiction, this is the first time i read this blog, because i just got found out what afrin could do and im sick of your advertising comments, so go sell your crap on the street, and let people talk about real, free and useful tips, you think you know more than doctor, but you need to make your living with a crapy webpage.
    The only thing i can tell to all the people with the same problem, is to go see a doctor, they are the only ones with real, safe options to get rid of AFRIN (and other similar sprays)

  58. I just have to say, that April sent me her program for FREE and it was the only thing that helped me!! Is she advertising on this site? Yes. But she is doing it because she knows it works…so chill out!!!

    • I just wanted to say, thank you to Jennifer for taking up for me. and To Carlos, people think it’s not okay for me to help people on this site, but it’s okay for him to use language. And I don’t deserve to be talked to like that, especially since I have not posted anything in quite some time, even though I really wanted to respond to some people and their problems and not anything that has to do with advertizing my site.

  59. April, I have been meaning to email you about my situation…I have a c-section scheduled on Jan 29th and THANK GOD I am not taking Afrin anymore!! I had such bad anxiety wondering if I was going to have my husband smuggle the spray in the OR!! You really helped me out, and your system was great. So thank you thank you a million times!!

  60. Hi I wrote back in November saying how I kicked my habit of 10 years and i wanted to update by saying what i tried is still working. What I did was mix a nasal wash with a half empty bottle of my favorite nose pray. The nasal wash i used also contained menthol which I liked, and also is known for helping clear nasal passages (i think). Anyway when the bottle was a quarter finished, i filled it again with only the wash. Then when the bottle was empty i still filled it with only the nasal wash. At this point, it was only nasal wash. Did I mention that my nose felt the same clearness as it did with all nasal spray. I had just started a new job when I was using only nasal wash so that incited me to not use it all one day at work. The fact that I could do that was huge for me. Then that night, i said if i can not use this before i got to bed, this will be the biggest step towards quitting this. And i did. And it kinda sucked, i was stuffed, couldnt sleep on my side but i did eventually go to sleep. And the next day i said if i can distract myself at work and not use it, great. And it continued like that for a week. By week 2 I threw out all my bottles of nasal spray. I gave the nasal wash away. Anyway, im now 5 months clean (lol) and i wanted to share with you guys cuz i know how it feels to be congested or runny one night and the nasal spray is not working and you cant sleep and your online hoping that someone, somewhere has found the cure or something that works. I did find something for me. Please try it. And if anyone wants to know the specific nasal wash i used just respond to this or look back at my November post.

  61. What Valery… you dont want to try and make a mint off your treatment ideas lol… Thanks a million, you probably just busted Aprils treatment wide open. I had thought of the same thing to try and WEAN myself off this crap but wasnt sure what i could mix with the spray to do it properly, thats why I was on here researching in the first place. Is there any certain kind of wash or any wash will do? Im living in a house full of nasal spray users, first one has YEARS of abuse and even a surgery under her belt due to the prolonged use, then comes the daughters. I have allergies to pet dander and they have dogs, when I moved in with her I started getting stuffed up and the stuff is sitting on every counter and table. Addicted in no time uhhhgggg… I need to get off this stuff,
    Im miserable and seeing me off it just might inspire the rest of them.

    Thanks again for posting your ideas and everyone else of course… except april, lol… Ill let ya know how i do : )

    • Reading the posts on this page, I find it interesting that a lot of people got hooked on nose spray in the first place because of allergies. This is certainly true in my case (I’m hacking on post-nasal drip as I’m writing this).

      Beating the allergies has to be step one. If I didn’t know better, I would suspect there is a conspiracy between the allergists and the makers of nose spray against the miserable, suffering addicts.

      I’ve been down this road before and the first order of business has to be getting the allergies under control. Without that, rebound is pretty much assured.

      • UPDATE: I went to the allergist yesterday for testing and as it turns out, I am allergic to just about everything on God’s green earth. I will be starting shots in the next two weeks. I am allergic to so many things that I need to get not one, not two, or even three shots at each sitting, but a grand total of four shots. I’m going to feel like a pin cushion!

        Also, I convinced the doctor to prescribe me Prednisone, based on the intelligence gained from reading this board (thanks to all). The steroid nasal sprays have helped a liitle bit, but I still haven’t gotten the allergy symptoms completely under control. We’re trying different brands and still haven’t found one that seems to work effectively. Also, we scrapped the Singulair. That wasn’t doing a damn thing.

        Use of the OTC nasal spray is definitely down, but not yet out. Nevertheless, we’re making progress, so that’s good.

        One other thing the doctor gave me to try is a non-addictive, OTC nasal spray called capsicum (brand name “Sinol-M”). He described it as a derivative of pepper that is designed to invoke a natural reaction, which in turn, opens up the nasal passages for more air flow. Sounds good, right? I tried it and it certainly isn’t comparable to the relief provided by the Afrin-type OTC sprays. But it has a pleasant fragrance to it. It’s a bit pricey ($15 at Target), but if it helps to kick the Afrin habit, it’s worth it.

        • Joe, your posts crack me up! 🙂 You are a humorist! I was posting back in the spring and early fall, but then the dose tapering pack of prednisone kicked my habit. I’ve been reading the posts though as they still come to my email, and I just laughed out loud at both of yours! I’m getting ready to go through allergy testing and shots too. I’ll probably giggle at your pin cushion comment the whole time! Anyway, I hope the prednisone works for you. Keep us posted!

          • Thanks, Whitney. It could be a lot worse, so why not try to find some humor in the whole thing, right? I mean, it’s not like having a terminal illness, or anything. This is merely an annoying, quality-of-life ailment.

            I did the shots years ago and they do work. But I am allergic to many more things now than I was back then because I used to only get two shots instead of four. They’re tiny needles, so it’s no big deal. The worst part is having to sit around and wait 30 minutes after the injection to make sure you don’t go into anaphylactic shock. Some guy in the city where I live (Norwalk, CT) died a few years ago because of this. This is one of the reasons why most doctors don’t recommend the new allergy drops that you may have heard of.

            The lesson I learned from my allergy shot experience is not to stop the shots. The doctor said it’s a customary part of the treatment plan that once you get to a certain point, they recommend you cease treatment because sometimes it holds. In my case, it didn’t. So I have accepted the fact that in order to maintain the higher quality of life that presently eludes me, I will have to keep doing the shots forever.

            So far, all that the prednisone has done is aggravate my allergies. It’s almost like my sinus cavity is the battlefield between good and evil (I have the mother of all wars going on in there right now!). The prednisone and the histamine are having it out and so far, the battlefield (i.e. my nose) is the only casualty. So I’m back to popping Benadryl, once again. Unfortunately, when you mix Benadryl with a few Super Sunday suds, I may not be able to stay awake for the big game!!!

  62. I posted on 10/25/09 when I began my path to get off nose drops, cold turkey and again on 12/08/09 to give my results. Nose drops were like my drug, hiding it, going in to a bathroom to use it, buying in bulk. It was terrible. The ONLY thing that will work to get off of nose drops is going cold turkey like I did. The first three days is hell. I could only breathe thru my mouth. It took about a month to get 75% of my breathing back, and a couple of months to be normal again. Yes, it was hell at the beginning, but worth it. Start on Friday morning and just breathe thru your mouth all day. At night sleep sitting up. If you can’t sleep, like I couldn’t, just try, you may dose off for a little while. If you don’t work Saturday you can stay home and take cat naps and continue your fight. Sunday will be a little better and you’ll probably sleep more that night. On Monday, you should be even better and sleep a lot more. Just try this when you have three days to yourself and not have to worry about work. If I could do it, you could do it. Let me know if you do, I’d be happy to hear of your progress.

    • Freddy,
      I must respectfully disagree that the ONLY thing that will work is going cold turkey. I am thrilled that it worked for you. I also posted about my addiction recently (on 12/29, and an update on 12/31). I was addicted for well over 20 years. I went to an ear, nose & throat doctor who gave me a prescription for a 12-day regimen of steroids (Prednisone), plus some steroid nose spray & another spray for allergies. He told me I could use my own spray only at night if I needed to. The first few days I was definitely stuffy, but NOTHING like the feeling I’ve had when I tried to go cold turkey, where NO air at all was getting through. I was getting some air through, but was breathing as if I had a slight cold. I needed to use my spray at night for the first 3 nights. On night #4 my nose was clear enough to sleep without using my dreadful spray. Since then, I have been completely off the stuff.

      So, it took me only 4 days to break a 20+ year addiction, with minimal discomfort. I was off the steroid pills in 12 days, and when I see the dr. again next week, he will advise if I still need the prescription sprays.

      I feel amazing! I am actually sleeping through the night for the first time in years! I have more energy during the day due to sleeping better. No more waking up stuffy and needing the spray. No more hiding spray bottles everywhere (I threw them all out weeks ago!). I no longer sniffle all day long. It is great!

      Freddy, you say it took about a month to get 75% of your breathing back, and a couple months to breathe normally. Like I said, I’m glad it worked for you, but I haven’t even been off the stuff for a month yet, and I am breathing totally clearly. Have been since Day #4 of the meds.

      I am not telling people NOT to do it your way (cold turkey), but I just disagreed with your comment that it is the ONLY way. Yes, what I did was very aggressive treatment (steroids are nothing to fool around with!), but WOW those things worked!!!

      I still sit here in amazement that the addiction that was overtaking me for over 20 years was able to be broken, fairly painlessly, in only 4 days.

      Good luck everyone. It IS possible to break this addiction. Lots of different ways I’ve read about here (using medication from an ENT doctor, going cold turkey, one nostril at a time, etc.). Do whatever you need to do to get off the stuff. It’s worth it.

  63. No Mark, I’m not gonna charge for this information, lol. As a person who suffered from this addiction I would have given anything for a cure and I would have been pissed if anyone would charge me for the information. I’m just really glad I found a method that worked for me that worked with little discomfort and didnt include surgery or pills because I’m not a big fan of taking medication( with the exception of nasal spray, lol) Anyway I used a nasal wash called Alkalol, which i saw has a website. What made me dare to mix it with my nasal spray was that it said something about being safe enough to gargle with and it had menthol. So i decided to mix it with my own nasal spray. I did have a new nasal spray as backup in case it didnt work but when i used it it worked just fine. I think this is a good method because going cold turkey is great if you can but depending on the severity of your case you could suffer severe congestion which would especially suck if you work. You don’t want to be at work all congested and miserable. Anyway, as i said, i would just be thrilled if it worked and helped someone out like it did me. Its great to know i can go somewhere without needing to bring my purse or something so i can bring it with me.

  64. I’ve had allergies all of my life, and have spent months at a time completely stuffed up. I just breathe through my mouth when my nose is stuffed up. I’d prefer to breathe through my nose, but it’s not like I can’t breathe. Is it that difficult to do this for a few days?

  65. Great web site, I’m glad I stumbled accross it. I’ve been on the spray for nearly a year but only in recent weeks did it get bad – I mean the rebound congestion. Reading most of the posts is encouraging as I felt that I was the only person that had an issue with having a blacked nose when trying to sleep (I almost feel like I get a panic attack).

    Can anyone tell me if it normal that you constantly blow your nose when you have rebound congestion as well as have inexplicable nose dripping (almost like water)?

    I’ve tried weaning off of the spray but cannot see how this method will work given that you just end up using more of the diluted spray.

    • Hi Phil,

      I’m sure everyone here knows what you’re talking about with the rebound congestion and drippy nose. Its the worst. I think the reason diluting the spray worked for me was because it allowed me to slowly use less and less of the nose spray (which was bad and causes rebound congestion) and instead I was replacing it with a nasal wash. It wasn’t exactly a fast process but since i had been using it for 10 years and was not only addicted to using something for my nose when it got stuffy but was in a way addicted to having a clear, stuffy-free nose. Thats why I think this worked for me because for a while i still had a “nose spray” to use and it still worked but at the same time since it was less and less actually spray it stopped giving the rebound congestion which meant every day my nose felt a little better and i needed the placebo spray less until i only used it 1 or twice a day until nothing. I hope that helped explain it, i know its kind confusing because i just kinda winged it and it ended up working. Good luck and by the way, once you quit, you only get the runny nose when your sick and its easier to stand. 🙂

      • Valery

        Thank you, your reply was helpful and supportive. I am actually sitting at a doctor’s office right now (you see in canada we need to wait in line to see a doctor after a few hours) (sigh – universal medicare).

        I found that in the last couple of days that the congestion is really bad and it takes a lot of spray and some time ( about an hour) before I can get unblocked. Is this common to those afflicted with what we have? As well, is it common that one passage is always more stuffed than the other.

        Thanks in advance.

  66. So went to the Dr today and he confirmed what I thought – rebound congestion. He gave me 5 tablets of Prednisone, which I am supposed to take one tablet every day for five days and a spray called Avamys. He tells me that it’s going to be a long and difficult week. Ironically, I also get my Rhinostat package in the mail.

    Anybody have luck with Rhinostat.

    Also, I note that some people take five tablets of Prednisone on the first day – what’s the difference with taking one tablet a day.



    • Phil,
      I took a 12-day dose of Prednisone and yes, on the first few days, I took about 5 pills a day. But I don’t know how many mg. each pill was. Could be that your one pill equals the same mg. as in my 5.

      Rhinostat worked for me a few years ago, but not when I tried it again months ago.

      With the Prenisone, Omnaris (steroid spray), and Astepro (allergy spray), I was totally off my nasal spray in 4 days…and I was addicted for over 20 years! It was really not difficult at all…but my dr. allowed me to use my regular spray only at night if needed, so that helped. I only used my spray for the first 3 days. On day 4 I no longer needed it.

      I had my follow-up appt. with the dr. today (ear, nose & throat dr.). Not only had he given me that medication cocktail to break the nasal spray habit, he also had sent me for allergy testing. I hadn’t been tested since I was a kid. I am HORRIBLY allergic to oak..and he said that season is coming up. I am also allergic to dust mites, so I am going to be buying casings for my pillows and following a whole bunch of other instructions. Also allergic to cats, dogs, dust, mold, and more. I am going to be starting on allergy shots. Oh yes, I am also allergic to….cockroaches???!!!!

      Right now I am free of the congestion, but I know oak season is coming up. If I can keep my allergies under control, I think I’ll be fine.

  67. Valery, phil…

    I think that the Rhinostat is an expensive version of Valery’s technique… a weaning off process of less and less of the active ingredient in the nose spray, i could be wrong…

    I have beaten the nose spray with Valery’s technique, Im not 100% clear yet but I am however 100% off the spray all together. I took two bottles of spray, poured one half full of spray and finished filling it with the wash, the other i poured about a quarter, maybe a third full of the spray and the rest with the wash. The first few days I used the 50/50 and used it as least amount of times I could stand, the next few days I used the even more diluted concoction and used even less (when i got up and before bed) and just suffered through the day but it wasnt as bad as I had imagined. I think by this point my nasal passages had already began to heal. The next day I used just a saline spray b4 bed. Now its been 3 days and I havent used anything. Sure there have been a few times where I have wanted to use it and having it right there to say no to helped ALOT! No panicing, it was right there for me to say no to but also right there to use if I absolutely had to. Thats important I think. NEXT STEP is getting the rest of the house to try this technique. THANKS VAL… you are my savior lol


    • Hi, first off Phil good luck with Rhinostat (sp?). I hope it works well for you. Also, it is very common on some days to be very congested that you use extra spray. For me, those days would lead to a full day or two when i would have a runny nose that felt like a faucet that was on full force. It was the worst. I called out of work or missed great plans because i could not leave the house. Also, having one nostril being more stuffed than the other happens, i dont know why but it does. Mark, congrats on kicking the habit! You did it much faster than me and i am just so glad someone found relief like me. By the way, i just want to mention, i’m just sharing a method i tried from being addicted to nasal spray for at least 10 years. I don’t look down on other methods and any advice or such i may give is me just sharing from personal experience for what worked for me. Just wanted to put that out there. Anywayz…have a goodnight everyone :-))

  68. you would think that girl jennifer that got the method from april hutchenson for free would post it for free. She got it free,why not share it. if you relly know what we are going through,then dont be a heartless person. help others as it was done for you. I been on this for 7 years and cant stop. i panic so much i have asthma attacks. now that i’m not working,i cant afford it. i’m on medicaid and the doctors wont help me. she looks at me as if i’m carzy or something when i tell her i cant stop using it.

    • Yes. she got it for free from me and she can not post it beucase my method is copyrighted and anyone that post anything that is exactly my method can go to jail. and anyone that is in a finiancial bind can always email me and talk to me. she is not the only person who has emailed me and I have given it to them for free. but I have chosen to give it to them for free becuase of them emailing me with their situation, not beucae they have asked me to give it for free. I am not a heartless person. If you had emailed me to talk to me and give me your situation, you might have the method now for free, but beucase yo chose instead to critisize me on this site, you will not have my method, free or paid for. I have reasons for what I do and how I do it, but some of you wouldn’t understand no matter what I say. IT is your personality and like talking to a brick wall. I know what is going on, I went through it. I was on it for 8 years and I panicked too. but I don’t fee like I should have to explain why I charge 8 dollars for a method and give help that works and have this stuff said to me, but no one says anything to rhinostat who charges 30 + dollars and sinus buster and neti pot who charges more. IF I wanted to help, I would do it for free, people say. a nurse wants to help people, a doctor wants to help people, do they work for free? I am not claiming to be those and for your info, I really don’t make hardly anything on this. I have my website, which I have to pay for every month. I have to spend time and advertizing, which cost. paypal has fees for using it. and I don’t have mountains of people paying for this. I give some away for free and some are skeptical and some want to try other things before coming back for me. I have a full time job. I don’t have play time on the computer. anyway, I am done explaining and I am done posting on this site. peopel are cruel and rude. peopel can contact me thorugh this site. just click on any of my names. I also have a new blog where I can start a new post of my own. not one to advertise, but one that peopel can talk as they have here about what they are going through. and one I can respond to with my own experience and help. but not one where people can cuss at me and critisize. my blog can be reached throuh my website on my contact page.

      • April,

        I barely know where to start in responding to your e-mail because there is so much to say!

        First of all, this is not the first time you’ve stated that this will be your last post…yet you keep coming back to try to get the last word in. Then you end it by saying you won’t post anymore. With any luck, you are truly done posting on this site.

        Second…you state in your very long message that people don’t say anything about Rhinostat or Sinus Buster. Let me try to fill you in on why people question you and not them. BECAUSE THOSE PRODUCTS CLEARLY STATE WHAT THE METHOD ENTAILS!! The Rhinostat website clearly states what the product is about and what the person will be doing. A person can read it and make a decision if that’s something they wish to do. The Sinus Buster website tells what the product is about, what you do with the product, and how & why it will help. If I’m not mistaken, you won’t tell anyone what your method entails. We don’t know whether it will entail squirting soap up our noses or inserting long tubes in our nostrils! OF COURSE WE’RE GOING TO QUESTION YOU! Plus, I may add, that many of the other products have guarantees associated with them. Not all, but some. Yet, you want to sell us a “mystery” product or method, no guarantee, just send the money. Ummm….no! I’m not questioning whether or not your method works. I’m just saying that without giving the consumer an idea of what the person will have to do, you have to be insane to expect we wouldn’t question you. I took steroids to break my addiction, yet some people aren’t willing to do that. Some people took Sinus Buster to help, yet *I* wouldn’t do that! People are going to choose what they think will work for them, but you give us no idea on what we can expect with your product. But you get mad & defensive when people question you or think you’re ridiculous.

        In addition, no one will go to JAIL if they talk about your method. I don’t know where you’re getting your facts from, but it’s laughable. It would be perfectly legal for me to buy your product and then tell others how it works. I cannot SELL your product or method, or claim it as my own, but I most certainly can speak about it and tell others how it works. Hmmm…gives me an idea. Maybe I’ll spend $8 to buy it and then let everyone know what they’re missing out on! Don’t worry, I’d let them know it was YOUR product, I wouldn’t claim it as my own! And I wouldn’t use my name as posted here, so you wouldn’t know it was me to deny your wonderful product to.

        Plus…and I hate to be blunt but there’s no other way….it is really hard to trust someone who cannot spell and doesn’t seem to have the basic skills of punctuation and capitalization. Does your lack of spelling and grammar skills have anything to do with how well your nasal product works? Probably not. But again, it’s just hard to trust someone with hard-earned money when they cannot spell “people” or “because” or “through” (and countless other words) and don’t know where to use periods and capital letters. And then the immaturity of saying something like “I WAS going to help you but now I’m NOT!” I feel like I’m dealing with one of the 4th graders that I teach (who, by the way, DO know how to spell those basic words and use proper punctuation).

        Of course, you’re FINISHED posting on this board so I guess my post here is going unread by you (HA! Yeah, right).

        • Helene,

          You just said everything I was thinking about April lol. Also, I wanted to add that she tries to talk people out of doing the steroids and the Flonase (and other stuff) because IT DOESN’T WORK FOR EVERYONE, yet she claims her so called method works 100% of the time for everyone that buys it. Call me crazy, but that’s a MAJOR red flag as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to try out the half and half method and see what happens. Good luck to everyone else!!!

          • Okay. I have been reading this a long time and not replying even through I wanted to help some people. but I am putting another reply on here becuase everyone still wants to badmouth me. I wanted to explain some things. I can not put exactly what my method entails becuase it is a e-report, not a physical product. I can not put it out there for free becuase I am a normal mother and wife that works full-time and can barely afford to pay the bills. To date, I have made NO profit on my website. I use ALL money to put back into the business to adverize and help people and pay for the website. If I did not charge 8.00, I could not have the website and my method might reach a few people. But becuase I have the website, I have given thousands of people information about nose spray addiction and to those that chose to buy the method, relief from their addiction. I do not 100 percent guarentee that it will work. but I am confident that if you try the method according to instructions and keep in contact with me to individualze it, that it will work. I have this website becuase I believe in my method. I am trying to add to my website to improve it, offer more information and to help ease the wearyiness of people. I now offer a limited money back guarentee which is on my FAQ page and I still have to add it in to other pages. I have applied to BBB for accreditation. I have added survey for opinions and how to improve. And I am trying to get together a blog like this one so that I can speak my mind and help others. I also am not saying that other method will not work for you or that steriods will not work. I am saying that they don’t work for a lot of people which you all know is true or you wouldn’t be here on this site looking for answers. however, the reason that most of that stuff does not work is becuase you have to bear the misery of stuffiness while you are doing those methods which is why there is the addiction in the first place. Most people can not stand the type of rebound congestion that occurs and therefore, can not last days of stuffiness. That is what is different about mine. You don’t have to be stuffy while you are doing it and that is what makes it work. Go to my site or don’t go to my site. I just wanted to say this and also say that if you haven’t visited my site, if you haven’t tried my product and if you haven’t emailed me and talked to me or really read everything on my site and know what I am about, then don’t say bad things about me. I have helped a lot of people and I will continue to do so as long as I can.

  69. Ok All Sorry to break the Amicable trail of emails but I wanted o give an update.

    So as mentioned before I was on the spray for about a year and only recenly developed the rebound congestion. In the days leading up to my doctor’s appoitnment I started to dilute the spray by about 50%. In reality, I was using a crapload of spray and it was not as effective as pure spray but I figured that this cycle had to stop. I suspect I had all the bad symptoms of the rebound congestion – major bloackage (I mean major) when the spary wore off which made me anxious and miserable – the exterior of my nose and above my lip were very sensitive due to blowing my nore repeatedly through the day – as well the inside of my nose was painful almost as if someone had scraped all of he skin off (this was particulary annoying as the chemicals in the spray would touch certain portions of the inside of my nore and make me sneeze non-stop. I can honestly say this was about as miserbale as I felt since having a leg cast for three months.

    So after reading posts on here I went to see the DR informd. I told himabout my problem and he basically prescrbed a cortisteroid spray. I mentioned Presdnisone oral steriods and he gladly prescribed them for me. However, where I read that people would take several tablets in the first few days the DR only gave me one tablet for each day. I was very skeptical and waited a couple of days. During the wait I tried Rhinostat. I did not find that it was particularly effective or at least more effective than doing the dilution myself. I do not recommend buying it if you arecapable of diluting the spray yourself – it`s just a matter of increasing the slainex portion by 10-15% each day. the problem with Rhinostat is that it assumes that you will not take more than X amount every 4-6 hours. To the extent you do – their 30 day program becomes a shorter program.

    So I finally try the Oral and spray steroid – not much of an effect half way through the day – so I combine this with diluted spray. I found that I only used the diluted spray the first day twice – once at the end of the afternoon and once before sleeping. The second day got better and I only used the spray once. Now on the third day – I used it twice again – but a very short spray. If you have medicare – try the steroids they do work. As to whether you should use it in combination with diluted spray – you should ask your doctor and do so at your own risk. I don’t think they recommend using spray wth steroids so be careful.

    All in all I learned one thing – you need to deal with the problem quickly – stop wasting time being miserable and looking at posts – go see a doctor. It’s not as painful as you may think

  70. Man, nasal spray addiction is the worst; it literally controls your life. I had to carry a bottle of the stuff with me everywhere. Mine started during allergy season and I had never used nose spray before. I was using the generic stuff from the dollar store but it worked great….it was SO nice to be able to breathe with no problems whatsoever. I was uneducated about rebound congestion and nasal spray addiction and quickly became an “addict” myself. I rationalized that I was more addicted to being able to breathe! Mine got so bad I was going through a bottle a week, sometimes having to use about 3 sprays every 2 hours. I got to the point where I felt like I had to sneeze all the time and couldn’t and either my nose ran like a faucet or my nostrils felt like they were loaded with concrete…..I had to breathe through my mouth. And since my job requires me to be on the phone all day, I couldn’t stop using the spray. It was pure hell and I didn’t see a way to get out of the situation I was in…I feel so bad for the people who have been addicted for years and years! My addiction lasted just 10 months. I finally ordered the rhinostat system online (just google “rhinostat” for the web address) out of desperation. I was too embarrassed to go to the doctor. It has been a lifesaver. The system basically dilutes nose spray with pure saline more and more each day until you’re at a point where you’re off it completely. Today is day 16 for me and I only use an extremely diluted solution once a day, if that, usually at night before bed. It is SO nice not to be controlled by nasal spray anymore, to breathe freely on my own, not to have any rebound congestion…..I feel like a new person! So if you’ve gotten to the point where I was, give it a try.

  71. just another contributor with a similar story. i’ve been using affrin for about 7 or 8 years now (i’ve stopped counting). i woke up this morning and decided to quit. ha! i didn’t go to bed last night with the intentions of quitting today – i just said to myself enough is enough. i want to be rid of this crap by spring.

    couple things: i originally identified with freddy about the ‘cold-turkey’ approach. maybe one of the worst aspects of my dependency on OTC nose spray is that I ALREADY QUIT ONCE BEFORE. oh man. 🙁 i basically did this a couple years ago when i decided to just stop. cold turkey. and, after about 1.5 weeks, i was off and done. but the kicker for me was that i’ve suffered from sinus congestion all my life. so when i got off affrin, i was back to my ‘normal’ air passage – which is about 60 to 70 percent clear on a good day. so i rationalized that i would rather use the spray and be 100 percent clear than be off of it and hope for good day where i’d be ‘kinda’ clear.

    so i’m going to quit again – and i know it’s going to be the same situation when i’m off. my sinuses will go back to normal and i’ll be semi-clear and semi-frustrated at my chronic blockage. however, this time i’m going to take some natural precautions and see if i can’t change what’s causing me to be blocked up when i’m clean (i.e. saline solutions, humidifier, less dairy). if anyone has any other suggestions, i’d appreciate the tips.

    which reminds me… did anyone ever pay for spray-free-4-me and see if it worked?

  72. I’ve been addicted for about 3 years ( I use otrivin ) I’m trying to quit, see if things get better, I’m not sure but I think maybe it got worse I can’t use the spray anymore because it doesn’t help:( and one side of my nose every time I blow it, blood comes out ( every day ) and above all this I need to breath normally!…

  73. I came across this website and found it quite interesting…nice to know I’m not alone.

    I was initially addicted to nasal spray from about the age of 20 – 38…yeah, a long time. It’s safe to say that, in some ways, it pretty much controlled my life.

    Three years ago I broke that addiction for the first time. I had no choice but to go cold turkey. I was admitted to the hospital after having a stroke (not related). Needless to say, my neurologist was not going to let me keep using it. He gave me a saline spray but that was that. The three days I was in the hospital was hell. I don’t think I slept at all. However, it took just about those three days before I was free of using the nasal spray.

    Things went along good for about 6 months then I got a cold. I was toughing it out not wanting to touch the stuff but someone told me it would be ok for a day or two and I, stupidly, believed it. That started me on another slightly over 2 years period of using nasal spray. Once again I was back to making sure I had it with me (but hiding it from others).

    Well, last week I decided enough was enough. I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I decided that with the long President’s Day weekend, I’d have the time from work to just do it. At 3:30 pm Friday I sprayed my last spray.

    I was expecting it to be as bad as it was that first time but, I was pleasantly surprised. Friday I slept without any problem. Oh, I had some stuffiness and at one point couldn’t breathe at all but I slept. All through Friday night and Saturday I was using a bottle of Saline.

    Sunday got a little bit better and Monday was the best. Today I went to work and the big step was to leave the bottle at home. I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw it out so, instead, I tossed it in the bottom of a very messy closet. If I wanted it, I’d have to clean that closet to find it. *LOL*

    At work things were a little uncomfortable since it gets so hot in the office but I didn’t break down and buy a new bottle – didn’t even think of it. I also haven’t used the saline spray since yesterday afternoon.

    I’m actually surprised at how much better it is this time than it was that first time. I think the major difference is being home and comfortable with my own bed and night and not in a hospital. Who knew that could make the difference.

    Anyway, I expect I’ll still feel some effects for the next couple of days but I’m almost willing to say that I’ve managed to kick it again. I’ll be more willing to say that a week from now and a month from now.

    I expect at some point I’ll clean out that closet and find that bottle. When I do, it’s getting dumped down the drain and there is no way I intend to do this to myself again.

    I know the cold turkey method doesn’t work for everyone but take heart, it can work. It takes a bit of perseverence and being willing to be uncomfortable for a time but, the payoff is worth it.

  74. an update here in case anyone is interested. i had the same experience as you did ann. i fully expected a nightmare-ish week or so of misery when quitting cold turkey (for the second time) but, to my surprise – i was back to ‘normal’ almost the very next day. i slept ok the first night… had some minor discomfort all day that next day… but come night time my symptoms were manageable.

    let’s see – i’m on day six and i’m off forever. i’ve been sucking on halls menthol drop like they’re candy, but whatevs. i like them anyway.

    so hang in there comrades. there is light at the end of the tunnel. you just have to commit and be strong for a week. yeah it’s tough, but you’ll be happy you did.

    good luck.

    • Hmmm…maybe it gets easier the second time, Matty. The only thing I’ve really be able to come up that’s making it easier, especially at night, this time than the first time is not being in the hospital. There’s so much other stuff I was dealing with that first time that just dealing with a little stuffiness at night right now hasn’t been that big of a deal. It’ll be a week Friday and so far, it’s still been good.

  75. a few months ago i used the “spray one nostril” method to get off afrin and it worked. a few days ago i was tempted to use when i got really stuffy and uncomfortable, when i finally broke down and sprayed, i used my previous experience and only sprayed one side and now, a day and two sprays later, i can breathe out of my unsprayed nostril and my afrin side is blocked, so today i’m planning to go off the spray and it looks like i’ll still be relatively comfortable.

    if you are tempted to use again and give in, only spray one side.

  76. I was hooked on nasal spray for about 2 years. My main cause was a softball to the nose which caused blockage. My solution, SURGERY. Septoplasty and Turbinectomy. Of course the Septoplasty corrected the broken Septum and opened up the nasal passage. The Turbinectomy is this. We all have 3 sets of Turbinits in our nose. They warm and humidify the air we breath before it enters the lungs. This is what you are shrinking when using the nasal sprays. Over use of the nasal sprays can cause the 1st turbinit to expand after the effects ware off. This can also lead to a perminant enlargement of the 1st turbinit. A turbinate reduction or turbinectomy is the only solution. They don’t accually cut off the turbinit they remove the inner tissue using a microdebinder tool to shave off inner tissue and shrink the turbiniate. About 6 to 8 weeks is required for complete healing. I’m in my 3rd week and am still having periods of congestion but is getting better each day. Talk with an ENT doctor and they can explain things much better then I. Hope this helps

  77. Ok, I’m 26 years old and have been hooked on nasal spray since I was 12 years old crazy right? But sometimes I can get off of it for a couple days but than I fall off the wagon again this is my story. I have to have a bottle of nasal spray in my car a bottle in my book bag and a bottle at my house at all times on case I run out. I use a bottle about every 3 weeks depending on what brand I’ m using. I have tried everything to get off my doctor even tried to help but nothing. I can’t focus in class without my nose drops I can’t even have a good time when I’m with my friends if I don’t have a bottle with me. It’s weird if I’m out sometimes and I’m breathing ok and than I relize I don’t have my nasal spray I all the sudden can’t breath and then I freak out. I don’t know what to do I feel so stupid that I’m addicted but I have been using them for about 14 years no joke. I guess one day I will need surgrey to to fix the damage I have caused.

    • Hi chris, I know what you’re going threw. I was addicted threw high school till I was 26 years old. I remember that same feeling of hanging out with people enjoying myself until I realized I had forgotten my nose spray at home. It was like all the air had gone out of my balloon. I also remember how happy I was when i had just purchased a new bottle. It was like I had purchased a new toy. But really, deep down inside, I was tired of having an addiction I was not only embarrassed of but one I thought people didnt understand. Only my best friends knew about it and they would say kinda sarcastically,” Oh, are you still using that nose stuff?” They obviously thought it was something that could be quit easily as if I wanted to be addicted to this stuff. I know different people have tried different methods on this site and gotten great results; I try to share mine because I am super happy that I am no longer addicted and I want everyone to feel this relief like I do. And I’m happy because I did it without surgery or more drugs. Lord knows I pumped enough up my nose, lol. Anyway, it also seems like what I did and rhinostat’s method are very similar. What I did Chris was slowly dilute my nasal spray with saline spray. The one i used also had menthol in it, i really liked it. Anyway, by diluting it with saline spray, it seemed my nasal passages shrunk and i needed it less and less. I used it less and therefore by the time i was only using saline spray, i didnt need it anymore. I was strong enough to quit it on my own. It was still hard when my nose got stuffed to not go to the spray, but it was less severe than it had been on the nose spray. I’ve been off it since last August and have no intention of ever using nasal spray again. That could be you. Good luck!

  78. So I have been hooked on the nasal spray for…ready…20 years. No kidding. 20 years. My blood pressure went up of course, my heart rate is a resting-100 bpm and I freak out when I dont have a full bottle of the stuff. Enough was enough so I went to the doc. He gave me a shot of steroid, gradual decreasing dosage of oral steroid and nasonex. Its been six days since I have used any of the spray at all. It totally sucks. Honestly. There are times when everything is clear and I can breathe, then it swells again. It is slowly getting better and I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel but seriously-whoever made this crap to begin with needs to be punched in the nose. This is the most God awful junk on the market. I will never use it again. I have tried the sinus buster pepper spray stuff and it doesnt help at all. Just burns like hell. I will do this and be free of this crap forever.

      • Actually I tried dilluting the spray and it seemed to help but I always went back to full strength. I have been free of it all for about 11 days now. It gets really good and I think its over then it hits again. Its very strange. Usually the worst of it is when I lay down to sleep. I wont give up but its really a pain.

  79. I received a magazine yesterday with an article about “Balloon Sinuplasty.” The procedure sounds promising. I’m going to find out if my insurance covers it and I’ll certainly post again if I get it!

  80. Well I’m going to try a netting pot (look it up) and Claratan D, and that will work. I know someone else that tried it and it worked for them.

  81. Just thought I’d give a follow up if anyone is interested. It’s been 4 1/2 weeks since I last used the spray. It hasn’t been a picnic but I’ve stuck with it (even found where I tossed the bottle in the closet and went with the more permanent of emptying it down the drain this week). The only really…setback, I guess you cold say, is that I now have a cold. At first I just thought it was ’cause of not using the spray but when the rest of the yuckiness set in, I figured it out. Sad that I didn’t immediately realize I had a cold.

    Anyway, my point is that if you’re persistent, you can, eventually get rid of the stuff. I’m looking forward to getting rid of this cold now.

    • i am a 40 year old male i have been useing nose spray for almost 25 years i am in such pain right now the spray is not working right im up at 215 am because i cant sleep its driveing me crazy i dont know what to do ive tried everything i feel like im haveing a pannic attack because my spray wont work god what am i going to do?


  82. i am a 40 year old male i have been useing nose spray for almost 25 years i am in such pain right now the spray is not working right im up at 215 am because i cant sleep its driveing me crazy i dont know what to do ive tried everything i feel like im haveing a pannic attack because my spray wont work god what am i going to do?

  83. Hi Ray, it seems like you are looking for some quick relief and you may not get it unfortunately. Usually the only thing that provides immediate relief is nasal spray. The only thing i can suggest tonite is a cold medicine that is either an antihistamine or decongestant depending on whether your nose is blocked or runny and make sure it has something in it to help put you to sleep. If you are tired of being addicted to the nose spray (who isnt) than you may want to try what I did and purchase a kind of nasal wash that is natural or saline spray which should be just salt and water and gradually dilute your nasal spray. By your third bottle you should be using all saline spray and at that point your just using it like a placebo. You can stop using it altogether because the rebound congestion is gone and you’ll be used to using the spray less and less. I tried this method myself after being addicted for about 10 years and i haven’t used in about 8 months. I dont think i will ever either because i have lost the need to have a clear nose 24-7. My nose is fine most of the time but when it does get stuffy its not a big deal and that makes me feel great. Good luck.

  84. I was on Afrin for over 7 years and developed an allergy to it. I switched to Neosynefrin nasal spray (yet another addicting nasal spray). I was carrying one in my purse, had one on my desk at work, one by my recliner and one in my bathroom. It got to where I was using it every 20-30 minutes! I decided to stop. I tried the Rhinostat weaning method only to have my nasal passages close completely after use. I also used Sinus Blaster which burned but did clear up my sinuses, but it always came back. I decided enough is enough and stopped the Neosynefrin altogether. It’s been nearly a week and I can breathe. I find using the Sinus Blaster and saline nasal sprays a big help, especially the 4-Way Saline Spray. None of the saline sprays are addictive and the 4-Way Saline spray has menthol in it to open up the sinuses. I picked up all of my Afrin bottles and Neosynefrin sprays and bagged them up and threw them away. I don’t ever plan to use them again as the addiction will come back even quicker than before if I do.

    • this is such a problem for me…ive not slept well now in weeks 2 hours a night..grrrr….i dont know what to do ive been taking to muck otc meds also….i need to go to the doctor i think i might have a bigger problem….i just dont know …this truly is a nightmare that i cant seem to wake up from….

  85. I was addicted for a few months. Then, one day I gave it up cold turkey. What a miserable couple of days. In fact, it was a miserable two weeks — 12 straight days of breathing through my mouth, etc. And then, desperate, I talked to a local pharmacist who immediately recommended nasal rinsing. I cannot BELIEVE the difference. Within one day of rinsing twice a day (morning and evening), my sinuses were practically back to normal. I couldn’t believe it. And I still can’t. I continue to use the nasal rinse twice a day and I feel GREAT. To anyone who is struggling with the effects of kicking this addiction, please try nasal rinsing. You will feel SO MUCH BETTER.

  86. Actually just stopping the use of the nose spray was bad for one day and I was tempted to use it, but I was determined to get off the stuff. It’s been almost a week and I still have problems at night and have been sleeping in my recliner most of each night, but overall it has been so much better. To me it was worth one stopped up day, but using the 4-Way Moisturizing Saline Spray and the Sinus Blaster helped a lot (the 4-Way more than the other). Today I only used it twice all day!

  87. Raymond Nantz: I recently just quit afrin cold turkey…it was the most miserable experience of my life, so I know where you are coming from. but dont worry man there is hope. ADVICE: dude go to the doctor and get him to prescribe you the topical steroid spray(flonase). That stuff works wonders. it was an absolute necessity in my recovery. Also, this may sound dumb, but if you do like jumping jacks or run in place, it will clear your nose up temporarily. I promise. Try it. It may take a little while to kick in but i promise it works. but yea definitely get on the steriod spray. Good luck brother

    f**ck Afrin

  88. Hi Folks,

    I am living proof that you CAN get off Afrin. I was on for about 10 years but have been Afrin free for a year now with absolutely no desire to get back on.
    Here’s how I kicked it in one week with no other medication:

    Spray both nostrils at night as you usually do because night time is the most difficult.

    When you wake up the next morning spray only one nostril only one time and make an effort to go as long as you can without spraying. What ever time you make it to, write it down but only spray that same one nostril one time. What you’re doing is taking the “deprived” nostril OFF the spray so it can heal.

    The next day, see if you can beat the times you recorded on the previous day.
    You should be able to go longer and longer because one nostril is also healing. Soon you may be able to make it all day with no spray except one nostril one time at night. Two or three days like that and you’ll be able to go without. The “deprived” but now healed and clear nostril will get you through the withdraw of the other one.

    The whole process start to finish took me exactly a week. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I had a few really bad days where I was walking around with what felt like a full pumpkin on my head but you WILL get relief.

    It is wonderful to be clear now after 10 years of addiction. Do I sometimes still get stuffed? Sure, but here’s the great part: I can now easily clear myself by simply rolling over in bed or, for a really bad stuff I walk up and down the stairs once and that change – yup, that’s it – clears me right up.

    Summon up a little courage and go for it. You can do it. A year ago I was right where you are now.

  89. My nose spray addiciton started as a child and continued through out adulthood. I got a brief reprieve after a rhinoplasty in 1993, but a few years later I started using Afrin again during a bad cold and have not been able to sleep without it since. Sometimes I have to use it twice a day. I tried going cold turkey, but it was just impossible…giving up smoking was easy by comparison. I would like to share a withdrawal process that seems to be working. It combines 3 separate tools but does not include doctors visits, prescription steroid sprays, oral prednisone, or anti-biotics:

    1) Nasal irrigation: I ordered a Nasaline irrigation kit (it is a large 4 oz syringe with a soft plastic bulb at the end…not terribly expensive like some of the electric nasal irrigaters and works even better. I also bought 50 of their saline packets. I irrigate each nostril twice a day. It is important to do this BEFORE your breathing gets congested! My breathing during the day (without the use of any Afrin) has never felt this clear. The main issue remains the late evening and bed time:

    2) BreathRight strips. These work wonders but didn’t do the job alone. I put one on (after gently rubbing the nose with alcohol to help the adhesive) a couple hours before bed. I found that putting the nasal strip on before irrigation helps clear the passages enough so you don’t have to take a hit of Afrin.

    3)VERY gradually diluting the Afrin with non-preserved saline solution. There is a titration kit sold on the internet for ~$40.00 but I figured I would try it myself since I’m using saline water for the irrigation anyway. The internet site suggests a 15% titration rate. It is important not to over do it. You just need a small (6cc syringe)and an empty bottle to mix the solution. I started with 5cc (80%)Afrin to 1(20%)cc saline. I added .25cc saline every night. In less than a week, I’m down to 64% Afrin. I was using <.5cc for both nostrils. Last night, I put 1 drop in my right nostril, but my left stayed clear all night without any drops! I will continue to dilute the mixture but at this rate, I may be off the Afrin sooner than expected. I have my fingers crossed.

    Other tips: I'm a 'side sleeper' and find that sleeping on my back in an elevated position really does't help. What seems to help…especially if only one nostril seems clogged is sleeping on the opposite side with the stuffed nostril facing up. In other words, If your left nostril is clogged,sleep on your right side. Also, during the late evening, when things may start to clog up, make sure you put on the Breathright. If you strat feeling clogged up anyway, get up and walk around…it really helps.

    Good luck

  90. I went to my ANP to see about getting treatment for my blocked nose.
    Prior to that, I tried everything and the only thing that cleared my nose was Afrin. I didn’t know that Afrin was addictive until I found this website.

    I am absolutely MISERABLE !

    I got an prescription for Flonase but that made me get terrible headaches and made me very nauseous.

    I don’t know what else to do. Help!

  91. I just stumbled on this site this morning. Like many of you, I’ve been addicted to this crap for years, something on the order of 12 or more.

    I used to just need a little before I went to sleep, one small shot per side, and I was great until bedtime. Then I got a horrible cold one night where I was having to take a shot once an hour just to get through that night at work. Ever since then I’ve had to have a bottle with me at all times. I am by no means a pansy, I quit smoking and drinking cold turkey, but every attempt at quitting this garbage has been a dismal failure, to the point I’ve wanted to break down and cry.

    This week I came down with a nasty sinus infection, and as I sit here typing this, I am over the hump and starting to feel better, but enough is enough. I am going to try the saline solution weening combined with some Flonase I got from the mother in law, hopefully this will break the cycle.

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it’s quite a relief to know I’m not alone in this.

  92. UPDATE:

    I had posted before that I was prescribed oral steroids and some steroid spray to break my addiction. It took only a few days before I was off the nasal spray, although I had some lingering stuffiness, usually only at night. Not bad enough to need nasal spray, but sometimes bad enough to have a restless night sleep.

    I also started getting allergy shots in February. I’ll be having the shots for the next few years, but here we are 3 months later and the shots have made a HUGE difference! I am NEVER stuffy during the day, and at night it is rare. I even had a cold last month and while there were a few times that I thought longingly of that Afrin, it was never bad enough to take it (plus, I threw all the bottles out). I survived the nights with oral decongestants, a Breathe Right Strip, and sleeping with 3 pillows under my head.

    It is so, so freeing to not have that bottle with me everywhere and not even think about nasal stuffiness anymore. And I was one of those people who was addicted for over 20 years. I will never go back!

  93. Well I’ve read most of your stories. The first time I use Afrin was when I was 17, I went to the doctor for a cold and he gave me a prescription for Afrin. Back than it wasn’t over the counter.
    I am now 57 and been on several different nose spray. I want to get off of it in the worst way. Been to the doctor gave me the steroid pack and told me to stop using the spray. Yea right…. Never worked for me. Now I’m at the point even suing the spray isn’t working. My nose is so clogged it drips. Use salt water and worked for a while but just dried my nose out. Thing of going to a nose ear and throat doctor.
    Any suggestions are welcomed.

  94. Ethel,

    See my post from April 24th above. You CAN get off the stuff. I’ve been clear a year and two months now and it’s wonderful.


  95. Hey guys, I’ve managed to quit cold turkey for about two weeks! I know it doesn’t sound like a long time but it sure felt like the longest time to me, I do use saline(sea water) all the time but honestly it really doesn’t do anything, I’m back to using my spray since not using it didn’t seem to make things better and I do have to breath… the bad news is that the nose spray isn’t very effective any more and I even feel that sometimes it makes it worse, I went to the doctor and he said the only thing to do is surgery but I’m so afraid… anyone know of a way I can help myself without doing surgery? help PLEASE!

  96. Abby,

    It’s absolutely brutal and incredibly difficult to quit. I am now six months into the process. The first three weeks were AWFUL. And then I started doing saline nasal rinsing — with the netti pot or the plastic bottle. And within one week — no kidding — it had improved about 50 percent. Now I’m absolutely fine. And I will NEVER again use nose spray. Go out right now and get the netti pot. It’s safe. You can do 3-4 times a day if you need to. You can do this.

    • Amy,
      how did you get through those three weeks? I can’t sleep, think or do ANYTHING when I’m hardly breathing! I can’t take that for such a long time,I can hardly take it for one hour! I tried the saline water but it couldn’t even get through my nose, because it’s so swollen, it really doesn’t help me.

  97. It was pretty awful, I must admit. I breathed through my mouth. I’m wondering, however, if the doctor says it can only be resolved through surgery then perhaps your case is more severe. I would get a second opinion. And, before you try surgery, definitely give acupuncture a thought. I know someone who got some partial relief through acupuncture and was able to then get the saline water through her nose via nasal rinsing. Good luck, Abby. I feel for you.

  98. It’s been a month tomorrow since I quit. I was going to try the weening process, but the first day was easier than I expected, so I ended up white-knuckling my way through the first few days without using spray at all. Used a lot of psuedephedrine, Nyquil, and lots of pillows to get to sleep, and just plain learning to breathe through my mouth or at best one nostril. I’ve been using NasalCrom twice a day, once at bedtime and once before I leave for work, that’s been helping some. Didn’t work right away, took about a week to be effective, but I’ve actually gotten to where I’m only using it once before bed, now. That first few weeks was hampered by the fact that I had gotten REALLY sick when I decided to quit.

    I’ve only relapsed twice late at night when I couldn’t sleep, but only in one nostril, and with heavily diluted spray (like 10 parts saline, 1 part Afrin). It didn’t totally clear me up, but it took enough off to sleep. Other than that I’ve not used the Afrin at all, and never during the day.

    I still get stuffed up at bedtime, but during the day I’m actually pretty clear, it’s nice to not have to use that crap to breathe. I’m still going through the process of healing, and it’s still pretty rough at nite, but I can usually breathe well enough through one nostril to breathe.

    This can be done, I’ve been using it for years. It’s just not easy. Good luck to you all!!

  99. Abby…why don’t you get a second opinion from another doctor? Your reluctance to want to resort to surgery is quite understandable, but you may be one of those cases that does have a physical obstruction that can be removed surgically.

    As mentiond in my inital post ~2 months ago, I have been using a combination of nasal irragation, Breathright strips and gradual Afrin dilution. Here is an update of my present situation:

    about a month ago, I was down to using a 1/4 cc of a solution that was only 10% Afrin. I kept records and what was interesting is that I usually did not need it in both nostrils: One nostril was as clear as could be all night. So I decided to do without the drops all together. After two weeks, I was still experienceing stuffiness in one nostril or the other that was making sleep difficult. Also, I stopped using the Breathright strips because my skin was getting a bit irritated. BUT…I have to re-iterate that a month after I started the ‘withdrawal’ program, my nose has stayed absolutely clear all day and into the evening until about an hour after bed time…even without the Breathrights. I still use the Nasaline Irragator twice a day.

    So last week, I decided to continue to dilute the Afrin/Saline down to 5%/95%. I use it at night…again I find it is necessary in one nostril only. This allows me to sleep on the side that has been treated. The other side remains clear all night. Even if I have to continue this for a while longer, I’m happy with the vast improvements: no more bloody mucus, no more needing drops during the day, being able to breath perfectly for 18 out of 24 hours in a way that I have not experienced in many years.

  100. Glad I found this blog tonight. Pretty crazy but I didn’t even realize I was addicted. I went to Colorado (from SF Bay Area) over Christmas and was miserable with alergies/congestion. The drug store pharmacist suggested Afrin. I was shocked after several days that I found something that gave almost instant relief!!! Unfortunately 7 months later I was still using Afrin…now several times throughout the day because I can’t stand nose congestion and loved the relief. I finally called a doctor yesterday though because of the frequency of use and he helped me see this wasn’t a good thing.

    I stopped using Afrin yesterday…and only slept 3 hours last night with a completely stuffed nose. Today sucked! I’m going to stick this out though and confident I’ll be fine in a few days. I don’t believe addiction to anything is healthy. I’m confident God will be good to get me through this. I encourage everyone in this struggle (and every struggle) to pray to God, our Creator, who hears/sees our struggles and cares!!!

    • 2nd and 3rd night have gone much better that the 1st. I’m using flonase prescribed by my doctor but he said it will probably take up to a week to have effect. I’ve created a ramp of pillows for my upper body while I sleep on my side. If I lay flat then I get instant congestion. Pillows have been my biggest help thus far. I’m actually doing fairly well during the day with 50-75% of my nasal airways seem to be open…

      • I don’t know if everyone will have the same success that I had, but one week later I’m back to “normal.” That first night was absolutely horrible but the “pillow ramp” I created for the next several nights allowed me to at least breathe through one nostril. I talked to my mom tonight and I guess my dad had the same OTC nasal spray addiction years back…kinda interesting. I just wanted to share my success with others to let you know there is hope with kicking this thing. God bless!

  101. @Jeremy, I hear you I know exactly how you feel. I’m now a month and a half since I have used any spray, I’ll tell you it does get better. I’m pretty sure i have either some heeling left to do, or else I’ve done permanent damage to my sinuses, but I have almost no congestion problems during the day anymore, and altho I stil have some at night it’s MUCH better than it was.

    I managed somehow to come down with ANOTHER nasty sinus infection, but I was able to get through it without using any spray whatsoever, and lo and behold I’m getting over it much quicekr than I normally would using the spray.

    One thing that helps tremendously during the first few weeks, mix yourself some home made saline solution consisting of 1 cup of distilled water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of baking soda (or boil tap water for 10 minutes and let it cool), and cleanse your sinuses once a day using a netti pot, or else what I did was empty a large store brand Saline solution and replace it with your home brew. DON’T use the store brands, it contains Benzalkonium, which can be part of the reason Afrin causes rebound congestion.

  102. Ok I am so glad I found this blog and can see that I am not the only crazy nose-spray-addicted person out there. I first started using the stuff in 2008 when I went hiking to a remote area, I knew I might have allergy problems so I took a bottle of spray in case it got bad. Well it did and I used it all up in that week and then bought another when I got back to civilization, now 2 years have passed, I’m still hooked and I need to spray about every 2 hours. I am a very active person and have started to dread doing any group activities where I cant sneak away and use my spray every couple of hours. I recently almost said no to a adventure weekend because of the addiction so I have decided enough is enough and I am going cold turkey today! Where I am it is currently 11:30am on Friday morning, I have the day off work and dont have to go anywhere all weekend so I am planning to stay indoors and suffer. I used my spray last at 5.30am this morning just before an early exercise class. Right now my head feel heavy, my nose is completely blocked and it feels like there is pressure buidling up in my head. Can I cope with this for 3 days? I reckon I can…I have pretty good willpower. Will post again soon with an update. Wish me luck……

  103. I am absolutely desperate here.
    Please, if anyone can help me, respond.

    I am on vacation for over a month in the UK, and I have been using afrin for only about a month, but the majority of the time I used it only at night. I tried to stop using it after the first three or four weeks, and I did. I went cold turkey for a whole week after that, and I felt virtually no congestion during the day with a bit of a stuffy sinus on one side during the night, but I could still easily go to sleep.

    However, it was after that week that I came to the UK, and I started to use it for a week just because I didn’t want to be bothered on my holiday(most of this was also done only during the night). I then started to feel quite congested during daytime as well though, so after a few days of this, I had to see a random doctor here and got prescribed a steroid nasal spray.

    Here is the part where I really need help. The first couple of days I used it, I noticed quite a large improvement over before, where I would feel like I had a cold. I have used this twice a day for 8 days now, but my condition does not appear to have gotten any better since those first couple of days(this may be because it has just been so gradual, but I really don’t know????). During the day now, it is quite bearable, but it worsens at night.

    I am literally going mad. I have not had a good night’s sleep in almost 2 weeks, averaging about 3 hours a night. I truly, truly cannot take this any long. I am honestly losing my mind, and I have never felt this miserable before. I know I am not using afrin again, that is not the issue.

    Please, I need help, it is difficult for us to find doctors in a country we don’t live in, so I really, really, need to know what to do or what to expect.
    Thank you and much appreciated.

  104. I can NOT take this for more than another week. I CAN’T do that(again, it’s not because I am thinking of using afrin, I AM JUST GOING ABSOLUTELY CRAZY).
    I need to be happy again.

  105.’s been a loooong time since I posted here…but..I have since found something that helped me.So I will share.

    Good luck getting your doctor to prescribe this..but it’s worth a shot.
    It’s unorthodox but it works.

    1.Hycodan cough syrup (Hydrocodone/Homatropine)…it’s a narcotic cough syrup.It has Hydrocodone in it( may be hard to get prescribed for nasal doc took my word for it).
    THE HYDROCODONE(ie,vicoden,lortab,norco,etc) is NOT what is going to help the congestion and it is VERY addictive so watch your usage.
    Anyway..the IMPORTANT ingredient in the cough syrup is the HOMATROPINE…it IS NOT available via any other route than this cough syrup..I have asked 1000(in jest) pharmacist & every doctor I know.
    Homatropine…is an antihistamine that will clear up your nose like nobodies business.(I discovered this when i had bronchitis back in January and was prescribed it for the coughing).

    *another DISCLAIMER* Narcotics are NOT safe for pregnant or breastfeeding mommys.(hence this will not work for you guys) There.

    2. it’s still going to require a little effort…if you are using Afrin say once an hour..this stuff will knock it down to about two or three times a day..and maybe even once.

    3.If you are able to take an oral steroid during this will probably be free of this very soon. I HATE oral steroids..but they don’t seem to bother some people.

    4.You DEFINITELY need to be on nasal steroid at start of course..keep using even if you think it’s doing nothing…AND..something like Zyrtec.(I am on zyrtec and flonase). You most likely have allergies and if you start getting these two things in your system at the start … will not return to the afrin after the hycodan and oral steroids(if taking) end.

    oh..also..for whatever antibiotic WILL help too..

    Good luck.

    here’s the list to ask your doc for:
    1.Hycodan cough syrup
    2. Antibiotic(I took z-pack)
    3.Medrol dose pack(oral streiod pack ..about 7 days worth)If you are able to take it.
    4.Flonase (nasal steriod..tell them u want to use two spray in each nostril daily)
    5.over the counter zyrtec

    Like I said it’s unorthodox..I I noticed in Jan when I had the bronchitis that when one the cough syrup my nose cleared up,so I mentioned it to my pharmacist..and he is the one that told me about the Homatropine in there.
    Maybe you could print these pages and show your doctor.

    again..good luck everyone.

    if you can handle the oral steroids..of course those will help..but they are hard on a lot of people.

  106. excuse the last was supposed to be deleted before posting.

    “Like I said it’s unorthodox..I I noticed in Jan when I had the bronchitis that when one the cough syrup my nose cleared up,so I mentioned it to my pharmacist..and he is the one that told me about the Homatropine in there”

    Should have looked more like this:

    Like I said it’s unorthodox..I noticed in Jan when I had the bronchitis that while taking the cough syrup my nose cleared up,so I mentioned it to my pharmacist..and he is the one that told me about the Homatropine in there.

    lol..sorry..not sure what happened.

  107. Can someoneone help pleeeeassssseeee?????!!!!!! please, you have no idea how *(**** crazy im going here i need HEEEEELP!

    Ive been to 4 bloody doctors in my past 2 weeks of vacation AND I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I use the stupid Sinus Rinse that an ENT guaranteed would work, and it has just made it WORSE. All that water is stuck in my nose nowwww!!! why the **** is it getting worse!!!@!, i cant d0n this anymoer somepone heeeeleemkok3wekleleleopop

  108. (I posted this last May but I think it’s worth repeating because I see people struggling with different “cure” products and not getting relief. I had success using no other products and have been clear since May 1st 2009.)

    Hi Folks,

    I am living proof that you CAN get off Afrin. I was on for about 10 years but have been Afrin free for a year now with absolutely no desire to get back on.
    Here’s how I kicked it in one week with no other medication:

    Spray both nostrils at night as you usually do because night time is the most difficult.

    When you wake up the next morning spray only one nostril only one time and make an effort to go as long as you can without spraying. What ever time you make it to, write it down but only spray that same one nostril one time. What you’re doing is taking the “deprived” nostril OFF the spray so it can heal.

    The next day, see if you can beat the times you recorded on the previous day.
    You should be able to go longer and longer because one nostril is also healing. Soon you may be able to make it all day with no spray except one nostril one time at night. Two or three days like that and you’ll be able to go without. The “deprived” but now healed and clear nostril will get you through the withdraw of the other one.

    The whole process start to finish took me exactly a week. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I had a few really bad days where I was walking around with what felt like a full pumpkin on my head but you WILL get relief.

    It is wonderful to be clear now after 10 years of addiction. Do I sometimes still get stuffed? Sure, but here’s the great part: I can now easily clear myself by simply rolling over in bed or, for a really bad stuff I walk up and down the stairs once and that change – yup, that’s it – clears me right up.

    Summon up a little courage and go for it. You can do it. A year ago I was right where you are now.

  109. Hi all its me again – i posted back on 16th July and wanted to give an update. I am now officially off the spray! Ok the first two days were pure hell but i am glad suffered through. I don’t know if going cold turkey would work for everyone but for me it has. I have been using the stuff for many years and for at least two years I have used it around 10 times per day.

    I put aside 3 days (Fri-Sun) took Friday off work and last used my spray on the Friday morning around 6am. By around 9am my head was aching and it felt like I had concrete in my nasal passages. This pretty much continued all day and Fri night. I got no sleep at all Fri night but managed to doze off for an hour on sat afternoon (breathing through my mouth because my nose was still completely blocked). Late Sat evening things started to clear up a bit. One nostril would clear for a while, then block again and the other one woudl clear than block. This continued all night and I got around four hours sleep that night. It gradually got better during the day on Sun and by Sun night I went to bed with both nostrils around 70% clear which allowed me to get a full nights sleep.

    The last week has been pretty good, I can feel sinuses clearing, although it is still going through the one blocking, one clearing process a bit but every day seems to be a bit better. This week has been amazing for me, just leaving the house without my spray on me was a huge step and not having to sneak into the bathroom at work every 2 hours to spray has been wonderful.

    Hope this helps anyone considering giving up this way. It is definately worth the try but you do need to be pretty strong willed those first few days.

  110. Also I forgot to add that I took an over the counter antihistamine tablet on Fri, Sat & Sun night. I normally would not take antihistamine because it has the opposite effect on me and keeps me awake (I suffer from chronic insomnia). It seemed to help with the headaches and conjestion particularly on the Sat and Sun nights. That is the only thing I took.

  111. I have a question for Ken (sorry if you have already answered it somewhere on your blog or in your vast list of replies). Did the “one nostril at a time” technique work for you? I’m considering trying it tonight. I have only used the Afrin for 3 nights in a row, but I officially can’t sleep without it and I don’t want this to get any worse.

    • Yes Kristin it did work for me. You nose gets used to the amount of Afrin you give it and wont adapt or work toward clearing itself up. Without it it will remain inflamed and runny. With it it will artificially clear it self up until the medicine wears off. I’m not Doctor of course but its what I lived with for a long time. Have you tried saline rinses as well? The “one nostril at a time” did it work me but it took a few days for each side.

  112. Im a 33 year old woman who got hooked on noise drops! Started wu=itg a sinus infectin back in January. I answerd nphone and sounded sqeeqy.
    So nose drops helpef wondersw@!But I stb, jlla

  113. I posted last year, and with Aprils help I got off this nasty stuff…but then I regressed, and started up again after I had a really nasty cold. I went to my doctor and mentioned it to him, he gave me a prescription for Nasonex, he said use it three times a day (normally its one) two sprays in each nostril. IT WORKED!! The first night I only had to use Afrin once, and I only did one nostril. That was the only time I needed it. It literally took ONE DAY. I am thrilled. Aprils system DID work for me, but this was definitely faster.

    • Thanks, Jennifer for saying something positive about me. I am glad you got off again with your Dr. help. Regression is common. I think that no matter what method you use to get off the spray, it is so easy to get hooked again and it always will be. I do think that once you get off it the first time, it is easier to get off it again. I’m glad you are doing okay.

  114. the half and half method works great for me. i started on thursday morning, only using it in my right nostril, and half way through the day, my left nostril was already starting to clear just a bit. friday i was able to breathe completely through it. it was still plugging now and then, but enough to at least get a pinch of air through. today, saturday, i’m completely clear, and i could breathe through the left last night better than my right. i even threw the nasal spray i keep in my purse away yesterday. 🙂 i recommend at least trying the half and half method.

  115. unfortunately the only real working method is cold turkey and a cortisone shot. go to your doctor and tell them that you are addicted and all your symptoms he will diagnose you with rebound congestion prescribe you a bottle of decongestant that isnt addictive but it really doesnt work so tell them rather then that can you have the cortisone treatment they will give you a shot usually in the nose it is a steroid that will help you breath and they will tell you throw your spray away and not use it for 2 weeks and by then the cortisone will be wearing off (usually last one month but not in the dosage they will give you) but it should be long enough to get over the congestion

  116. I’ve been addicted for 4 months now. My nose has started to bleed when I blow it. Right now I’m stuffed up and thinking about my bottle of affrin that’s in the bathroom with only a few squirts left in it. I really want to use it and go to bed, but reading how some of you all have been addicted for years has scared me into getting off it. I’ll try the one nostril at a time method. I’ll post again in a few days to tell you all how it went. Thanks for all your advice, by the way!

  117. Have you guys tried the dilution method? I’ve been addicted on and off again for 8 years (I say that, because I can dilute myself off and not use it for months… until I get a cold again, then I have to start all over). What you do is purchase a full bottle of Afrin, 4-Way, Equate (or whatever you use) and use it until half full. Then, using distilled water poored into a cup, suck some of the water into the nasal spray container… filling it back up. Use it down to half again, and repeat. Each time you do this, you’re slowly diluting the phenylephrine in the original spray to nothingness… and you’ll be breathing normally within a couple of weeks.

  118. Hello all,

    I woke up today in the middle of the night a few times unable to breathe and gasping for air. I didn’t really know what was going on, but looking at google, I see that I have addiction problem.

    I started using Afrin 4 weeks ago due to a terrible cold that was growing into otitis for my ears. When I bought Afrin, it worked like an angel and my ears started to hurt less and less. After 2 weeks I noticed that when the spray effect wore off, I couldn’t breathe at all – I felt like I was going to faint if I didn’t get more Afrin. I had a lot of trouble breathing through my mouth even. Last Sunday I decided to go off Afrin and bought Sudafed, but it doesn’t seem to work. I also took a claritin tablet once. My nose started to clear up little by little.
    Yesterday I had 4 wisdom teeth removed under local anesthesia, so I needed my nose to breathe 100%. It was going fine until about 18 hours later from nightmares and gasping for air again. I realized that Afrin was definitely responsible for this, so I researched it.

    I’m afraid to use the 1 side method, because I feel like it’ll still affect my lungs and not let me breathe even through my mouth. Does anyone know if Sudafed and Claritin work together to alleviate these symptoms?


    • Hi Sky I have felt that gasping for breath during the night myself. Just as you start to fall asleep you GASP for a breath like someone is sitting on your chest! I was telling an older lady about this, she had the same thing and her Dr. told her to take vitamin D3 in a dose of 5000 IU’s. I don’t know why but it really really works! After a few days of taking this the gasping for air is a thing of the past! I once ran out of the D3 and the gasping came back right away. Please try it and let me know if it works for you!?
      Hope it does.
      James D

      • I have been off Afrin for a bi over a month now and I just used the cold turkey method. My doctor gave me some steroids spray, I used it 3 times and stopped. My nose is pretty decent now.


  119. WAS hooked on Walgreens brand nosespray for several month, had to use it several times a day of my nose would just slam shut. RHINOCORT AQUA is amazing! After only a couple of uses honestly after the first nights use I never needed Afrin or the like again! RHINOCORT is $$$ but is a life saver! Found it online from a Canadian mail order store. 😉

  120. magicpharma is where I got the Rhinocort Aqua and at a fraction of the Dr’s perscription… my out of pocket cost via local pharm. was OMD $120 for 100 dose spray!, through magicpharma. c o m it was something like $38 shipped and a 200 dose bottle. Honestly great stuff, would love to hear from others using Rhinocort.

  121. I was addicted to nostrilla and had to quit cold turkey because the spray had taken away the lining in my nose and I was bleeding nonstop. I could not stop the bleeding and they could do nothing at the hospital because there was no lining. The bleeding stopped after 3 hours. I had a sinus infection right after that and did not use anything other than nasal wash with saline solution. Now I use a nasal wash every night before bed. Please Stop using nasal spray it is not good and it’s expensive.

  122. ive only been using afrin for 2 weeks but i cant stop using it, i cant go through 1 day of school without using it. if i didnt use it i would not be able to breathe out of either nostril and it didnt help that it ran so i had this snot that could only be blown ever 10 to 20 seconds. afrins been my only resort . trying to stop, got nasonex and some other allergie medicine

    • Tyler I have 2 words that honestly work “Rhinocort Aqua” you might ask your Dr. if he/she has samples? All I know is it worked like magic for me!

  123. I have been addicted to Afrin nose spray for about 20 years. Mostly I couldn’t sleep without out it, and my snoring is worse when I can’t breath. For a few months now I have been using the Neti pot, which helped a little. But, I still couldn’t use the Neti pot if my nose was blocked and find that I have to use Afrin to open the airways. This left me frustrated. Since I am so out of shape and have not done any jogging for many years, I started the “Couch to 5K” program, which slowly gets you back into jogging with alternating walking and jogging. I noticed that each time I did this (every 2nd day), my sinuses would be clear when I got back home. I took advantage of this time to use the Neti Pot. Someone from work told me that taking hot showers and breathing in the steam will open up the sinuses. I have been doing this and have gone for 5 days now without having to use nasal spray. I am feeling good about this!

  124. Hi, everyone. I haven’t posted here in quite some time, and this is going to be my last post. Keep reading to find out why.

    When I last posted back in February of this year (also see 1/9, 1/19, 1/21, 2/6, and 2/7), I had just started allergy shot treatments. In addition, the doctor put me on a prescription antihistamine. I must have tried a dozen different sprays and pills before we settled on Allegra-D, which seemed to work the best for me. This is a relative statement, however, because I really didn’t get much relief from any of the medications. I supplemented the allergy shots (i.e. two full needles of serum in each arm at each sitting) and the prescription meds with over-the-counter allergy pills and decongestants. I was able to get to the point where I could at least function during the day, but my symptoms never completely subsided. And all the while, I continued to use the dreaded nasal spray.

    Anyway, I completed the allergy shot regimen in early June. At that point, you’re supposed to go on a monthly maintenance schedule, but I couldn’t even make it a week before the allergy symptoms would overcome me, whereby I would need another shot. So the doctor put me on a weekly (instead of monthly) maintenance shot schedule, in addition to taking a cocktail of about ten pills a day, which includes Allegra in the morning and at bedtime, a Zyrtec in the morning, a Benadryl at bedtime, and about a half-dozen decongestant tablets throughout the day. I had to start this treatment of pills the minute I woke up or else the allergy symptoms would kick-in almost immediately and it would take hours before the medicine would suppress them.

    Despite eight months of intensive treatment, the net improvement in my condition would best be described as slight. I saw the allergy doctor a few weeks ago and he told me that he hasn’t ever seen a case as bad as mine. He didn’t know what else to do for me, so he suggested I go see an ENT to talk about surgically correcting my deviated septum. He said this sometimes helps the allergy symptoms.

    I made the appointment, which was this past Thursday. In the interim, I decided to try something else. There is a church near my home that has a weekly healing service. I went there on 9/22/10 and met a prayer counselor named Moses (that really is his name!). Together, we prayed that Jesus would heal me of my three sinus-related maladies, including my allergies, my sinus problems – including my 20+ year addiction to nose spray – and my deviated septum. To make a long story slightly less long, Moses said I was healed of my allergies, but the sinus healing wouldn’t be immediate. First, I had to beat the addiction. He told me I needed to “resist the temptation” to use the spray and in time, I would receive the rest of the healing.

    Here’s the crescendo: I haven’t taken an allergy pill since 9/22 (i.e. in almost two weeks) and I haven’t experienced a single allergy symptom during that time. I think I sneezed maybe twice during this period, which is probably normal (how many times a week does the average person sneeze?). My allergies were, indeed, healed. Halleluiah! Not having allergies anymore, I was able to wean myself completely off the nose spray in only four days. I haven’t touched the stuff in over a week. And I’m not going to, ever again.

    So folks, the moral of the story is that when you have nowhere else to turn, go to Jesus. Or better yet; go to Him first. I would have saved myself a week of time (if you added it all up) and about $1,000 in insurance co-pays if I took my own advice and went to Jesus sooner than I did. Lesson learned.

    I wish everyone who still suffers from this awful addiction the very best. I’m done with it!

  125. Joe

    Sometimes we are obsessed with trying to find our own solutions, that we forget to take things to the Lord in prayer. Your message has been a good reminder. I hope that things work out for you long term.

  126. Thanks, Sherry. I still have some challenges ahead of me. I mentioned in my last post that I went to the ENT last week. What he told me is that my septum is about 95% obstructed on the right side. Like the allergist, he said he hasn’t seen a condition quite this bad before. I have to admit; there’s a sense of pride knowing I’m an extreme medical case! Anyway, the ENT said the surgery is oftentimes a judgment calls for most people, but in my case, he said it’s a “no-brainer”. I’m going for a CT scan today so the doctor can get a better look at what exactly is going on in there. He suspects I have more obstructions than just the septum, which the scan will be able to identify.

    The problem I have is that if the septum isn’t repaired, the risk of falling back into nose spray addiction increases because the air flow will remain substantially reduced. I tried to explain this condition recently to a non-addict and I used Ken’s picture at the top of this page as an example. I told the person to stick a clothespin on their nose and see how long they can leave it there without it driving them crazy. That’s how people who suffer from this addiction feel like. And the solution is so simple – just spray that magic elixir up there and within seconds, you’ll be breathing freely again.

    Contrary to what the doctor said, the surgery decision isn’t a no-brainer. My friend Moses told me I would be healed of my ailments, but part of the healing wouldn’t come immediately. Part of it did (i.e. the allergies, which helped me beat the nose spray addiction), but the rest of it hasn’t happened yet (i.e. I still have some lingering sinus congestion and the deviated septum). I talked with some other people about this and their conclusion is that the chain of events is a test of faith. They suggested I view it in the context of an unfulfilled prophesy, where I have to “wait on the Lord”. Normally, this would be very difficult to rationalize. But having just experienced the healing of my allergies, it’s a lot easier to trust the Lord.

    As of right now, I have decided to waive-off the surgery. The way I see it, an IOU from the Lord is like money in the bank (a financially solvent one, that is)! I can wait. Will it be easy to continue to “resist the temptation” to use the nose spray? No. But I’m confident I can do it (“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13). In my opinion, the most significant healings are those where there is irrefutable proof, such as a before and after CT scan. That’s what I’m expecting. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  127. It is easy to get addicted to nose spray. For me, it was always the left side of my sinuses that were blocked. I would always get earaches on that side. The ENT specialist told me that this was not an ear infection, but a blocked eustachian tube from always being stuffed up. Having an earache all the time made me feel like climbing into bed and sleeping it off, after taking decongestants. Using nose spray seemed like a preventative measure, to ward off earaches. I have now gone 11 days without nose spray. Taking hot showers daily, using my Neti pot once a day plus a little exercise is doing the trick. I am also making myself drink more water throughout the day, which I am told can make a difference.

  128. Guys, I am another victim to this Afrin. I have been using this stuff for about 18 months and now its to the point where it does nothing. I know I have a very severe case, using about 1 ounce a week. And thats not spraying it in. I actually have to turn the bottle up and pour into my nose. I rarely have to use it in my right nostril. I cannot get off of this. Its bad when you get up in the middle of the night and go to Walmart, cause thats the only place open, and buy another bottle. I NEED HELP!!!

    • Michael, your situation is nearly identical to mine. I was a quirter, as opposed to a sprayer, using about a bottle a week. And Afrin wasn’t working any longer. I asked several doctors about this, but none of them could tell me why.

      You can read my posts above for more background, but what I did was switch to the phenylephrine hydrochloride variety of the spray, which you can find at Wal-Mart. It’s in the exact same package as the oxymetazoline variety, so it’s easy to mistake the two (read the labels carefully). I don’t know why, but the phenylephrine worked for me, while the oxy did not. I think it’s because the active ingredient is twice as concentrated (i.e. 1% vs. a half).

      This will get you over the hump, but you still have to beat the addiction. There are many different methods mentioned on this site and they all have proven track records. It’s just a matter of finding which one will suit your needs best. You’re not alone, and it can be done. Good luck.

    • michael: i’ve been on the crap for about 4 years! it’s ridiculous. i started ‘using’ when my husband had a cold. he used it for a day and hated the stuff bc he said it didn’t work for him. i was alittle stuffy, and have always been a ‘nose breather’ i almost have panic attacks when i can’t breath through my nose. so i started using it and after a month, just figured i must still have a cold bc when i wasn’t using it, my nose would get plugged completely, where i couldn’t even ‘whistle breath’ through it. i found this site and read someone’s post about the half and half method. i tried it, only spraying in my right nostril to heal the left, and it worked! after a day, my left would clear completely up, and then plug up again, on an on for a few days, and it cleared completely up after about 2 weeks, with only plugging up just a tiny bit every once in a great while, but still enough to breathe comfortably through. i’m still using it for my right nostril, bc cold season’s coming, and i’m alittle scared that i’ll be miserable in both nostril’s once i get a cold. but the half and half method is amazing, and it will give you the confidence to quit completely once you feel good about it. i hope this helps. 🙂 i was just as desperate as you are, and i hated having nose spray bottles on my nightstand, in my purse and car, and one in the living room, lol. good luck. it’ll work for ya. 😉

  129. Everyone I’ve posted this before but worth a re-read…

    I WAS hooked on Walgreens brand nosespray for several month, had to use it several times a day of my nose would just slam shut. RHINOCORT AQUA is amazing! After only a couple of uses honestly after the first nights use I never needed Afrin or the like again! RHINOCORT AQUA is $$$ but is a life saver! Found it online from a Canadian mail order store.

  130. I’ve been addicted to Sinex nasal spray (Oxymetazoline) for the last 8 years. And this is a regression from an earlier addiction. I’ll start at the beginning. Back in 1998 I developed a serious head cold and my nose stopped up on me. Like most people I just can’t be bothered with a stuffy nose, so like a lot of people I turned to nose spray for relief. I was addicted to it for about a year and developed a serious sinus infection in my left sinus. I set an appoinment for the doctor, told her what was going on, she gave me a prescription for the infection and something in a pill form for the addiction (wish I could remember the names). I didn’t use any spray before visiting the doctor, anyway after I got my scripts filled I took my 1st dose of each and it worked, I was off the spray and I was happy. Oh, and incidently, when I went to the doctor that morning I never used nose spray until I developed another head cold in 2002. I thought about my previous addiction but thought that I would use it in moderation and for less than the recommended time. Was I wrong!! I have been on it since and am in pure agony now. I have to use it at least 8 times a day just to function. I’ve been to my doctor (which is a new doctor) with my predicament, but everything he prescribes is useless, and I for the life of me can’t remember what my previous doctor prescribed me, sad as it is I’m now stuck with an addiction I don’t want. I’m glad I found this blog because I thought I was the only one with this addiction, but I see I’m not alone and many have faced their demons and beat it. So too will I face mine. I am going to try the one side at a time method as it seems to have worked for so many. I will post back and let everyone know how I am doing. Thanks everyone for your input, and letting a soul like me know that I’m not alone in this. Good luck all

  131. I’m miserable and need help 🙁 I’m 37 and started using nose spray when I was about 10 years old off and on when I had a cold and couldn’t sleep. I began regular use when I was 17. I’ve tried countless times over the years to stop and just can’t do it. Doctors look at me like I have three heads when I tell them I use it and say “just stop” “don’t you know it’s addicting”. WOW doc it IS??? I had NO idea!!! I hate doctors…
    Can someone help me? 🙁

  132. I used Afrin for about 5 years. At first I only used it at night, then I started using it once and a while during the day… it only got worse from there. The past 2 years or so I’ve been using it every 3-4 hours. I was really ashamed of it, I had to hide it from my parents, my friends and my boyfriend (who lives with me, so that was really tough). Everyone didn’t understand why I just couldn’t stop. Everytime that I tried it was terrible and I gave up after a few hours just like everyone else here. Finally last week things hit the boiling point. One night my Afrin just stopped working, no matter how much I used. I ran out to the drug store in the middle of the night, desperate to find something that would work. I was panicked because I just couldn’t breathe. I bought 4-way and it cleared me up instantly…. for about 20 minutes. So I just kept using it over and over again. It made me so sick, my heart was pounding, I was shaking and I was really dizzy. Finally at 2am, I was disgusted with myself so I quit cold turkey. Right then I dumped out all of my Afrin and other sprays. That night was pretty miserable, I didn’t sleep at all but I was still pretty fired up about my decision so I made it through. However, by noon the next day I was in full withdrawl mode. I was having panic attacks, I couldn’t use my nose at all, my hands were shaking, my head was so congested and my face was red and raw from constantly blowing my nose. I called my doctor at noon and begged for relief. I was hysterical, I felt so terrible. She prescribed me a steriod pack to open my nose and xanax for the panicky withdrawl symptoms. This combination worked really well. The steriod pack started to work that evening. It didn’t open things up completely but it opened my nose enough to take away that awful nose filled with concrete feeling. The Xanax allowed me to calm down and took away the shakiness and craving for Afrin. The Xanax also allowed me to sleep that night which instantly made me feel better. I had about 50% usage of my nose the next day and it is only getting better. I am now almost 4 days off of Afrin and my nose is functioning at about 90%. It really only gets stuffy and congested when I need to blow it. It also just feels healthier. I am finishing up the steriod pack and using the xanax if I need it to sleep but I’m really not that congested even at night. Anyways I just wanted to post here because I think I read every post on this site and it really gave me the strength I needed to get through the withdrawl phase. Good luck to everyone that tries to get off of nasal spray. You really can do it, just remember that you won’t feel this way forever.

  133. I’ve been addicted for many years. I working on quitting and am in the process. I would only use spray at night before bed because that’s when my nose would be stopped up, 3 sprays in each nose. However I have gone a week without nasal spray so far by doing this:

    -instead of harmful nasal spray, I use saline spray

    -i also use claritain or sudafed as well

    -then I would use vicks vapor rub

    -finally I would wear a breathe right strip (took me awhilw to get use to it.

    For the first week, I would wake up in the middle of the night and have to use the bad spray, but would only allow myself one spray in each side

    Finally I started sleeping through the night with my alternate products. I plan on stopping using the sudafed and just using saline, breathe right strips and vicks vapor rub. Its been tough but I hope I can continue to kick the addiction

  134. Yes, I am an Afrin addict too… On and off for at least 20 years. Used only at night until my last cold when I would only get about an hour of clarity per use so I knew the end had come. Tried cold turkey, but got was so completely stopped up that I thought I would have a panic attack as well. I felt like I would sufficate. Never felt stuffed up like this in my life!! I went to the doctor and admitted my addiction. Got oral steroids, flonase, astepro and told to take Zyrtec D every 12 hours. Within 24 hours, I felt 50% better. Slept through the night with a small bit of air coming through the nose, propped up on pillows. By the end of 5 days, I stopped the Zyrtec D (with the oral decongestant)& ended the steroids — I was breathing! I continued with the astepro and flonase for my chronic nasal inflamation. Been good ever since. Once, I felt a little clogged and took the Zyrtec D and it cleared it right up. I swear this will work for you. Please try it and stop suffering!!

  135. I was hooked on Afrin for over a year and near the end of the cycle, my nose was bleeding and the Afrin wasn’t working hardly at all. I went to the doctor finally (kinda’ hate doctors) and he referred me to an ENT. The ENT of course, scolded me but prescribed me a Medrol pack and Flonase. He said I would feel better by the time I was ready for bed that very night. And he was right. It was the most phenomenal thing ever. A couple months passed and I caught a bad cold. I thought I could sparingly use the Afrin at night to help me sleep. Day two…hooked. After a week, I didn’t hesitate to contact the ENT. Yes he scolded me again, and prescribed another Medrol pack. That night slept like a babe. I would swear to the Medrol pack and I am swearing off Afrin forever. Good luck everyone. This is a horrible addiction and so easily remedied – had I only known.

  136. Hi Carol I looked up the “Medrol Pack” and it’s a type of steroid, I swear by “Rhinocort Aqua” also a steroid. The day after using the Rhinocort I was back to normal, and haven’t used over the counter nasal spray again! Bottom line seems a steroid dose might be the answer to kicking the nasal spray habbit!

  137. I have been addicted also, had sprays hidden everywhere, panicked if I thought of a situation that would arise and I did not have my spray handy.
    Well, I beat the monster, the following way. First, cut it in half, with 50% saline, use this as required, get a second bottle and cut it 80% or 90%. try to use the 80% or 90% bottle as much as possible, weaning yourself off the first bottle, if the 80% 90% does not work go back to the 50% to get relief,but don’t punish yourself, make a sincere effort to use the 80% or 90% as much as possible to stay away from the 50% version. Get a neti pot and use it once a day to clear pollutents from you nose.(make the neti pot solution as salty as you can tolerate this will help to dry it out, if it stings dilute it ) now, here is the trick get some pseudophedrine hydrochoride hci 30mg.(basically sudafed) take 2 pills every 4 to 6 hrs.when you get into 8 to 12 pills stop taking the afrin if you can.,once you hit the 16 or so amount of pills (about 3 days)the nose will start to stay clear, stop everything at that point, but continue the neti pot occasionally.
    I have been doing this over the last 2 weeks, my nose is and has been clear for a week with NO medication at all, I CAN FINALLY SLEEP!
    I have read and tried everything , and this worked. Believe me these sprays are ADDICTIVE and CAUSTIC I’ve read horror stories about nasal lining damage etc. I also found that menthol cough drops help a lot during this process ( when your nose fells slightly stuffed) I am by no means a Doctor, just want to help and share. Good Luck, and stick with it

  138. I have been using Afrin for about 6 month now. I also have used others. Finding that it isn’t working all that great anymore. finally last night I said forget it, I need to get off of this. Talk about feeling like my head is going to explode. Going to leave a message with my dr and see if he will call me in a perscription for the steroid pak. Also heading for the pharmacy now to pick up zyrtec to use. I did have to break down and use the afrin this morning but just put it in one side.. I thought I could do this but I don’t know. When I gt off of it, I will never ever us it again I will let you know how it works for me.

  139. Hi, Ive been addicted to nasal spray for almost 17 years/ Its started when I was preganant, I had a terrible cold, and the doctor recommended I try afrin, apparently thinking it was OK for a pregnant person to take. My daughter turned 16 on October, and Im still using it. I sleep with the bottle in my hand, under my pillow, and I panic if I cant find it. I cannot even begin to describe the swelling, and pressure I get, especially at night. During the day I typically use it 4-8 times, two sprays per side. Night is a different story..I wake up swollen shut, gasping for air, and it takes anywhere from about 15 min to three hours of spraying, sneezing, blowing my nose ,repeat, before I can attempt to sleep again. As a result I am often tired, and cranky because I havent slept through an entire night without my spray in almost 17 years. Ive used saline, allegra d, clairtin d, etc..It scares me to think of the damage this horrible sh*t has caused in my nose and throat, and I just want to be free of it. Ive read alot of these posts and Im going to try diluting the spray with saline, and try that Vitamin D3 suggestion. This is a terrible addiction, and I want off this stuff!

    • Wow Bill, Stephanie, just think of how much money Rachel has spent on nasil spray over 17 years! (I think with me it was about $12-$15 a week.) The Vitamin D-3 at 5000 IU’s totally stopped my gasping for breath through out the night, BUT the Rhinocort Aqua really changed my life for the good. The Rhinocort really is a miracle I’m not exaggerating when I say it, I totally kicked my nose spray addiction in the first couple uses! Sounds to good to be true, sounds like B.S. I know I know it does, but the way it stopped the insanity of using the nose spray a dozen times a day it makes me want to shout RHINOCORT from the rooftops! I hope if anyone else has used it please report how it worked for them. I remember the nights of using the nasal sprays RIGHT before I hit the bed, waking up at 3am to spray again, then right as my feet hit the floor spray again…. not to mention the way it dried out your nose…. damn that’s awful! Sigh…. best of luck please report back if you try the Rhinocort. Again you might be able to get a sample of the Rhinocort Aqua from your Dr.

  140. Abby

    I have been using the neti pot daily for a few months now. I believe that it helps keeps the sinuses clear and helps to fend off colds. That and taking hot showers (breathing in the steam) has kept me free from having to use nose spray. If your sinuses are blocked, the neti pot solution will not flow through your nose. That is the frustrating thing about it.

  141. I have been spraying once a day for like 2 weeks now, but I’m back to using it 5 times a day because not using it didn’t do any good! it just made me miserable, maybe the stuff I’m addicted to (otrivin) is stronger then afrin idk…

        • I am still off of it. I am so tempted though to pick up the bottle and spray but I wont. I feel like a recovering addict and my addiction is Nasal spray, but I am staying firm and strong.

        • I had a afrin addition 3 times. First 2 times I used the Rinostat system which weans you off. The 3rd time it was so bad the rinostat had trouble working. At the time I was struggling with respratory isssue and my doctor gave me steriods for the coughing. I even asked him for some afrin relief and he gave me nasonex (didn’t work for the afrin addition) Let me tell you within 12 hours I was broken of the afrin add. The steriods absolutely cleared up and healed my nose. Ask your Dr. it’s a miracle !!!!

  142. I used Otrivin for years when we lived in Canada. Then I switched to Afrin when we moved to the U.S. They both have the rebound effect which only makes the problem worse.

  143. I recently overcame a 3 year dependency on Afrin, and it has been surprisingly easy for me. I know the pain of not only feeling dependent, but also going without–the completely debilitating rebound congestion and the hopelessness and fear of cold turkey. Because there isn’t a single, authoritative place to discuss this issue, I’m posting around in the hopes that this helps at least a few people.

    GO TO AN E.N.T.

    At my girlfriend’s request, and with much reluctance, I finally visited the ENT. I planned a week off school and work, fearing he’d tell me to quit cold turkey. The ENT was extremely understanding and helpful, and did for me the following: He prescribed Sudafed and Nasonex. I was certain these things wouldn’t work (I’ve been on both of them before). He told me to go one nostril at a time, giving me a total recovery of 2 weeks. I was relieved by that to some degree.

    As the day progressed after my morning appointment, I found (quite strangely) that I was completely fine. I went to work, I drove my car. My right nostril (which I was using Afrin in), was actually stuffier than the other. I can’t explain that really, but that’s true. I was shocked, and at the end of the day decreed that the medications were working and I was quitting it altogether.


    without Afrin, and I am fine, I am happy. I’m still taking Sudafed and Nasonex every 12+24 hours respectively, and I have absolutely no congestion. This is after 3 years of heavy Afrin use.

    Friends, this is so much easier than I thought it could ever be. Please, see a doctor–mention my regimen if he suggests something otherwise, and see what he says. This dependency is unexpected and horrible, it can feel like a drug addiction, but you CAN get out of it without putting your life on pause.

    • Bo, this is nice to read and I will try this out. I’ve been on this shit for like 5 months now and I can’t function without it. It’s horrible I hate it so much. So I should go to an ENT and then use the afrin one nostril at a time?

  144. I had been using Oxymetazoline nasal spray for about three years. Last saturday I got a cold and for some reason the spray wasn’t working. So I decided to quit. I tried one time before, about a year ago but I couldn’t take it and after about five hours of torture,
    I started spraying again. So,I went to the store and bought two bottles of NyQuil and a package of Benadryl-D allergy and sinus Ultratabs. When I got to the aisle there was a woman there putting all of the generic nasal spray into her basket. I told her she shouldn’t use that stuff, and she asked me why. “Cuz you’ll get addicted to it”,I said. “Tell me about it. I’ve been using it for twenty years!”, she replied. I told her of my mission and she wished me luck. The first 22 hours were hell. You know what I mean. Complete blockage. I used the medications I bought according to dosage instructions and luckily the NyQuil kept me pretty loopy. Then in the shower my right nostril opened up and then my left one did. About 45 minutes after I was out of the shower they both clogged up again. After about 72 hours my right nostril started staying clear for the most part, while “Lefty” was still putting up a fight. Now, a full week later, my left nostril has finally opened up and has been that way for four hours straight. Thank God. I think I’ve got this thing beat and wanted to let others who have been suffering with this that it can be done and after the first two or three days it’s not that bad. Just set your mind to it and stick it out! I’m sooooooooooooooooo glad I did.

    • Aaron, so glad you stuck I out and you’re now feeling relief. Why did you never go see a Dr about getting on some of the medication out there that’s available to combat nasal spray addiction?

      • 20 years? Wow! You def have a battle. I have been addicted for 7 years I have been what I call, “SOBER” for 2 full weeks and on 3rd week now. I want to pick up the bottle of Nasal spray, but haven’t. I feel that my voice has gotten hoarse and I can’t even do a littlo “Whooo” like an own because I have shot those vocals. I also feel like I am not as sensative to smells as others are.

        Do you think your vocals have changed? or your sense of smell isn’t as strong as others? I am curious if I am the only one with those symptoms.

  145. Today is my 3rd day and two nights of getting off my addiction. I have been on Nasal spray for 7 years!! My voice is hoarse and I feel like have lost some of my vocals and sense of smell. I know I am not as sensitive to smells as people around me. I tried to get off nasal spray once before and it only lasted 2 days of suffering and then got back on it. I dont even want to go to the ENT because there are only 2 in my town and I worked for both of them… How embarassing!

    Okay so this is how I am doing it… COLD TURKEY!!! Two nights now and I have slept pretty much with my mouth opened so I can breathe. This is the 3rd day and I am feeling good. I can breathe and I havne’t had to put on the drops. I have the bottle by my side but everything I think I need it… I pray to God to give me the strength and he delivers! I am breaking free!

    • I don’t mean to discourage you, but I did the same thing,felt great and didn’t use my nose spray for more then 2 weeks! and then it was like I did nothing it was back, and much worse, I totally couldn’t breath through my nose, there was no point in just suffering, it didn’t do any good anyways, so I was back to using my spray and breathing again…

      • How bad is it really? what if I get back on it? i am so desperate to get back on it i am on 3 weeks being off of it, but I want to just grab the bottle and spray! what would really happen if I do?? UUUgh!

  146. hey guys, I’m pretty much hooked on afrin as well… ive been on it for like 2 years now going on 3, and i SOMEHOW just cant get away from it. I went on a trip before and forgot my nose spray…the most terrible 3 days of my trips EVER. my nostrils wouldn’t unclog…it was annoying. I dont have too much issues during the day. I never use it during the day, but at night its when i use it. I hate sleeping with a stuffy nose. I also heard that Oxymetazoline HCI actually causes dizziness, and nausea. I feel radomly feel sick during the day, and have been trying to figure out what it was. The doctors even had to do a general health panel on me…which I ended up being completely healthy soooo.

  147. Hello,
    I too had the rebound affect on the spray. There is a way to stop.
    Take a cortisone shot or pills. The shot will reduce the swelling membranes in your nose. The shot will last for 6 to 10 months.
    your smell senses will come back and you will breath through your nose.

    Prednisone® [Tablet]
    or Celestone® [tab] or Celestamine® [tab]

    Hoping I can help someone out

  148. I fell off the wagon again. This is the 4th time I am quitting this nose spray. I was traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, I was stuffed up, caught a cold and sinus infection. I knew I shouldn’t have used it, but I was desperate.

    I am kicking myself because I know better. Another thing contributing to my stuffiness is that my furnace runs a lot. Our temperatures have been below normal, causing the heat to run. I tried a humidifier in the past but the filter got really yucky in a couple weeks. I haven’t been able to find a replacement filter for the machine I have now so will probably have to buy a new machine.

    Drama – Drama. I hate not being able to breath out of my nose, especially at night.

  149. How bad would it really be to be on it? its such an easy solution to everything! you wouldn’t have to worry about getting no good air. And your brain would’t lack of air… and its only 5 dollars for 4 bottles at Costco?? I really just want to grab the bottle and spray!

    What are you going to do?

    I am goig to rough it out another week! I am losing my will power but I will not let it defeat me.

    • I know the reason I don’t want to be on it is because I’m tired of carrying that bottle everywhere. I also think it’s embarrassing when I’m at work so I go to the restroom to spray. It’s also gotten worse for me that I have to spray about every 2 hours.

      SO far I’m on day 2 of no spray in the right nostril. It’s still clogged tight.

      I bought a neti pot yesterday but I can’t get it to work because my nasal passages are clogged.

      • I am back on the spray. i was off of it for 2 months, but I never did get to breathe good. and I realize the reason I was so tired during the day and it was because I wasn’t sleeping well. I picked up the bottle and I slept so good and I am well rested during the day now. but back on the afrin. ;-(

  150. dilute the spray about 50% with saline or distiled water.
    it wears off faster, but gives relief while breaking the habit.
    over time dilute again and keep diluting until habit is gone.
    the amount of time between dilutions will be up to you.
    This works, I did it after a 10yr addiction.

    • lol..most of us wish it were that simple Mr.Gimbel..if it were we’d all have the problem solved.
      Speaking for myself only..I have certainly tried every single otc nasal decongestant & nasonex,flonase,and several other prescription nasal steroids. Netti Pots,salin,the one nostril method ..the best solution for those that your “simple” solution doesn’t work on what I posted a few months back..hycodan cough syrup because it has a nasal decongestant in it that you can not get via ANY other route,combined w/a prescription nasal spray(like nasonex or flonase),an OTC allergy med like zyrtec and if your body can handle it..oral steroids like prednisolone or a Medrol dose pack. body can’t handle the roids..but if yours can..they really will help..esp combined w/the other things I stated.
      The cough syrup and it HAS to be THAT syrup(HYCODAN also called HYDROMET) because of the decongestant in it was a godsend!

      good luck people.: )

      • I have tryed quitting many times. My doctor has prescribed everything suggested here so far and nothing has worked. I have tryed quitting cold turkey the problem is twice when quitting ive ruptured my ear drum. Im not gona sit and complain about how uncomfortable quitting is. Ill deal with that but i dont want to loose my hearing. My primary doctor has tryed to help and is cool about it. I went to a ent and he was a ass and just told me to stop takeing it that nosespray has cocain in it and said alouse of other bs. There really needs to be a better way to quit this crap. There are easy ways to quit illigal drugs and that problem people cause them self why isnt there help for those of us that were just fooled by a otc medicine

  151. Scott

    Don’t give up on the neti pot. I had the same problem as you at times, getting the water to flow because of clogged nasal passages. I stuck with it for several months without any sinus problems. Then about a month ago, I slacked off and quit using it. Now this past week I have been battling sinus problems again. But, one good thing came out of it. I proved to myself that the neti pot makes a difference. I still have not used any nose spray since I weaned myself off of it. In fact, I think I will throw out the half empty bottles of Afrin that I still have. I am determined to not get hooked on it again.

  152. Hi, I am 51 in high school I was on the wrestling team and my nose would start to bleed. A Doctor worked on it and gave me Afrin. I am still on it 35 years later. I wish something would work, I will ask my new Dr. about your Nasonex.

    • It won’t work, it is only a solution you can use to heal your nasal passages, etc., but does not provide relief of a stuffy nose, if you have been using something like Afrin for a while…..

    • I’ve been on nasal spray since I was a kid, now 30 years later, I’ve tried saline solution along with Vicks, you dip the stick of the nasal spray container in Vicks, it’s worked for me

  153. Hello, I think we should get a class action or other of course, lawsuit against the makers of this product, the key ingredient in Afrin, etc. It should not be available AT ALL. I cannot get my nose to unclog, nor to stop using the nasal spray so I can breathe. I have also lost my sense of smell and some taste senses. My voice is no longer the sweet voice it used to be. All because I picked this up 20 years or more ago for immediate relief. I am stopping it now on my own and it is pure hell. Does anyone agree these permanent damages should be compensated?? I stopped it once before and have never gotten my sense of smell back since using this product…..

    • I, like everyone here, have an addiction to Afrin. There are times when I do think that a class action lawsuit should be filed against the makers of Afrin. However, they’re not the only ones that make it. Lots of other drug companies make an equivalent version. They all say do not use for more than three days. Do I think this warning is at all significant? No. I think they should warn you that you will get addicted to it if you use longer than three days. And honestly, it’s not the money I’m after. The only compensation I would want would be to be able to breathe out of my nose again and for a refund of all the money I spent on that crap. Since this is really not attainable, I’d be happy seeing all products containing the ingredients of Afrin be pulled off the market or if there was a warning strong enough to prevent other people from going through what I have gone through. It’s easy to try to place the blame on the makers of Afrin because it’s their product that got me addicted, but really I can only blame myself for allowing the use to go on for as long as it did.

    • You want to sue the drug company for your lack of ability to stop using their product? I believe that is a “Dee” problem, not an “Afrin” problem. It plainly states that you shouldn’t use it over 3 days. All of your problems are because of you.

      I’m addicted, and combining the one-nostril trick with the saline dilution technique worked the best for me. It’s not great, but it’s better than cold turkey.

    • my husband agrees with you we both had an addiction to afrin i was lucky and was able to get off it…one side at a husband not so lucky he has tryed everything and no luck may be we do need to get a lawsuit going. let me know

  154. NO. We should NOT get a lawsuit going. That’s the problem with everyone today, they don’t take responsibility for their own actions. The bottle is clearly labeled warning you to not use it more than three days. And there are millions of people who use this product and don’t abuse it.
    I was addicted for 10 years to this and there was no one to blame but me. Period. I got off and have been free for a year and a half using the One Nostril Withdrawl System. It costs nothing, requires no other products or even a trip to the doctor. All you need is a little self control and you can do it. I posted the method in this thread twice before if you’d like to look it up. It’s simple and it works, but it is UP TO YOU, not some lawyer. Employ the method, tough it out for a week, and take control of your life.

  155. I wish a lawsuit would help pay to have my nose operated on. but if I can not find a bottle that is about 30 years old that does not say (do not use for more than 3 days.) I do not believe they would tack the case.

  156. For the first 24 years of my life I was never able to breathe out of both nostrils at the same time. Sometimes I would be able to breathe out of one nostril or the other, but much of the time both nostrils would be plugged. I went through a three year bout of allergy shots, tried every Rx nasal spray available, and took pills and steroids. Nothing helped. Then, in 1998, a college buddy introduced me to the world of Afrin. For the first time in my life I was breathing out of both nostrils. Food tasted better. I was sleeping better at night. My mouth wasn’t dry all the time. It was truly life changing!

    Now, 13 years later, I’m ready to quit the spray. I went to an ENT for advice/help. He took a CT scan of my head and discovered that my septum is “S” shaped and my turbinates have developed their own sinuses. (This seems extremely odd to me, but I guess it’s happening.) The doctor wants to perform surgery that would straighten my extremely crooked septum. However, he wants me to get off Afrin for three weeks before he will perform the surgery.

    I’m on day two and feel miserable. I can almost breathe out of one nostril, but the other is completely plugged. My head feels heavy and filled with mucus. My mouth is dry and I have constant sinus headache. I’m determined to last the three weeks and undergo surgery, but I’m worried that even after the procedure I will remain plugged up.

    Has anyone out there undergone such a surgery or know anyone that has done so? Words of advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • I had that surgery and it did absolutely nothing for me. In fact I became addicted to the nose spray they gave me before the surgery to clear out my nasal passages prior.

  157. Hi Greg,

    If you have the surgery for the deviated septum let me know how you do? that is the same surgery that started me on afrin and now 35 years later my new doctor says I have the same problem with my septum again. still on afrin or the cheap stuff from walmart anyway just bought 13 bottles yesterday. Good luck.

  158. I tried Afrin it never worked for me, I am addicted to that 4-way stuff. My father is too. He always had it around growing up, I never used it much. I did on and off here and there, then about 11 and a half years ago I got a nasty cold, I remember the exact time my addiction started. The house I lived in, laying in bed sick using it… unlike all the other times, this time when I got better, I did not stop using it. Sucks, I’m tired of buying a bottle all the time and carrying them everywhere. I was in the hospital many years later and was forced to do without, and it seemed like my addiction was gone! Then I visited my family and it was a change in climate and I started using again. This was about 8 years ago. I have a lot of sinus issues and mucous issues lately and I wonder if getting off of it would help.

    • Hello Stuffy…

      I to am addicted to the 4 way spray! I have been about 10 or 11 years. I read about everyones addictions am I to assume if you just quit cold turkey your nasal passage way will recover & once again return to normal. I was always under the assumption that once you have “damaged’ them as much as I have being a all day user for sao long there was no was of “repairing” my nasal breathing.
      Any thoughts?

  159. Hello everyone, I have been addicted to a Canadian version of Afrin for over 15 years (probably longer). I am 5 months pregnant and came down with a severe sinus infection 4 days ago. I had never had a sinus infection before and relaized that when my OTC spray was not working I needed to go to the Doctor. I was prescribed an anitbiotic and a steriod nasal spray. That same day my husband took all of my OTC sprays in a fit of rage as he had caught me pouring the crap into nose (literally). I realized at this point that this addiction was completely out of control. I decided to quit cold turkey. Now, I’m not sure if quitting while pregnant and with a terrible sinus infection is the best idea. When your pregnant your more congested then normal and I am assuming that a sinus infection causes extreme congestion as well. Anyway, I have been off the OTC spray for 3 days (only taking the antibiotics and Nasonex) and it has been nothing but hell. I want to kick this habit for my son, my husband and my unborn child and most of all for myself, but at this point I am desperate. Because I am pregnant I don’t think I can take anything else to help with the rebound congestion. I’m wondering if this is going to be way harder on me because I am fighting a sinus infection and I am pregnant. I tempted to give in but it has been 3 days which may not sound like a lot but its better than starting over. I’m going to wait a few more days and then consult with my Doctor, whom I know wont help. I have not slept in 3 days (4 hours max in total) and have spent all of my time reading everyone’s thoughts and experiences. Honestly it is the only thing getting me through this horrible time. Previous to my first pregnancy I smoked. Quitting smoking was way easier and to me that sounds totally crazy.

  160. I just went to the ER last night after developing a secondary sinus infection and bronchitis after a week with the flu. The Dr prescribed an inhaler, prednizone and cough syrup. He also told me to get some Afrin to clear out my sinuses bc the virus usually lives there and it would help flush it out. I went to the pharmacy and filled my prescriptions and bought Afrin. I used it once and it completely cleared the infection in my sinuses after a few hours (I won’t go into detail) I was amazed!!!! I kinda felt it was too good to be true so I decided to do some research, after reading all of your responses I have decided to throw it out. It did it’s job (cleared the infection) I don’t even want to spray it again bc I’m scared! If it only takes three days to get addicted I’m not comfortable w spraying more than once! My sinuses are clear and the infection us gone so I feel like I won’t need it. If I ever get a bad sinus infection again I think I will buy it, use it once to clear stuff out and throw it away. It really does work well but I don’t want to get addicted to it. Good luck to all of you and thanks for the advice!!!

  161. Day 6, still completely clogged up. Nothing in, nothing out. The odd time when I am standing I can breathe in through one nostril but not out. Will this misery ever end? I’m giving it two more days. I can’t go another day without sleep and I have to go back to work tomorrow. At this point I’ve tried everything and its totally hopeless.

    • Hello Crystin,

      I to am addicted to nasal spray & have been for 10 or 11 years. I have recently found out I was pregnant foe the first time. I feel helpless with this addiction too!
      Please keep me posted as to what any recommendations your Doctor has. I haven’t put down the spray yet but feel guilty when using it. I just can not stand to not be able to breathe through my nose! Have you heard after so many days without during the recovery phase if your breathing actually will return to normal? I always assumed once damaged the nasal passage way was just damaged. So it can repair itself & return to there is hope????

  162. Hello
    I am amazed at the comments left on the forum and I feel very sorry for those who have been addicted to nasal sprays for years. I started used Otrivine 2 weeks ago – I wasn’t sleeping properly because of nasal congestion and was recommended the stuff (from a friend who had really bad flu). The 1st time I used it I felt like I was in a new world – one where I could actually breathe freely and I loved it. Although I’ve been trying not to use it too often, I started feeling the effects of rebound congestion and after researching online I now know what this is and I am absolutely shocked. I tried to avoid spraying last night but it got so bad I almost cried and had to spray in order to sleep. I will try the one nostril method, but have also made an appointment with my GP to see if he can help me. I really wish I never started on this.

  163. I am addicted and have been for all my life and I am 55. Doesn’t bother me to spray, if it makes me breath. The only side effect is you need more, your sure not going to die from spraying. Afrin is no good, does not work on me, I use the cheap stuff cause it works better.

  164. crap. I shoulda known it was too good to be true… i kept wondering when I wasn’t gonna need it anymore. I didn’t realize that it’s just gonna keep stuffin up because of this stuff screwin me up. AHHHH!!!! This sucks.

  165. I just quit afrin nasal spray after using it for six years. I was up to 2 or three spray bottles per WEEK, I had to take it everywhere. I read all of the extremely helpful comments on this website and since I see there are some recent posts, I thought I would detail my experience.

    I wanted to go cold turkey. I stopped using spray at 5 am on Day 1. It was hell, and my nose was completely closed. It stayed that way through Night 1 and I slept maybe two hours, in short increments. I couldn’t get my mouth to stay open while I was asleep so I would wake up gasping for air and feeling like I was drowning. Day 2 was the same. Night 2 I couldn’t take it anymore because I needed to sleep. I used spray in my left nostril.

    After the spray kicked in on the left side I felt a million times better. Even the right nostril felt better without all the pressure from the left one. I used spray in the left nostril only for ten more days. Every day the right nostril felt a little better, though I will say it still doesn’t feel as good as it did when I used the spray. After that I stopped using spray in the left nostril. It clogged up pretty badly, but it never got to that completely closed state, for which I am grateful.

    Right now I am at two days in to no spray at all. My left side is still partially (mostly) closed, but I can breathe, and if it follows the right side’s pattern I will soon be able to sleep and function perfectly normally.

    Remember that I was abusing a spending a fortune on Afrin for SIX YEARS. You can do this!

  166. Just want to do a follow-up post. I started on the one-nostril method and a few days after a GP prescribed steriod-based nose spray. Very happy to say my problem is solved, and no way I’m going to use Otrivine again.

  167. OMG – I had no idea that you could be addicted to nasal spray but I began to get suspicious after needing to use SNUP (the German version of Afrin) 2-3x/day for like 6 weeks now. This was the first time I’ve ever used and nasal spray and didn’t know about the 3-day rule because the stupid bottle/box is all in German. The pharmacist maybe mentioned something, but I probably didn’t catch it because of the language barrier. Beginning the one-nostril ween tonight. Thanks for the help!

  168. Going into day 3. I sprayed at least 3 times a day, sometimes up to 10. I’m quitting cold turkey with the help of Breathe-Right strips at night(I can manage during the day, but the second I lay down my nose turns off). They aren’t nearly as effective as the spray but I’ve been able to survive so far. I keep the bottle of spray next to my bed and haven’t moved it yet. I picked it up a few minutes ago and it was so hard to put it back down. I feel like what I think a heroin addict feels like going through withdrawal. It seems so damn silly that it started 6 months ago when I had a simple cold.

  169. First of all, I have to say that I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one. I’ve been addicted for 4 years now. I went to the doctor today for some horrible hay fever and the doctor told me to put the spray down and never look back. He prescribed Nasonex and is sending me to get allergy tested so I can start getting shots. It’s only been 4 hours and I’m in misery. From what I’ve seen – those here who’ve tried to go “cold turkey” have been largely unsuccessful. On the flip side, those that have tried the “one nostril at a time” method are having some success. I believe I’m going to try this method. I really want to stop using the stuff. I’ve wanted to quit for years, it’s just so hard to do. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories. I really feel better hearing what others have been through and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

  170. What a horrible thing to go through. I’ve been using afrin going on 2 years now because if I can’t breath through my nose I have panic attacks. I have horrible allergies that cause severe congestion.

    It got to the point last week that the Afrin wasn’t even working anymore. I was stuffed up for 2 days and couldn’t sleep. I paced the floors for 2 days in a row. I was finally at the end of my rope 2 days ago when I knew I couldn’t sleep with the stuffy nose and that nothing I could do would open it up. I called an ENT in town and literally begged them to see me at 4PM on a Friday. I must have sounded desperate because she said I could come right in for an appointment. The doctor examined me and gave me an allergy shot and prescribed a miracle nose spray called patanase. One spray in each nostril 2 times per day and I’ve been breathing better than I have in years. I’m sleeping through the night and not having to get up to spray my nose 3-4 times a night. I’m not snapping my husband’s head off and am able to be more patient with my son.

    From what I’ve been reading on the nose spray that after a couple of days you only use it as needed for stuffiness. I wish everyone good luck with getting off afrin. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a doctors help.

  171. Mine started with a stupid cold 3 months ago and in an effort to get the “best relief” I started using Afrin and got hooked on it. I am on my 3rd day now of the one-nostril treatment and I am happy to say that it is working ok so far. The left side was not so congested so I have been treating the right side once a day at night before bed and I am able to sleep. I am hoping that in the next couple of days I can get away from this evil Afrin for good. I have come a long way from spraying 3 to 4 times in both sides to just one nostril once a day. I am anxious to see this goes in the next few days. I wish you all good luck and quick painless recovery.

  172. Here is what you all need to do. It’s easy and you’ll be off in 2 weeks, guaranteed. First, go out and get yourself the breathe free strips. Use them only at night (unless u stay inside all day or don’t care about looking like a dork- I didn’t and left them on even when I went out) and leave them on during the morning until you need to leave the house. Next, you want to get one nasal off first. Do this by using the spray as you regularly do but only for one nose. Stop the other nasal completely. Sure, one nasal will be stuffed but the other will still be on the spray, thus you’ll be able to breath thru that side. It’ll take about a week for one nasal to clear out. Perhaps 2 but no more. Once you’re done with that nasal, you could go for the other one or continue to use the spray in that one nasal (as part of the addiction is just the feeling of spraying something in your nose but for me, I didn’t care and wanted it gone ASAP!) for another week and then do the next nasal. Either way, it’s worked for me 2x now. The first time I was spray free for a year, and when I did start again, it was only for a couple of months and I stopped via the same method before it got too bad. Good luck!

  173. After reading other people’s stories and posts a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to quit. I had been a 2+ year user of Afrin. Started out using the regular strength version and then up to the maximium strength one in the green package. After deciding to quit I cleaned out my purse and threw away all of the bottles – I actually had 4 bottles in there in varying stages of being empty. I also decided to stop using Claratin-D, as I had been using that for more than a year on a regualr basis. As of today I have been without claratin-D and Afrin for over a month. I tried the one nostril approach and felt that helped alot in the beginning. Waking up in the morning was the worst, being all stuffy – but a hot shower and some sea salt nasal wash and I could make it through the day. Thank you to everyone’s previous comments and advice. I am happy that I no longer have to depend on this stuff. Good luck to everyone trying to quit!!

  174. I have to say, I feel like I’m going to die right now. I can’t stop using the spray because when my nose closes up completely, I get panic attacks. It’s insane. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. It is 2:30 in the morning and I am awake and pacing the house. I am trying the one nostril method and hoping it will help. I’ve been using the Vicks version of the nasal spray and would have to spray it every hour to get any type of relief. I’ve thrown the bottle in the garbage and switched to “Little Noses” which is a saline spray for children. It doesn’t do much for my stuffy nose, but it does make me sneeze. The sneezing clears my nose for about three minutes. Those three minutes are heaven to me. Help…I can’t take it any more.

  175. OMG im soo glad to hear im not the only weirdo addicted to this crap!!!!! I really want to cry now i have other who know my agony and the pain of when you sooo stuffy, I have been on this now for a little over a year, it started when I was pregnant the doctors had me on so many steroids and then just blamed it on pregnancy, after i had my son it was worse got on more antibiotics, steroids what ever, i racked up alot of medical bills due to my darn nose so finally i went to walmart bought this cheapest spray i could find and omg what a relief! but this was the worst decision i ever made in my life!!! I tried the one nostrol thing didnt work it just sucks, as a mother of three young kids this isnt easy! I barely get sleep now, I go to school fulltime at night, then directly from school I go to work all night untill morning, then come home to three kids!!!!!! I get no sleep and my nose isnt helping the situation. I am starting to get scared could this afrin kill you?????? Well I think that I want to write doctor Oz and he shoul dhave a segment about this! and we should all be on this im desperate for help some how some way! How do i keep in contact with you all?? My email is feel free

  176. i am right there with yall. i have had success using aplle cider vinegar. has to be organic with the “mother” it takes me about three days of using it before i feel normal again. two teaspoons 3x a day. put in a lil apple juice to take the sting out. this is the second time i have quit using the acv. completely good for you no side effects. its cheap and easy give it a try.

  177. I’m on day 5 of not using this stuff. I have been hooked on it for about 3 years. I took a week off of work to do this as I knew I might not get much sleep. I am using the one nostril at a time method and it seems to be working.

  178. UPDATE: I am officially off this stuff. It took about 4-5 days of no sprays. One nostril at a time worked for me. I find if you’re constantly spraying something like every 3 hours, wait 6 hours and deal with the 3 bad hours. Once you relieve after 6 hours, wait another 6 hours and spray again. The more you spread out the difference in between spray times the longer your nose will go without neededing another spray. Good luck everyone, I almost forgot what it is like to have a free nose and not need this stuff. My nose occassionally gets stuff but not to a point where I need the spray. It will ussally be one nostil thats completly free and the other slightly stuffy but not needing a spray(as I can still breathe a little thru it. It will then clear up on its own. Next day other nostril, clear up. Next 3 days both are free.

    • Ok I can’t believe no one except “Clogged and unhappy” has replied after a year of my writing the amazing results I’ve experienced using Rhinocort Aqua a (steroid based spray) on this blog that I’m deleting this site from my shortcuts/favorites. Suffer with this addiction all you want I’m done trying to help. Keep on messing with the netti pots and saline sprays for weeks trying to kick over the counter sprays.

      Good luck

  179. to start i am amazed to see some people,s comments here, i was addicted to afrin for eleven years i used all kinds the wal mart version the original with moisterizer and i got a very stressful point in life i thought quit the afrin will be helpful on my health, i tryed the claritin before (about 5 years ago) and didnt saw much results so i thought i wouold give a try again and this time it did worked for my nose, i took claritin d for the first week then i switched to allegra d with good results as well and i dont need the use of the afrin at all i still got stuffy nights here and there but nothing crazy to a point i need the feel of going back to use the afrin, on the daytime i get a little bit of the nose switchings but nothing crazy either.
    my new problem is with the allegra d (pseudopedrine) i am getting tremors a side effecct from allergy medications is mainly a little shakiness on my pulse when lifting little things even a spoon when eating so i am taking the allegra d every other day instead of daily use is the 24 hour tablet hopefully the tremors will decrease, they dont bother me at all it just feels weird and funny when i see i am using my tools at work and i see my hand shake funny like i am 50+ with parkinsons (i am 28)
    i dont want to go back to the afrin i feel so good not depending on them and having them on me like a dog collar 24/7 i got as far as need to use them 3 times a day but i see some people here went as far as 5 times a day of usage…good luck quiting on the afrin i will sure keep looking in here

  180. I’ve been addicted to Afrin since the 1980s when I got a bad cold and started taking it. I’ve kicked it a few times, my problem is that I’m absolutely NOT a mouth breather and when I get a cold I head for the nasal spray for relief. I’ve taken it now for 8 straight years so I watched an episode of Dr. Oz and decided to kick it again. The first time I kicked it I was pregnant and wanted to get off so I saw a doc and he told me after the first 24 hours you’re fine…it was true. Then I got back on later. I kicked again yesterday and sure enough it’s only the first 24 hours that are bad. You’re very very congested and with a headache. It didn’t take me any two weeks whatsoever! Just a very unpleasant 24 hours. So people take heart and kick the damn stuff!

  181. I am 55 and have used Afrin since 1972. Ive experienced all the same problems everyone here have described and tried all the methods to quit but remain addicted. I even had surgery for my deviated septum and turbinate reduction but this didnt help either.
    I know this sounds extreme, but has anyone thought of somehow using a small section of medical grade tubing placed in one or both nostrils for some period of time? I wonder if “forcing” your nasal passage(s) open in this way could work? Like everyone else, I am desperate to stop using.

  182. I have been off and on addicted to Afrin since I was 11(I am now 27). Before steroids will always do the trick. However, now it does nothing to help. I now suffer from chronic nose bleeds and the Afrin seems to work less and less. I’ve been to so many doctors and they all give me steroids which just don’t work. Ugh, it seems hopeless!

  183. How’s everyone doing? Been clean now for over 9 months (see my prior posts). Still have some lingering sinus issues, but I have resisted the poison. Hang in there!

  184. This site has been a god send. I’ve been stuck on nasal spray for about 5 months and knew about the rebound affects but breathing at the time was way more important and before I knew it I was/am so dependant on it that I didn’t even give it a second thought until I got fed up with the constant need to use it through out the day. I am in day three of cold turkey and the sinus pain is horrid. I can’t do the one nostril at a time because the temptation to use is to high. I use breath right strips a netty pot and vicks to get me through the night. No medical ins means I’m on my own. I can’t wait to feel normal again..

  185. I have been on and off Afrin many many times for many many years (since I was a young kid). Everytime I get a cold, I start using and then have to go through the same process to get off (I am in the process of doing it right now, which is why I happened to search for and find this blog). This usually takes several weeks, but it has always seem to get me there with as little suffering as possible. If I am unable to breathe through my nose at night, it causes an anxiety attack and I can’t sleep at all.

    First, I cut out the daytime use entirely and deal with the congestion during the day. This is the hardest part, because you have go through several hours of dealing with it, but I find when I am not trying to sleep, it is easier to deal with. There are some short term remedies that do the trick for a few minutes of relief (steam, vicks, or saline spray) Also if you hold your nostrils closed and lightly try to blow out through your nose (LIGHTLY!!!) it clears them for a few breaths.

    Second, I buy a big bottle of the safe saline nasal spray. I then get an empty afrin bottle and fill it with 3/4 saline and 1/4 afrin and use that ONLY at night. (I try to use only 1 squirt in each nostril.. the more you use, the worse the rebound effect is)

    Third, every few days I add more saline to the bottle and shake it up, slowly reducing the ratio of Afrin to Saline, so you are getting less and less .

    After a few weeks of this, there is usually a night where the congestion isn’t that bad and don’t use any spray and then I am off the stuff… until the next time I get a cold!

    Hope this helps!!

  186. I’ve been off of Afrin for about 7 months. Before that I had used it at night for 5 years and then every four hours or so for 2 years. It was really hard to get off the first time but I did it. However I got a really bad cold and used it again. I’ve only used it for two days, once or twice a day and the rebound congestion is back. It takes a whole 12 hours for the Afrin to wear off but then I have that horrible rebound congestion even though I haven’t used it for more than the recommended 3 days.

    The congestion is just as bad as when I was trying to get off it after 7 years of use. Has anyone else had this problem? Does the rebound congestion last just as long? I’m hoping it will only be a day or two since I haven’t been on it that long. I want to kick it now though. I’m getting some steriods tomorrow to help with the congestion. After tonight I am throwing out the bottle.

    • did the steriods work? i just got flonase today. but my doc said it wont work for up to 12-24 hours. i am afraid of not being able to breathe for that long!

      • I actually got an oral steriod pack. Methylpredisone or something like that and it worked great. I mean my breathing wasn’t great but I didn’t have that feeling like concrete was being poured in my nostrils.

        Flonase is for longer term use I think. I was given both, but I stopped using the flonase after a few days because it didn’t seem to make any difference to me.

        • Hey guys, just came back to check updates. For the long story, check my postings. For the short story, I can’t say how great Sinus Buster was in getting me off Afrin, and FAST, without side effects ( besides the powerful/initial pepper-like spray)and am now breathing normal, can wake up in the morning without being stuffy. Best way to get off of it without drugs in my opinion, and I was addicted to this Afrin crap for YEARS!

          • I tried that Sinus Buster and it did not work. It burned like crazy and it seemed to stuff me up even more. I would not recommend this.

          • I’ve been addicted to OTC nasal spray for approx 20 yrs. Without it, it’s like someone pincing my nose shut as hard as possible. Zero air can pass through without it. I’ve tried every prescription out there with no relief. Saline spray and Sinus Buster do nothing for me. I agree with Ruth….The Sinus Buster burned and made the congestion worse. One of my associates told me she got a surgery for her cure. Does anyone know about a surgery that will cure the need for nasal spray?

          • So how did you do it? I just bought sinus buster and I don’t know if I should use it instead of Afrin or just use it at times to gradually stop using Afrin. What were your steps? Please let me know.

          • Ive been off for about 3-4 weeks now. I too, was addicted to Vicks Sinex for about two years. What worked the BEST was buying a bottle of generic Afrin, and also a bottle of Ocean Saline and slowly diluting the afrin.

            I was skeptical as well as desperate. I tried NasalCrom, Sinus Buster and Astelin. This was all that worked. Try it! You have nothing to lose! Good luck!

      • flonase is the best. it works for me within hours! It is the only thing for stuffiness from overusing otc nasal sprays. Not only flonase, any of the steroidal sprays works.

    • Afrin and their equally evil cousins had a hold on me for 8 years. I had gotten to the point of a shot in each nostril every 2 or 3 hours. It was my savior. I got such a clear head from the nose spray that it had me for many reasons. I also have sleep apnea and am overweight, so I use a Cpap machine at night. To breath in the mask I absolutely had to be clear.

      That was up to five nights ago. After pestering my Doctor he finally gave me two small sample bottles of Nasonex. He said once in the morning and once at night. Those tiny samples were basically a day’s worth. So I used Nasonex and was supposed to call back if I needed a prescription, but haven’t.

      I am off the Afrin merry-go-round and need nothing. I never would have believed it. I only had one night (first night) that I slept on the couch without my Cpap machine. Now I am completely fine.

      Ask your Doctor for samples (to limit your use) of Nasonex.

      I wish you luck on kicking the habit.


  187. Its 2.20am and I’ve just woken to almost suffocation.I now realise after reading every ones posts that Afrin is highly addictive and I must continue with my cold turkey. I will not ever take the air I breath through my nose for granted again.
    I have only been spraying for 3weeks but fell quickly into the addiction.
    Yes we are responsible for our own actions but I can definitely understand why people get slightly angry and want to sue companies for producing such a drug.
    Thanks so much for all of your posts that have helped me understand where I do not wish to go.
    God bless and good luck to you all.

    • It is clearly stated on Afrin bottles ” do not use more than 3 days!”.
      The result of not following the instruction is extremely dangerous. I had been addicted to Afrin for almost ten years before I had to stop using it due to frequent nasal bleeding and hemorrhages. I am not trying to scar you: One time a hemorrhage occurred due to my addiction to Afrin, I passed out and was put on an ambulance and taken to the emergency room. That’s when I finally stopped cuz i was scared to die!

  188. So, I fill both my nostrils all the way up til the afrin is flowing out the sides while lying down. Once the passages open up, the liquid goes down my throat. What a delight. THen I can breathe well for a couple days. Then the congestion comes back. I took a straw and cut it in half. I jammed one up each nostril until it entered the back of my throat. I breathe through the straws. My brother sometimes sneaks in and uses an eye dropper to drip pee into the straws though, so keep the door locked. Vicks vapo rub smeared all over your face helps too. Gotta run to walmart to pick up a case of generic afrin.

  189. I have been on Nostrilla for 2 years. I just found this website and realize I am not alone. About a month ago I started having heart palpatations. I am scared and this weekend I am trying the first of I hope not many things to get off of it. I don’t think people understand how hard it is. My husband is supportive and is wanting to help me as I try to beat this. Your stories are heartbreaking and I relate 100%. I pray all of you and I find a cure. There has to be someone out there with an answer. I know some of you have had luck with certain things. I’m happy for you. Good Luck to you and I will let you know how things are going for me. Take care.

  190. I’ve been addicted to Afrin for alot of my life…I’m 29 years old. I got hooked on it for a few years in my mid-teens. At 16, I had to go into the hospital for an appendectomy…not having access to it forced me not to use. It was one night of hell but after that I was fine. I was Afrin-free for probably 3-4 years. Then I got a sinus infection, and was so stuffed up. I stupidly bought Afrin with the intention of only using it for a few days. I became addicted again, and have been since then…which is almost 10 years.

    I want to quit but just dont know how. I tried quitting cold turkey once when I was off work for a week. I suffered thru 2-3 days of pure hell. Constant stuffiness, couldnt sleep, I was literally going insane. I was hoping after a few days, I would be fine but wasnt. I caved and went right back to Afrin because I just couldnt take it anymore.

    And thats where I am now. It sucks. I hate carrying that bottle everywhere and sneaking off to the bathroom to get my “fix”.

    • I know exactly how you feel. I have a bottle next to my bed and one in my purse. I can’t go anywhere without it. I’ve used it several times a day since my teens and I’m 31 now. I feel like I’ve tried everything and I can’t breath without it…..Sucks! Good luck! Please post if you find a miracle.

  191. I have tried all of the above and at best have experienced only slight relief. I sprayed one side only for 2 months and was confident this method would work. As soon as I stopped spraying, both sides blocked again. I tried diluting and spacing out the spraying which also failed. I have gone cold turkey several times for up to 3 weeks with no relief. Now doing the Nasonex thing but really don’t expect any permanent results!

  192. Hi all
    I feel very relieved to hear about other peoples plights with rebound congestion. I have been using medicated nasal sprays for about 8 months now, and have been miserable due to lack of sleep. My partner is unaware of my condition, due to him working away a lot of the time….

    I recently went to a doctor, pleading for her help. She prescribed me Nasonex, and I have been using it in 1 nostril now for about 48 hrs, and I am starting to feel the difference. For the first 24 hrs, my left nostril was blocked up so badly that my sinuses were SO painful, but now, 2 and a bit days later, it just feels a little bit blocked. Once I feel I am able to breathe properly through it I will move on to the right nostril and clear that one with Nasonex.
    If I can recommend anything to anyone- go to a doctor, and ask for Nasonex. Dont be embarassed to speak with someone- I was, and I regret being miserable for so long!

    I have my wedding in 7 weeks time, and I NEEDED to be clear for that day…. It was my motivation, and this website is my support!!!

    • Sweet Jesus I’m not alone!!That stuff should be taken off the market.I hope and pray this nasinex works.I’m really sick of having to live like this.I quit drinking booze and I think this harder.Thanks for the tip.

  193. Hi,
    I’ve been using nasal sprays of varying types for about 18 months or more but just last week my girlfriend commented on how I always seem to be blocked and needing to use the sprays often, she suggested seeing the doctor.

    I did find it a bind coping with the blocked/spray clear cycle but never really thought about it too hard until her comment, it had become part of my life.
    Last night though, I was having panic attacks because I couldn’t breathe through my nose and hardly slept a wink.
    Then today at work I hard many panic attacks when my nasal passages closed.
    Seems bringing it to my attention has made me worry silly over it!

    Reading these posts are a comfort though and am going to try the one nostril at a time idea that seems to be a successful weaning off method reported here.
    Also going to book a doc’s appointment tomorrow in the hope I’m offered steroid treatment to help me.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t get super scared & anxious when blocked and think at 39 I should be able to cope better, lol.

    Will report back how I get on, thanks everybody for sharing their experiences. It’s been a great help.


    • It’s been about a week so I thought I’d report back on how I’m getting on.

      Firstly, the panic attacks have all but gone thankfully. 🙂

      My doctor, although didn’t tell me I had Rebound Congestion, prescribed Beconase (corticosteroid spray) and told me to use Sudafed also, then report back in two weeks.

      I was going to try the one nostril method but have managed to go completely cold turkey! I’m proud to say it’s been a week since my last spray of Xylometazoline Hydrochloride.

      My congestion has eased slightly to the point others have noticed, but still most of the time I’m blocked up.
      I have a ‘good’ nostril that clears now and then and the other sometimes opens a little.
      It feels like there’s trapped sticky mucus up there that moves around, sometimes allowing one nostril to breathe, sometimes both (albeit only a little in the one).

      I’m still far from recovery I think and I may have other issues up there that need further attention but I do kinda feel a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Can anyone who has recovered from this advise on how long it took to recover?


      • so the corticosteroid spray works ? i have flonase. ( pretty much the same thing) but just used afrin. and am not sure if i can use the flonase now that i just sprayed my nose with afrin to clear the passageways. anyways, my doctor said that it can take up to a month for the flonase to get rid of my rebound congestion. i told her about my afrin spray and she said it should work but that it will take a while. and she also said that flonase wont have any effect at all whatsoever until about 12 hours after i use the spray! but my main question to you was if you used afrin while you used your steriod spray as well?

      • Please be careful using sudafed, I have been addicted to that for the past eight years… It has taken a hold of my life!

  194. Can this be possible? A website for Afrin addicts. As I was reading the comments I was agreeing with everyone. I moved into this house and got 2 dogs in Oct. 1993; by Oct. 1994, I was waking in the night with my mouth so dry I would have to hold water in it before I could even swallow. A friend saw how miserable I was and offered me Afrin. I was hooked after one sniff. I currently have 5 bottles; all placed in strategic positions. I have been to an ENT who suggested surgery due to my “deviated septum”…(I don’t have a deviated septum). Another doctor said to go cold turkey. I have weaned myself off several times-for instance, if I have a head cold I know the spray won’t work, so I don’t use it. After about 3 days I am fine, but once the cold is over and I feel a little stuffy, I reach for the spray again. I’ve tried the weaning of one side and then the other. I’ve told my family if I am ever in an accident or have surgery that lasts over 2 hours, to be sure to let the hospital know my nasal passages will close down. It is pathetic. I have never been “addicted” to anything in my life…but nasal spray. And the stupidest thing of all? I am a nurse. I knew better. I just never thought something so mundane would completely take over my life; determine my moods; decide if I go on vacations. In 17 years, well, I actually didn’t accept as a “problem” until 15 years ago, but I have tried everything. And I’m sure I’ll continue to try in half-hearted sort of way. But, at least I have educated everyone I know about how easy it is to get addicted to something as silly as nasal spray.

    • I feel the same way i made a joke about it in the early 2000 as i told my family if i am ever at the hospital just come by a cpl times a day and give me a spray in my nose,my addition is to 4 way nose spray i have used it for the last 25 yrs,i have found they are not selling it anymore and it was the only one i ever used,so now i am on the one nose method and its been a week,i am using my nose spray on the left and not on the right,so far the right is doing okay with out it,and the left is still using it but its cut in half,i am praying this method works,i am like all of you i cant breath and go in to panic and i use it and my stress level is better,but so far i am doing mind over matter,and using the one nose,i feel if i believe its helping me it will work,i cant think its not,so far its been only a week.i am hoping for a miracle and not to have to go to another drug,,i too am so glad i am not the only one but i hope we all get past this as soon as possible,as i too am tired of caring it around and making sure i purchase enough,good luck and i will let you know what happens

  195. Hello fellow afrin sufferers- I have been using afrin for about 20 years. I stopped for a year or two at sompe point but now have been using it solid for about 10 years. Last October all of a sudden the afrin stopped working for me! really no matter how much i used I it wouldn’t clear up..I panicked and went to my doctor who gave me antibiotica saying i had a sinus infection. From there with no relief I have seen a allergist and ENT. I have no allergies and the ENT said I have a slightly deviated septum in which surgery may not help. He also said to of course stop the afrin and gave me flonase and rhinostat. Easier said then done!! I also feel like my nose has no moisture like it used to. Im always so dry and have tried the saline sprays that haven’t worked..Long story short, I just lost my job and insurance so I can’t go back to see a doctor. I stopped using the spray last Sunday on one side and today is Thursay and im still dry and congested on this side. My
    plan was to get this side clear and then switch to the other side but boy I thought this nasal rebound only lasts for several days!! Should I be worried that I have damagedmy nose to the point that it will never be the same? I also have lost my sense of smell slightly since last October.This is making me so tired and stressed!! any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • sooo the flonase didnt work for you? i havent been on it for 30 years or anything like that lol … only 3 months… just got prescribed flonase today. did you use afrin to clear your passageways and then use the flonase? i just want to know if it will be ok if i use afrin and then the flonase… or if they will just counteract eachother?

  196. I,ve been using our beloved spray for about 6 months. I dont know why but it didnt occur to me to do the one nostril at a time trick. I am going to try it knowing full well the discomfort i will experience. I will let u know how it turns out. Also using flonase to see it that can help my allergies which cases my stuffiness. Wish me luck!

  197. Hi all,

    I am glad i found this website! So Afrin is also called drixine, right? Well in Australia it’s branded drixine! How the hell is this crap still being sold?

    Drixine (Afrin) was the cause of my rebound congestion. In June 2006 i got a common cold and for some reason i decided to use a spray. In all my years i never used one..but for some reason which i cannot remember i used drixine.

    Well 6 years and 2-3 sprays a day later and i am addicted. But the drixine does nothing these days, in fact it triggers a sinus migraine. I use the sudafed or dimetapp sprays, which only last a couple of hours.

    I went to about 5 different docs all telling me I had sinusitis and prescribing me all sorts of stuff that didn’t work. So back to the nasal spray i went.

    In the past weekend it’s become pretty bad. I am dizzy, i feel weak and my head feels really blocked up. I cannot function and it’s basically taken over my life – now that i found this blog and it’s offered me some hope!

    I will try the one nose method along with some rhinocort, which the doc has prescribed in the past but unlike last time i am going to give it a longer try!

    Seriously Drixine should be banned outright. They cannot get away with just a warning and that’s it. Drixine is pricey and to me that’s a pharmaceutical company peddling an addictive drug for profit. Sick of these multi national pharmas getting away with so much!

    Anyway thanks for the info!

  198. hi everyone, i have been addicted to Afrin nose spray for eight years and then one day i just got so tired of using it and blowing my nose all the time so i decided to stop ,i know i cant just stop cold turkey cause that would be impossible so i just stop using it on my left nose but i still using it on my right nose for about all most a year i now can breath through my left nose just find no problem at all so then i stop using it on my right nose and for the first night it was hard but the trick is that when you lay down to go to sleep make sure that your pillow is higher then you would normally have it and that you should lay on your side, the side that you cant breath for example like if your right nose is clogging lay on that side that way the left nose that one that can breath good can breath out very clearly but don’t lay on your back cause if you do then both side will be block, so which side that is clogging lay on that side and put your pillow higher. but yeah i didn’t go to the doctor or needed any help i just figure out my own way and i did it on my own and now i can breath find with out the Afrin, i know the first few night is going to be hard but try the pillow and laying on your side Im sure that will work for u too, Im so proud of my self i hope that just a little tip for anyone who is trying to stop using Afrin nose spray. good luck everyone

    • Thank you so much for your suggestions. For the past days I’ve been eager to wean myself off of Nostrilla and Mucinex nasal sprays. I’ve been using them for about 4 year, had one next to my bed, in the car, in my purse, in my hallway and I was buying most or all the Mucinex and Nostrilla off the shelves at CVS, I had them in abundance….. and I’m really glad I found this website, because I can now admit that I have a nasal spray addiction. ( I didn’t think I did)…

      Now the hard work begins, tonight I started with spraying my right nasal passage and not the other and so far i can breathe through the right side thought the left is still clogged, and I also used some Vicks Vapor rub. This website is encouraging and at least I know their are others out there who are dealing with this same issue.

      I know that with God’s help and strength this too shall pass, and I am looking forward to getting over this addiction and being able to tell and help another person.

      I hope everyone here finds relief .

      Happy New Year!!!

  199. Nasal Spray….ahhh sweeet relief…. not so much anymore. I am so thankful to see that I am not the only one having this issue. I am on my second addiction spree with this stuff. The first time I quit, I replaced the liquid inside with water so I still had the effect of using the spray but not the side effect, good or bad.. This past go around I have had with it, started about a year or 2 ago because of struggles to sleep at night. I cant seem to put it down. I start having mini panic attacks when I start to become unable to breathe through my nose. I spray like there is no tomorrow, and sadly enough run to walmart for a replacement bottle every other week just about. Im desperate to stop, its embarrassing, and Im carrying it around with me everywhere I go. I am going to try to use the one side of my nose at a time technique. I hope this helps. My addiction to this stuff has never been this bad. I believe it has been the source of some bloody noses Ive had a few weeks back. Anyway, good luck to everyone else, and hopefully I can come back with a success story.

  200. (I’ve posted this before but I think it’s worth repeating because I see people struggling with different “cure” products and not getting relief. I had success using no other products and have been clear since May 1st 2009.)

    Hi Folks,

    I am living proof that you CAN get off Afrin. I was on for about 10 years but have been Afrin free since May 2009 with absolutely no desire to get back on.
    Here’s how I kicked it in one week with no other medication:

    Spray both nostrils at night as you usually do because night time is the most difficult.

    When you wake up the next morning spray only one nostril only one time and make an effort to go as long as you can without spraying. What ever time you make it to, write it down but only spray that same one nostril one time. What you’re doing is taking the “deprived” nostril OFF the spray so it can heal.

    The next day, see if you can beat the times you recorded on the previous day.
    You should be able to go longer and longer because the “deprived” nostril is healing. Soon you may be able to make it all day with no spray except one nostril one time at night. Two or three days like that and you’ll be able to go without. The “deprived” but now healed and clear nostril will get you through the withdraw of the other one.

    The whole process start to finish took me exactly a week. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I had a few really bad days where I was walking around with what felt like a full pumpkin on my head but you WILL get relief.

    It is wonderful to be clear now after 10 years of addiction. Do I sometimes still get stuffed? Sure, but here’s the great part: I can now easily clear myself by simply rolling over in bed or, for a really bad stuff I walk up and down the stairs once and that change – yup, that’s it – clears me right up.

    Summon up a little courage and go for it. You can do it. Two years ago I was right where you are now and feeling desperate.

    • Another great idea!!…Thank you….Last night was my first night of spraying one nostril and I thought my head was going to explode from the pressure. I cried and cried and my daughter shared her Ipod with me as we laid in bed listening to some soothing and comforting music. Had a difficult time falling asleep but I was able to sleep for a few hours. I woke up at about 3:30am it’s now 6am and I haven’t sprayed…(Lord, please help me)…

      In the meantime, I’ll use my netti pot!!!

      Thanks again…

    • Hey, thanks!

      I’ve been on this damned spray for about 2 years, and it’s getting expensive to use it.

      I tried quitting cold turkey about a year ago, and used those strips that you stick on your nose to help breathe. After about 2 weeks my nose would still get blocked up (that would especially suck at work), so I went back to the spray…

      Right now I’m off work for a 9 days, and I’m going to try your suggestion with hope it will rid me off the spray for good.

  201. I was severely addicted for 10+ years (over 55 sprays per day). My ENT said it was one of the worst cases he’d ever seen and I had surgery to reduce the membranes that were permanently swollen from my afrin addiction. I didn’t touch the stuff for 12 months and then got pregnant and now I’m 100% addicted again. Its laughable when someone says to use the saline rinse! I do use it but its totally useless. I am wondering if anyone out there has had the surgery also and THEN ended up back on the afrin — and what happened.

    • Please explain more about the surgery. I’ve been trying to get info on it. I’ve been adddicted for approx 20 yrs and nothing has worked for me. If there’s a surgery that will cure the need for OTC spray….I’ll def do it!

    • Hi! Unfortunately I have had sinus surgery (balloon sinuplasty) and am having troubles again.

      I’m 26 years old. Had chronic sinus infections since early teens, and when I was 22 I had a continuous sinus infection. I saw an ENT and tested NEGATIVE for all allergens! He said my deviated septum was causing chronic sinusitis. I had surgery and all was well for a while. I had 2-4 sinus infections per year (considerably less than prior to surgery) up until I turned 25. For the past 2 years I’ve had recurring sinusitis again! I was tested for allergies from another ENT and still have none. I used Afrin for relief and was hooked within a few days.

      I found Rhinostat (a saline dilutant) and had great results and weaned myself from Afrin successfully last year. Then a few months later I got sick again, and back to the Afrin I went, thinking that I would just use Rhinostat again if I needed it. BOY do I wish I had NEVER reached for it again! I’m using Rhinostat again, but it’s much slower this time. I’m having a terrible time sleeping at night, nightmares of suffocating, the whole nine yards.

      I’m hoping that I’m weaned soon ….. will post an update again.

  202. LIke everyone here, I too am addicted to Afrin ( Now use a store/generic brand to save me some money that’s has the same ingredients) I’m 47, started using Vic’s Spray many, many years ago for colds without addiction–I did like the feeling of instant/clearer breathing, then found Duration which didn’t give me the instant results like Vic’s, just better long term results. Duration was taken off the market and poof, started and soon became addicted to Afrin. Quitting smoking 6 years ago was a breeze compared to trying to quit Afrin. Ive been addicted to Afrin for about 15 years now. I’ve gotten occasional nose bleeds, 3 a year maybe, but always have two bottles in the house, and even take a long time before finally throwing away a COMPLETELY empty bottle ( have two “empty” ones lying around in case I can’t find a full one and turn it up-side-down for a few minutes before trying to squeeze the living daylights out of trying to get that one last spritz!)

    Thanks for everyone’s input, and I think I’ll try Robert’s suggestion above of spraying both at night, then just one side during the day trying to stay away from the other and keeping track of when I do spray…hoping that I have the will power not to spray the other nasal passage till its clear.

    Has anyone tried Rhinostat or Nasonex? Nasonex is prescription, Rhinostat you can order online but expensive, says it will cure you in a month, and if it doesn’t you can order another complimentary-no charge–that’s how confident they feel about their product. Anyone tried any of those? There’s also a pepper-spray like nasal spray that’s supposed to help since it doesn’t have the addictive chemicals, although spraying my nose with pepper spray doesn’t sound very appealing I don’t care HOW much it might be diluted.

    This addiction is horrible, can’t go ANYWHERE without my Afrin, get headaches almost every morning if I didn’t dose-up enough before going to bed, have to sneak to the bathroom if at a clients office before or after meetings, social events, etc.. I’ve even turned around after realizing I left the house without it cuz I’m too damn scared I’d need it and a local store wouldn’t have it–glad my wife is understanding. If anyone has tried the others I mentioned above, I’d love to hear it & will try Robert’s way to see if I can do this myself without going to a Doctor–AGAIN!

    • Thom,

      …Keeping the “empty” bottles lying around in case! Oh man, was I ever there.

      Just spraying one nostril really does work because while one is going cold turkey, the other
      one is getting the spray, albeit in weaning amounts.

      After being addicted so long I didn’t think it was possible to ever be clear but once the addiction cycle ends your nose will get back to normal.

      Good luck!


      • I used Rhinostat with success! It took several weeks to wean and it was relatively easy and painless.

        Then I got sick a few months later, and I went back to Afrin. Now I’m trying Rhinostat again. It’s tougher this time! I hope it works!! A few weeks in but feeling like I’m suffocating …. it’s much worse this time around. I’d recommend it to anyone trying to beat Afrin addiction! Just DON’T use Afrin again! For whatever reason it’s much harder for me this second time around. It was well worth the $40 for those few months of freedom.

  203. I cant beleive I am sitting here reading about nose spay addiction.Right my blood pressure is all jacked up.I alraedy have high blood pressure.I have used Nostrilla about 12 times already today just to get through the day.I have been using for about 20 years.I am seriously concered about my health and well being.I have an appointment with my ENT next week.Wish me luck I am afraid he is going to recommend surgury.God bless all of you.

  204. I am 26 yrs old and I’ve been hooked on Afrin for at least 7-8 years now, and I also work with people who are also addicted to it, so when i found this site i wasn’t too shocked to see how many people are actually hooked. However, it’s comforting to know that there are lots of people out there with this addiction. Im hoping my addiction will soon be coming to an end. Just like all of you, I’ve been so addicted to this awful drug that i was needing it at least every hour or 2. However, lately nothing seems to help, I can’t get any relief at all from my nasal congestion. So after putting it off for as long as i could stand, I finally went to my doctor who is an internal medicine doctor. I tried to convince him that ive developed allergies and that’s why i’m having such severe congestion that i can’t find any relief from. But when i told him i’m also hooked on afrin nasal spray, that’s all it took. He gave me a prednisone shot that day, and put me on a prednisone pack for a week. He also wrote me a prescription for singulair and veramist nasal spray. For the first week he wants me to only use the afrin once a day with the veramist and said that the prednisone would help me to breath. So far, i’m only on my second day and im in total misery, especially at night!! Im really wanting to not be dependent on this afrin, but at this point i’m not sure how long i can take the stuffiness. I can totally empathize with everyone who has wrote in about this.. I, too, have several different bottles that i have in various places…in my purse, under my pillow, in the dash of my car…etc. I literally panic if i leave home without it! I’m really hoping i can stick with this and be strong enough to make it through this so that i don’t have to be dependent on this the rest of my life! Wishing all of you much luck!!

  205. I too am addicted to Afrin, Nostrilla or whatever I can get my hands on! About 30 years ago, I began an addiction to this horrible stuff. I spent 10 years, give or take, addicted and hated it. Then, by the Grace of God, I woke one morning and was relatively clear. I thought, hmm, this can’t be, why can I breath without spraying? I made it through that day and suspected the next morning would bring the all too familiar necessity to spray. Much to my surprise, I was clear and the addiction faded into the past. I have had many colds since and limited the Afrin use to 3-5 days all the while being totally in fear of that all too familiar addiction. Each time, I ended up only using for 3-5 days and was able to walk away from it once the cold and stuffiness subsided. Chapter 2. About 4-5 months ago, I developed severe congestion and on the way to a sports event, stopped and got a bottle of the poison! Now, all these months later, I am worse than ever. I spray many times a day and often with little to no relief. I am so upset that I have allowed this to happen. This stuff is worse than any drug, nicotine or alcohol to stop. I mean, we all need and want to breath, right? So, I have been contemplating the one nostril at a time method to get off this poison, once and for all. It is miserable and I really think should be outlawed. If it is sold to be used strictly for a day day period and only twice in a 24 hour period, why are the bottles so large? I will tell you why. They are this large because these criminals know exactly what they are doing with this multi million dollar tool they use to create addiction. Yes, we can read and yes, we exceeded the recommended daily usage but, they certainly don’t put it on as a warning. You really have to look to even find it. I think the warning should be on the seal, the box, the bottle and you should have to request this stuff from the pharmacist who then should be responsible for advising you of the addictive properties and making us sign a release stating we understand the risk associated with this poison. It should also be sold in a bottle that would contain enough liquid for 6 sprays, 2 per day for three days. Somebody should be accountable for such injustice. This is a crime and it cost the end user so much time, money, discomfort, embarrassment and more! I wish the best for all of you and myself in my plight to eliminate this horrible demon from my life. I am proud and so happy for you that have beat this thing. I want this to be a chapter in my history books sooner than later and I want my life back!

  206. I feel like I am among family right now. I dont have an addiction to the same product as you all, but mine has been Dimetapp, before that, generic nasal spray, before that another brand and so on. I have had this going on for 7 years now ever since one of my tubes that drain the ears got a cyst on it.

    I have rebound congestion bad now, even to the point where the nasal sprays don’t work at all. Because they can’t get through the blockage.

    I am wondering if anyone has any experience using FESS or other Saline (salt water) nasal sprays and do they help at all let me know of you could please.

    My brothers and sister thank you for showing me there is hope 🙂

  207. I haven’t looked at this site for awhile but decided to check in. I have been nose spray free for over a year now. I attribute that to my use of the netti pot. I am now hooked on that, LOL, but that is okay. If I don’t use it for 3 days, I can feel my sinuses start to block up again and I get an earache in my left ear. The biggest advantage to the netti pot, is that I can be around people that have colds and it bypasses me. I guess this is because my colds always start in the sinuses. I highly recommend this.

  208. is been a few months now since i quited afrin and still i can believe i quited after so many years some nights im a bit stuffy but it doesnt go for long
    i even quited using the allergy medicine which was pretty much a bypass thru for me to quit the afrin,s so is been about 4 months i call it sober lol! because i know a lot of people here is been very difficult if not impossible to quit

  209. Reading all your horror stories is somewhat unsettling. I’ve been using Afrin as needed for colds and sinus infections for about ten years now, and my rebound congestion usually takes about a day to go away. I had no idea the dependency was so strong with some people.

  210. This might sound like a weird question but does anyone have any idea why when I only have 1 side that is blocked and I put nose spray in that side a few minutes later the other side needs it too! when it was fine just a few minutes ago! it’s like it’s jealous or something…

    • I have the same thing happen. I wake up in the mornings and one side will be relatively clear while the other side is totally blocked. I spray the blocked side and wait for it to open up, then the other side closes up. Every time. I’ve started just spraying the open side while it’s open so I don’t have to spray and wait for it to open back up. Afrin is awful stuff!

  211. Abby – I had the same problem..I posted last month and actually stopped the afrin for almost two months but have become frustrated and started using it again:( I never really cleared up and to answer your question yes, one side cleared up after several weeks but the other side remained congested and i still had to use the afrin on that side..eventually my ‘good” side needed again after not using on that side for those weeks..Im so miserable because the only reason i am even trying to stop is beacuse the afrin doesn’t really clear me like it used to and also i have horrible dry nose now..I have been addicted for about 15 years..and then last October it just all of a sudden stopped working as well..Now a year later I also have post nasal drip in which I assume is from the afrin.? Does anyone have this from using afrin too? Also asking if anyone knows if the nasal dryness can be a start of that empty nose syndrome? Any suggestions would be great!

  212. These stories terrify the living hell out of me! I have been hooked on afrin for three weeks now, which compared to others who have been on it for years, seems like nothing. But the rebound congestion is killing me. What’s more, I’m 8 months pregnant and am afraid this might be hurting my baby, but I wake up at night suffocating and end up spraying myself. I’m going to try spraying one nositril at a time and seeing how that goes because I tried quitting cold turkey, but after the second day I couldn’t take it anymore! The sinus pressure was killing me and breathing through my mouth has given me the worst sore throat. Goodness, I’m absolutely miserable 🙁

    • Mia,

      I was addicted to Afrin my whole pregnancy with my daughter (who is now 6). I suffered from the common pregnancy induced stuffy nose and my Dr. recommended I use Afrin. Within a few weeks I was using the spray every other hour. My Dr assured me that it would not effect the baby, but I needed to stop using it for my own well-being (gee, thanks for telling me to use it in the first place). My daughter was born healthy with no ill effects from my addiction. I’m 13 weeks pregnant now and have been using the Afrin again for about a month. Ready to get off and breathe on my own again. I used the Rhinostat system the first time with great success and will be ordering it again today.

      • This is such a relief to hear!! I’ve been trying the one nostril method for three days now, but am only able to breathe through the one nostril I spray with Afrin. Reading your story makes me feel so much better, knowing it won’t harm my baby. I know I still need to quit, but at least I don’t have the added gult. Thanks for sharing!

        • Hi Beth,
          Did the Rhinostat work even after you were done using it? I”m reading up about it now and I’m thinking I’d like to try it.

  213. Caution:
    Afrin addiction= death
    Especially if you have hypertension or family history of hypertension.

    It is clearly stated on Afrin bottles ” do not use this product more than 3 days!”.
    The result of not following the instruction is extremely dangerous. I had been addicted to Afrin for almost ten years before I had to stop using it due to frequent nasal bleeding and hemorrhages. I am not trying to scare you: One time a hemorrhage occurred due to my addiction to Afrin, I passed out and was put on an ambulance and taken to the emergency room. That’s when I finally stopped cuz i was scared to die!

  214. my nose spray’s active ingredient is xylometazoline 0.1% I think it’s much stronger then afrin, I tried the one nostril at a time method but I can’t do it! I’m too miserable:( someone pleeeeses help.

    • Hi Abby,
      Hopefully you’re cured at this point, but I do feel your agony because I’ve just started the one nostril method and it’s so uncomfortable. Hang in there, don’t give up!!!


  215. I posted here a couple of times in the last 2 years. I had a four year addiction until I got rebound congestion, where nose drops no longer worked. I had to stop and stop fast. The only thing that worked for me was 100% complete cold turkey. First two days I was miserable. I had to breathe through my mouth. Trying to sleep at night was awful. I lost sleep. By the third day it was a little better. I could at least sleep at night. By the end of the first week I was fine. Finally! If you’re going to do cold turkey, then start the first night before you have two days off from work, because you lose sleep. You can do it,I did. It’s freakin hard, but you can do it. Good luck.

    • I’ve been using Afrin for about a year. It’s freaking miserable. It’s been so bad lately. Using the Afrin doesn’t even help anymore that’s how bad it is. My boyfriend and I are about 5 hours away from home on a trip. There’s no walmart or any store like that around, and my bottle of nose spray is empty. I literally can not breathe at all. My nose is so bad I can’t even blow it or sniff or anything. I go thru about 2 bottles of it a week. I was going to go to the ER, because i freaked out, but then I realized that they probably can’t do much anyways. I decided today that imaging to quit, cold turkey. I hope that, like you, the miserableness and stuffiness will be gone after a few days. I’m not one of those people that can breathe out of their mouth. My throat hurts and is so dry, and my ears keep popping. It sucks 🙁 I’ve been in tears for like 5 hours…but I am ready to quit using Afrin for good!!

  216. sooo i’ve only been using the afrin for 3 months now. im on my third bottle. after trying to doluted method – didnt work. and going cold turkey method- only lasted one night HA. i tried the one nostril method but i couldnt do it!!! i want to breathe through both my nostrols! im 6 1/2 months prego and need all the extra oxygen i can get! lol my doctor just perscribed me flonase. but im wondering if i can use afrin at the same time because flonase doesnt start working for about 12 hours. and i was thinking about using the afrin and then getting cleared up to use the flonase and see how long i can go until my nasal passways are totally clogged up once again. and then maybe use the afrin again to clear it up. but im only aloud to use 2 sprays of flonase in each nostril every 24 hours. so i really dont think i can make it through another night with out sleep! so does anyone know if i can use afrin and flonase at the same time??

  217. Thank you to everyone. I now know it is not just me. Does anyone esle feel embarressed. I drive a truck and the air is horribly dry. So I started with the Afrin. 12 hours of blessed relief. Now it is so horrible. I can’t breath at all my blood pressure has been up for days. But now I know I can quit. Thank You.

  218. SUCCESS!!! I posted my Afrin dilemma up above on October 19th so I’m not going to recap my MANY years of addiction, but I am now DONE! What worked? I actually bought Sinus Buster…AGAIN. You see, last year I bought Sinus Buster, tried ONE SQUIRT and threw it away. It was like a shot of pepper spray followed by a brain freeze. It was horrible. There was NO WAY I was going to keep testing this. Then I just got sick of this addiction, read more about Sinus Buster and bought it again. One night I first shot Afrin in one nostril, and Sinus Buster in the other. I slept through the whole night without waking up completely stuffed. The next day I just used Sinus Buster and didn’t have to go back to Afrin in the one nostril. This was 4 days ago, and yesterday I only sprayed in one nostril once in the morning because it was ‘sort of’ clogged and in the evening was still mostly fine but sprayed once in one nostril. You have to be patient, and not reach for the spray at the first sign of congestion–which is what I did with Afrin. I’m shocked that I didn’t have to go back to Afrin after only one day of Sinus Buster, and I’d say I’m about 90% back to normal. Every once in a while I start to feel a clogging coming, but I just get up, walk around, maybe walk outside, and it just goes away without even having to use the Sinus Buster. I might need it once a day if that, but I certainly see that coming to an end. I do not work for Sinus Buster or have any affiliation, so this is not a cheap endorsement. It worked. BUT, be prepared to have your nasal passages blasted. Even if you have just a mild blockage, once you spray and get over the nasty pepper-spray like event & possible brain freeze, your nostril may clog up worse for a moment cuz it is a shock to the membrane, but give it 10 minutes and you’ll be free. At night I might have had to role over to unclog one side once in a while, but I’m now even done with that. Bottom line, Sinus Buster worked. Its nasty and will make your head spin when you first use it, but it cleared me up, and got me off Afrin. Its actually pretty strange not shooting up, and not having to think about it. I can’t thank Sinus Buster enough, and I’d HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with an Afrin Addiction. I’m sure if I spray again my passages will be even clearer than they are now, but it may take another day or two before I’m back to 100% of where I was before my nasty Afrin addiction. Good luck, hope this works for all of you searching for a way to cut the addiction.

  219. I am in shock. I had no idea there was such a thing as Afrin addiction. But when I found this website it suddenly dawned on me that I have been using the Walmart or CVS brand of generic Afrin for years. It’s been so long I can’t even remember how many years. I carry a bottle in my purse at all times, have one in my desk at work “just in case”, and keep a bottle in the medicine cabinet. I make sure before I go to bed that I put it on my nightstand so I can grab it in the middle of the night when I wake up congested. If I ran out I had to get to a pharmacy right away, sheer panic. It just became “normal” for me.

    About a year ago my Dr. prescribed me Flonase for my allergies, and I use Sudafed as needed. But I am still using the Afrin because I am always so stuffed up. After reading everyone’s comments I realize I’m always stuffed up because of the rebound effect of the Afrin.

    I am so ashamed that I didn’t realize what was going on. Starting tonight I’m going to try the one nostril at a time method combined with the Flonase and Sudafed to kick this.

    • Hi everyone,

      Wanted to post an update – I am Afrin free!!!

      I was too chicken to try the one nostril at a time method, I didn’t want to feel the horrible congestion that folks described.

      So instead I diluted my Afrin bottle every other day by pouring out about 1/5 of the Afrin and refilling to the top with Ocean Saline Spray each time. I used my now-diluted spray whenever I felt I needed to. Pouring out 1/5 and refilling to the top with Ocean every other day.

      It took about 6 days and I found that I didn’t need it anymore – Not at all!!! No horrible congestion either while weaning myself off the Afrin and allowing my sinuses to heal. It was a totally comfortable experience.

      I also found that I hardly ever needed to take any Sudafed (something I used to have to take multiple times during the day along with the Afrin).

      It’s now clear to me that all the congestion that I had thought was allergies was actually the rebound from the Afrin.

      I still use Flonase and Claritin every night as my Dr. prescribed, but I will talk with her to see if she feels I still need it at my next appointment.

      I’m so glad I found this Board, I’m now free of an addiction I didn’t even know I had.

      Best of luck to all!!

  220. Hi ,

    I have been using , Generic XH, and Afrin for over 2 years now. Around 3-4 times a day is my normal useage, and i am DONE !! No more going back to the nasty stuff, migraines, palpitations and tremors..I am on my Third day of detox..The first two days i only used Afrin at night (one puff each nostril) and none during the day. This is my third day and i am going cold turkey from now on in. I am using Vicks Inhaler, along with steam inhalation every 2-3 hours when i am off work. Along with this i am also using saline via a nebulizer and so far i can say that it is getting better. I would say that i have witnessed around 40% change between the first day and now,even though it is quite excruciating..I am taking medications to go to sleep, or am just tiring myself so that i fall asleep more easily. Will keep you guys up to date with what happens with the rest of my week.

    Best regards

  221. Wow I cannot believe there is a site for this. Nose spray is evil. I am breaking my Afrin addiction as we speak. I haven’t used the nose spray in my left nose for a little over a day and its cleared up. Now I am trying to heal the other nose. The stuffy nose is horrible though. If I can only bare to sleep through it tonight, I should be breathing on my own again tomorrow. I hate having to use any nose sprays. Afrin says do not use for more than 3 days, but I for some reason seem to get addicted to it after using it for a day. I can vouch for using it in one nostril and letting the other heal as I have done this many times in the past and it has worked. You just have to be patient. Glad to know I am not the only one who has gotten addicted to this spray. Good luck everyone!!! I am going to look into Sinus Buster for the next time I am stuffy.

  222. Just wanted to update… While many people have success with the cold turkey one nostril at a time method – it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve been using the Rhinostat system for the last week. I had to modify it a little though. Putting drops in my nose the way they recommend was not working. So I use my no-drip afrin bottle and just make sure I clear out the spray left in the nozzle. Also, I have been using the afrin with the menthol, rhinostat doesn’t have a menthol version. I just used the afrin I’m used to and dilute it with the rhinostat solution. I’m what rhinostat considers a “heavy user”, I normally spray every 2-4 hours. After a week of diluting, I’m spraying every 4-6 hours with a marked improvement in stuffiness in between. I’ve also been taking allegra and sudafed as needed because my allergies are bad this time of year. I wanted to share what has been working for me as everyone is different.

  223. I posted earlier that I’ve already had the turbinate reduction surgery — but I’m back on the Afrin big time. My doc prescribed Rhinocort in addition to diluting my Afrin, and it hardly seems to work at all. The Rhinocort does work better than nasonex, omnaris, and all of the other steroid sprays that I’ve tried but I still require the Afrin. One interesting point my doc made was that if I have to use Afrin, at least don’t use the menthol version because that can just add to irritation in the nose. I’m beginning to think that this problem will never go away. I even asked if he could reduce my nasal turbinates further but he said no.

  224. I’m trying the one-nostril-at-a-time bit but with a little twist. My doctor prescribed me Astepro (which does nothing for me except a bad taste down my throat) and a nasal cleanser which you can get from the store. I prefer the tube over the “teakettle” and the saline packets come with the cleanser. What to do is before you go to bed, use the nasal cleanser. Try to do it before you’re completely congested, otherwise you’re just swallowing salt water and snot. Then put in the nosespray in one nose and go from there. I’ll give more results soon after a week of my experimentation.

  225. heeeeeeeeeeeelp! I can’t take it anymore I can’t stop using the stupid thing cuz I can’t breath without it! I tried one at a time I just can’t do it:( please someone help me pleeeese

    • I found it easiest to quit with slow dilution over time. I got a bottle of the saline spray and mixed it with what was in the Afrin bottle. Every week or so I would fill the bottle up using ONLY the saline, so it was slowly diluting the afrin little by little. After a few months, the mixture is almost pure saline and you should no longer be getting the rebound congestion.

      Hope this helps.

  226. I have been using nasal spray since 1st grade! I am a senior in high school. I am so afraid of losing my sense of smell and/or taste. I have the effects of the after congestion and sneezying, burning and itching, and two nose bleeds. I started using it because I got a really bad cold in 1st grade. I use to spray 2x in each hole day and night. Now I spray one in each hole at night only. It’s better but I want to be completely off. My dad gave me congestion pills to help my nose clear up and to not use the spray. It worked for about 3 weeks, but then I got sick! I had to go back to the spray in order to breath! I can’t lay down without my nose clogging up! I also have a very flat nose, which makes it worse. Also, when I was little, I was born with nasal and lung problems! I can’t stand breathing through my mouth because then my throat will get dry and sore! It’s been tough, but Im happy to have found this support. I’m going to go see a ENT doctor and try to get this behind me once and for all! I feel like a failure an drug addict! I pray for God’s help and to help everyone of you. This is very hard to overcome but I know with Him he will give me strength.

    • Amanda try the Nasal strips, they help lift the skin up to allow more oxygen in. I just finished trying Sinus Buster and Im gonna see what happens….. so far I’m clear. You already know how Afrin works. I know walmart carries it, look for it right next to the Afrin. Google it!. Your ENT is gonna tell you, the same my ENT told me, shame on me! You will get better once you stop using Afrin and see your ENT dr.

  227. Does everyone else have the drippy nose and sneezing from using the Afrin? It’s like bad allergies but totally Afrin induced (for me anyway). Also, I get really a really itchy nose and throat every once in a while, drives me nuts. And I almost always have one nostril or the other that is sore, I’m assuming from the spray. Am I the only one?

    • I am like that too!! I have been using Afrin severe congestion for almost a year. The last like 3 months have been the worst. I have been sneezing like crazy. Ive never had allergies, so it must be from this stupid spray. It is the most miserable thing ever. I’ve always had sleeping problems my whole life, but now I just don’t really sleep at all. I spend most of the night in the bathroom using Afrin. My boyfriend wants to kill me. He gets so mad about it. He just doesn’t understand that you jar ant stop using it that easily. I went to the ENT doctor. He gave me Omnaris nose spray, and a steroid pack to take. I will say, the steroid pack did start to help, but of course I messed it up. It’s one of those packs u have to start taking 6 pills the first day, then 5 the next, and so on til it’s gone. But you have to take the pills at certain times during the day. I’m never good t taking stuff when I’m supposed to. But yes I have had allergy like symptoms for a little while now. It sucks!!!!

  228. I am so amazed to see i’m not the only afrin druggie, I am so embarrassed by this addiction it isnt even funny.
    I have been using Afrin since my last pregnancy which was 17 months ago. When I was pregnant I got stuffed up so bad, the doctors told me oh its part of pregnancy it will go away after you have your baby. well about 7 months into my pregnancy i started using afrin and it worked so well I used it often. Pretty soon I couldn’t go anywhere without it. I am the type of person where I cant breath out my mouth like most people can when their clogged up during sleep. I had a bottle everywhere, bedroom, living room, purse etc. My husband saw that instead of using it only 2 times a day i was using it like 30 times in one day, thats when I knew I had a problem. I am so tired of spending so much on nose spray that yesterday I decided that was it. I threw away all the bottles and had my husband take away my bank card to keep me from going to buy some. So today is my first day of not using it at all and i have to say its HELL, im so clogged and I feel so stuffy. But after reading on here what alot of people have said, I feel the benefits outweight the discomfortness. Hopefully I will be free of this drug. And shame on the companies who make this stuff, yes its ultimately our decisions, but if you know something can be habit forming, than you should not put it on the market. With that said I will keep everyone posted. I may not be able to sleep for the first few days but if it will actually help me in the long run than what the hell have to try it even if its going cold turkey =)

    • Well I have to say I have not used the Afrin still and my nose is feeling 10x better. Yes the first couple of days was annoying but omg it is worth it to give the stuff up. It is possible to quit cold turkey, i am proof. you just have to keep telling yourself your stronger than the medicine and that the benefits after your off outweigh the discomfort for a couple of days. I wish everyone on here the best of luck in getting off afrin.

      • Did the cold turkey work for you? are you still off the Afrin?? I just decided that I’m done with the nose spray. I cant do it anymore. I feel like I’m gonna die. But I need to know quoting cold turkey can work and will help within the next few days

        • Breana, quitting cold turkey WITHOUT either using the “spray one nostril” approach or using a netti pot or Sinus Buster spray approach will most likely have you going back to Afrin within 24 hours, probably sooner. I was miserable for YEARS as my posts can attest to. I tried Sinus Buster once a year ago and threw it away after one shot cuz it was pretty harsh. I decided a couple months ago to try it again, and be disciplined in my use. The first spray hurts, and can actually clog you up worse for the first few minutes due to the shock of that stuff to the nasal passages. But for me, it eventually clear up after just a few minutes, but at first it won’t be as clear as if you took Afrin, so you HAVE to be patient. I was Afrin Free after the second day, and only had to use Sinus Buster again once or twice since then. I didn’t need drugs or prescriptions, just Sinus Buster. I can now breathe just as good as I did when I was on Afrin but it took a little while—occasionally waking up stuffy, but once you start moving around its fine–even during the day if you get stuffy, start walking somewhere; upstairs, downstairs, to another room, blow your nose, etc.. I can only tell you what worked for me, but I would NOT recommend that you quit cold turkey without using one of the methods described in this blog, or you’ll be RIGHT back to shooting up. Trust me, I’ve been there, so has everyone else here. Read these posts again and decide which you would do, but STICK with it as i went back to trying Sinus Busters after viewing the video above. Good Luck!

          • Thom, I disagree completely. I am living proof you can quit cold turkey and be succesful. I quit last friday night and today is day 5 off the Afrin and I’m clear…I can breathe fine and have been sleeping fine the last couple of nights. Breana don’t lose hope it IS possible!!

  229. To Chelle:

    When you say “the teakettle” I am assuming that you are referring to the netti pot except that you are using the tube I understand. I agree with you that you should not wait until you are completely congested to use it. I made that mistake once. The solution will not flow properly through the sinuses. If this is something that you plan to do long term, you can save money. I use 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda per netti pot. I saved little glass jars from chicken bullion to keep these ingredients. Those pre-measured packets can get expensive. Also, I should mention that it is important after washing the sinuses that you bend over and blow your nose into paper towel etc. to remove any trapped liquid. If you forget this, it can be embarrassing later if you bend over and a bunch of fluid runs out of your sinuses. I use the netti pot one time per day to keep my sinuses clear.

    • Be careful with store bought sea salt it contains fish excrement. My ENT told me to only use pharmaceutical grade salt or canning salt.

      BTW, i just tried Sinus Buster OMG….this stuff burns going up and i felt it all the way to my brain. It took my breath away, almost like a brain freeze, but more like brain burn and after a few mins it felt better and the congestion has started to ease up and now i’m here writing this comment uncongested and hoping that this spray will work tomorrow when i wake up and not just a fluke. If you decide to get this spray make sure you get the right one they had another that is more for the common cold in a green box. The right one will say for sinus congestion, nasal congestion and sinus pressure & headache on the front and box is blue, red & white. Its considered a homeopathic nasal spray. It cost me $11.87 at Walmart.

  230. Forgot to mention, i also was hooked on Afrin until i developed polyps in my sinuses from using Afrin and had to get treament from ENT dr. I had to take oral prednisone and use flonase nasal spray. I was miserable for a whole week. Not to mention the witch that i turned into while on these steroids. It is serious stuff. Im always willing to try something that is all natural. Good luck….

  231. Norma, and others, yes, Sinus Buster “Burns” when you first shoot up–feels like you’ve just been pepper-sprayed, and that’s because its active ingredient is Capsicum, a natural plant that is used to make different types of cooking peppers and pepper spray. Its not as strong as the pepper spray ‘weapon’, but you’d think you were just peppered when you first shoot up….But, after that wears off in about 20 seconds or so, you start to get the relief and with Sinus Buster, your NOT trading one addition for another. I only needed Sinus buster a couple times for about two days. I did use it again once a number of days later, but its not addictive. People have to understand that you have to avoid the habit of reaching for a spray as soon as you get the first sign of stuffiness. After your over your Afrin addiction (and with Sinus Buster it took a day to get off Afrin), if your sitting when you get stuffy, stand up and move around. If laying down, role to the other side or go get a glass of water. I’ve found that if I felt getting stuffy, if I just changed what I was doing I was fine and do not have to rely on Sinus Buster. I have not gone back to Afrin AT ALL after using Sinus Buster, and am no longer miserable, ashamed to always have to carry Afrin ( or the cheaper store brand ), no longer have bottles throughout the house ( now I just have reading glasses throughout my house) & my car or freak out if I go out knowing I don’t have any in case of emergency. Again, I’m not associated with Sinus Buster in any way, shape or form, just a former Afrin addict that wants to help others get off that stuff. As I posted earlier, I tried Sinus Buster about a year ago and threw it away as soon as I shot up thinking there’s no fricken way I’m going to put up with using this instead of Afrin, but you don’t use it INSTEAD of Afrin, you use it to get off of Afrin and end up not needing either one after a day or two. At least that’s my experience. If you’re not over it in a day or two, have patience, it works

    • I was just wondering where do you get sinus buster? I have been on nasal sprays for about 26 years and I would love to get off of it, I would appreciate anyone’s help. Thanks!

      • I personally would not recommend sinus buster. It was rather pricey and didn’t work at all for me. The best for me was buying a bottle of afrin and a bottle of Ocean saline spray and dumping half the afrin and filling remainder with saline and did that until the bottle was mostly saline. I ended up having to buy a second bottle of adding and I just dropped a few drops into my mostly saline bottle and before I knew it (about 3 weeks), I didn’t need anything.

        Now, on occasion when I sleep, I get congested but I just turn my head and it fixes it pretty quickly.

        Good luck!! Just remember you’re not alone and it’s possible to get off!

      • I ordered Sinus Busters online, you can go back and read my posts ( but not sure where I ordered it), but you can even get Sinus Busters on Amazon–and I think I saw some get it at Walmart. There are those that suggest you avoid it. I’ve even been accused of working for Sinus Buster because of how I’m such a strong proponent of it. I’m a strong proponent because it worked for me, and others, a long time Afrin addict –but it obviously doesn’t work for everyone. I would suggest sticking to one method for a week or two. If it doesn’t work, try another. Sinus Busters got me off Afrin after only 2 or 3 days and that’s after being an Afrin addict for over 15 years. Its harsh, but now I use nothing. That’s not to say that I don’t still get stuffy on one side while sleeping once in a while, but sometimes simply rolling over and I’ve used the nasal strips a couple times. It takes time, but I can say that today I can breathe just as good as I did 5 minutes after shooting up with Afrin. Don’t forget nasal strips and walking around once you start to feel stuffy while trying to quit no matter what method you use to try to get off that stuff.

  232. I’ve only been using Afrin for almost a year now. It seems like most of the people that post on here have been using it for like half their lives. Can someone please help me now before I end up using this crap for the next 10 years. I hardly ever sleep at night. I use Afrin severe congestion about every 2-3 hours every day. The last 2 months I have had allergy like symptoms, I would assume due to use of the nose spray. when I wake upon the middle of the night there is always one side that is so clogged it will literally take at least 30-45 minutes of me sitting in the bathroom blowing my nose and spraying half a bottle of nose spray in my nose just to be able to breath thru that side again. And that only lasts a few short hours. I go thru at least a bottle a week. Is there some type of surgery I could get???? And does anyone know if the Sinus Buster nose spray actually helps and works???? Please help!!!!!!’!!!!!

  233. Just wanted to thank everyone for posting their stories. Yesterday I tried Afrin for the first time with amazing results. I thought it was too good to be true. Then I read the disclaimers on the side (do not exceed 3 days, etc.) and decided to do more research. After hearing everyone’s grievances I immediately tossed my bottle to look for more ‘natural’ remedies. I can’t thank you enough.

  234. Afrin is the devil. I just got off it about a week ago. I used it every hour or so for almost six months. I opted to try the one nostril at a time method. It seemed more effective than just quitting cold turkey even though it did seem to be stopped up again immediately after starting the second side. Here it is a full week later and I feel pretty clear for the most part, but still a little stuffy at night. I will never touch that evil spray again.

  235. SO glad to find this site. Been addicted for about 2 years. I am tired of the constant congestion and pain inside my head. Nobody could understand why I needed afrin so badly and would simply tell me “just breathe out of your mouth!” but I can’t do that. Breathing out of my mouth leads to me panicking. 2 weeks I ran out of afrin in the middle of the night and there are no 24 hour pharmacies nearby. I laid in bed crying until 6 am when the first store opened and I rushed out to buy afrin.

    Went to the doctor today. Was prescribed astepro .15%, steroids (methylprednisolone 4mg), and an antibiotic. The astepro so far has done NOTHING. I start the course of steroids tomorrow and I’m hoping I won’t be miserable without my afrin. I’m also worried that once I’m off the steroids the rebound will come right back… I do not think a week of steroids is long enough to break this rebound cycle. I want a corticosteroid spray to help me through this, but I don’t think my doctor will give me one.

    About to go to bed and struggling not to use afrin. I’m completely stuffed in both my nostrils. Maybe just one spray to get me through the night will be okay until I start the steroids. I have also tried benadryl, sinex, advil congestion relief, dayquil, nyquil, etc. The only thing that even mildly helps is sudafed, which for some reason I am unable to find in this town anymore!!

    • Day 1 – steroids, antibiotics, and astepro don’t seem to be helping me at all. Didn’t get much sleep last night, overall i’m miserable and wish I could just give myself a quick spritz of afrin and be able to breathe. But I’m not going to. I need to get past this.

      • Hi Kayla, I know you are doing better now, but I surfed up a bit to try and find out how much steroids you were on… only 4mg. My Dr put me on 20mg twice a day, so 40mg a day… huge difference. I am doing the Veramyst and Asterpro as well, but I know I have an allergy to dust mites and I am seeing a specialist for it, so Asterpro helps with the underlying cause of the congestion more than the immediate issue. the steroids are def helping with the immediate issue though. 🙂 If your congestion comes back after you finish your mucinex D. I tried that once, perhaps you do have something more going on triggering the congestion, but maybe not structural since the mucinexD helps? Just a thought. Hope you continue to do well!

        • Thanks for the reply =)

          The mucinex “works” but isn’t amazing… I am not breathing at 100%, but SOMETHING is better than nothing. I ran out of mucinex and won’t bother buying another box.

          I have been off of Afrin for a month now, and typically can breathe ok during the day, but at night when laying down my nose stuffs up 100%. So even though I can breathe during the day, I’m EXHAUSTED because I’m not sleeping well at night.

          Even sleeping pills won’t knock me out. My doctor gave me ambien and all it does is make me feel woozy rather than making me fall asleep. All I can do is lay on my side and switch back and forth to keep one nostril clear at night. Vicks and vaporizers aren’t helping. I am pretty much against putting any more drugs into my system while fighting this congestion problem, so it looks like I will just have to let time heal me.

  236. Update – apparently it will take several days for the steroids to get into my system. Went to walmart and got sinus buster. Oh my god it hurts. Tears in my eyes for the first few minutes, but my sinuses ARE clearer. Not 100% but at least air is getting in my nose. Definitely no way anyone could get addicted to this stuff. 1 spray in each nostril and I want no more cause it does not feel nice. Afrin feels nice whereas with this sinus buster I’m really gonna have to work myself up to spraying again. Hoping this bit of relief lasts a good amount of time.

      • Kayla, and others, again reiterating that Sinus Buster does work. Yes, it hurts when you first spray, it takes some of the same ingredients (although not the same strength) as pepper spray. I only needed it for one, maybe two days, without doing the “one nostril” of Afrin. Used Sinus Buster maybe twice since I got off of Afrin, but guys/gals, don’t forget to try something simple once your off Afrin to clear passages–Blow your Nose! Sounds simple, maybe even “duh!” stupid, but one time I was ready to use Sinus Busters and instead just grabbed a kleenex, that’s all I needed. No reason to use all those steroids & prescription medications–and as I mentioned before, no–I have no affiliation with Sinus Busters, just wanted to pass on what worked for a former Afrin addict of many many many years. Good luck to all getting off that evil spray!

        • I know it seems obvious and people ALWAYS tell me “just blow your nose!”… but nothing comes out when I blow. It’s not any mucous or snot up there causing the congestion, my nasal passageways are simply swelled shut. I could definitely see Sinus Buster working wonderfully if I had a cold and was stuffed up with mucous, sinus buster would clear it out very fast. But for simply swollen nasal passages, it appears the the pepper of it just makes them even more painfully swollen. =(

          Night 2 without afrin was awful, but this morning I was a little better. I think the steroids are starting to help.

          I’m concerned about using my astepro nasal spray… it has the same additive as afrin, a preservative, which some people are saying is the problem with afrin. Bezalkonium Chloride – some are saying it’s this additive that makes afrin so bad rather than the oxymetolazine. Astepro has benzalkonium, so I’m worried that if I keep using this spray that my problem won’t be getting any better.

  237. Let me first start by saying that I’m 59 years old and that I started with decongestant sprays and nose drops back when I was about 10 y/o. I’ve been addicted to them most of my life, apparently. Even when I was not using them after quitting cold turkey about 20 years ago I still have major issues with night time breathing. Recently I’ve found that my once a day use of Afrin one in each nostril isn’t cutting it. It is very frustrating. My current path of trying to get over the addiction is to first start using a Neti Pot which seems to have allowed me to back off some on the amount of Afrin I’m using. Secondly I’m going to try the Rhinostat system to see if I can ween myself off of the stuff. I should probably also get with my doctor and ask for some nasal steroid spray to try to help heal the sinuses.

    It’s good to see that I’m not alone in this addiction. It is a sad state of affairs. I can relate to almost everything everyone here has said.



    • Well waiting for the RhinoStat product I was able to quit the Afrin using the Neti pot, Psuedofed, Claritan, and Ibuprofen. so far it’s been easier then I expected.


  238. I started using the rhinostat system about a month ago (I’m not affiliated with them in any way). I can now say I haven’t needed to use any spray at all for 3 days now!! It’s like a new lease on life 🙂 Totally worth the $40. And I think of all the money I have and will save on not buying afrin. Anyhow, it wasn’t a quick fix but it did work. It just takes a little daily dedication. My nose is not 100% clear, I do wake up needing to blow my nose. But once I do I’m good the rest of the day. The morning stuffiness could be from allergies too. Just wanted to let you know that rhinostat did work for me! Hope that helps someone else addicted to afrin! I’ll NEVER touch the stuff again!!

  239. I first started using Afrin over the summer just before band camp started. I had a cold and was congested and I figured nose spray was the quickest way to deal with it. I had no idea you could get addicted to the stuff. I later found out that my grandpa was addicted to it for most of his adult life. That scares me. I won’t let it get to that point. I’m currently studying for finals in a friends room (pulling an all nighter) and I left my spray in my room… I feel like a druggie… Like I just need my fix but it’s so embarrassing! I hate having to carry the stuff anytime I leave my dorm! I’m so glad I found this site and know that there are so many other people dealing with the same stuff. I will NEVER go near Afrin after I kick this addiction. Good Luck everyone! 🙂

  240. I’ve now been 1 week off of afrin. Still congested…. finished my prescription of steroids and antibiotics, found no relief from my Astepro spray… have been using sudafed, benadryl, claritin, and dayquil with no help. Tried sinus buster and it didn’t help. Bought a neti pot and it didn’t help.

    I don’t know what to do now. I’ve done everything. I’ve spent so much money trying to beat this afrin addiction and I’m still congested.

    I haven’t slept well all week, I feel so tired and stuffed up all day, and with all the congestion I’ve started getting sinus headaches which I never had before. Overall I’m WORSE off than when I was on afrin.

    I don’t know what to do.

    • Kayla, not sure if I’m reading your post right, but it seems that you’re trying TOO many things. Try sticking to one option to get off of Afrin. Try the Afrin in one nostril only and Sinus Buster in the other method. You’ll be off Afrin on one side, then once you can breathe without Afrin on the one side, concentrate with Sinus Buster on the other. The problem is that your exchanging one drug for another. Sinus Buster is not a drug. This method seems to work for most. The key is to get off the drugs otherwise your body is exchanging one addiction for another.

      • Yeah I think you’re reading my post wrong. I’m not using afrin at all. I haven’t used afrin for almost 2 weeks I’m not about to start putting it in one nostril and mess it all up.

        I’m not trying all of those methods all at once, I tried each a few times alone, found no relief, and stopped. Sinus buster I tried for 3 or 4 days and it only made my congestion worse. I wasn’t trying sudafed, benadryl, claritin, sinus buster, etc. etc. ALL at the same time, just one at a time for a while, and then quit each one as I found they did not work.

        Right now I’ve spent 3 days using nothing but a neti pot and haven’t had relief in congestion, but an increase in my headaches.

        I’ll probably be going back to the doctor this week. I’m beginning to think that my issue is a structural problem that can’t be fixed with medicinal products.

        • Thom,
          I don’t want to be rude, but it kinda just sounds like you sit on this website all day trying to tell people what to do. I don’t think that’s the point. The point is for people to share their problems, and feel comforted knowing there are many other people in the same situation. Its for people to try to help each other kick the addiction. All you keep telling everyone is to use that stupid sunis buster crap. It seems like you’re the only person its even worked for. So really, all it looks like is that you work for them and you’re trying to get everyone to buy this product that doesn’t work. I too tried it, for a week, and it did nothing but make everything worse, and it burned so bad my eyes watered for minutes. Yes I used it for more than one day, no it never helped once. I’d appreciate if you’d quit telling me and everyone else on here to do that. You commented on my post the other day and basically said I was stupid for trying to quit cold turkey and I’d never be able to do it. I haven’t used afrin, or anything the past few days. I’ve gone thru hell, but I already feel 50X better after 2 days. So I’d recommend people doing that. People are trying to get off the afrin, not continue to spray stuff up their noses to make it all worse

          • Well Breana, you failed in not wanting to be rude and seem to be an extremely sensitive person. I certainly don’t even come close to telling people what to do, and was pretty clear on my situation and explaining just what worked for me, and many others including those in the video in the beginning of this blog. How you were able to have misinterpreted my enthusiasm for what got me off of over 15 years of Afrin addiction into me “telling people” what to do is beyond me. As I mentioned in my posts, I tried Sinus Buster once for a day, and threw it away. It wasn’t until I found this post about 12 months later and decided to try it again. So my message is for those that might have been in my position that DID only try it once and couldn’t take the discomfort that maybe they should try it again ( as the video testimonial in the beginning of this blog recommends, or do they work for Sinus Busters too). No one is forcing you or anyone to take any advice as its clear that no one solution works for everyone, even surgery for some was only a temporary solution. And as I mentioned before if you’d care to really read my posts and not read INTO my posts, No I don’t work for them, so sorry to put a pin in your conspiracy balloon. Also, couldn’t find ANYWHERE in the blog that I said trying to quit cold turkey was stupid…just that I and many who tried ended up back to using it—and can’t really imagine me saying that since that’s exactly how I quit smoking when people told me I needed a patch, gum, a drug or hypnosis. SO hopefully you can forgive my enthusiasm in wanting to help anyone ( Including YOUR post where YOU ask if its worked for anyone) that’s looking for insight & encouragement to get off this stuff permanently. Thanks for being the blog police Breana, we really needed someone to tell us what to say and how often to post. I’ll continue to promote Sinus Busters as an alternative that should be tried simply because it worked for me when nothing else did, and maybe you can go on to scold Kayla & Mia for stalking and posting too often on this web site as well.

  241. I am so glad I found this page because I am at my wits end, started getting congestion about week 8 of this pregnancy, and I can not stand not to be able to breathe out of my nose. I had used Afrin before for a few days at a time and never had a problem, but this time has been different. I already know that I have to have a c-section so I HAVE to quit this stuff! I am too embarrassed to tell my doctor about this, but guess I will have to suck it up. My question is, what in the crap do you do when you can not get a single bit of air up your nostrils? I have this rhinocort my doctor gave me for congestion, but I can not get any air moving through my nose at all. The only thing that relieves the pressure is blowing my nose, and that only offers relief for a second. Literally, one second. I am miserable, I am exhausted, and I have to kick this, At this point, I guess I don’t have a choice but to go cold turkey, since nothing will get up my nose anyway. This drug seriously should only be available by prescription.

    • I got started when I was pregnant also. I had rough pregnancy, had to stay in the hospital allot, and took it with me, lol. I can tell you that a cool mist humidifier did help me breathe while I was pregnant, so I used Afrin less, at least. I hope that helps a bit, and good luck!

      • I second the cold mist humidifier!! I really did find that it made a big difference!
        I also have one of those plug into the wall vicks vaporizers that releases a minty scent into the air and it works similarly to a vicks inhaler, except that I can just plug it in to go to sleep and don’t have to be awake to hold onto a vicks inhaler infront of my nose. I would invest in the cold-mist humidifier and a vaporiser. I am currently kicking this addiction cold turkey and it’s bee rough but I’m on day three of no nose spray and I can already tell you I am feeling SO much better and it gets easier every couple hours!

  242. Update – 2 weeks later I’ve found something that’s working for me. Mucinex D (NOT mucinex DM, these are two very different formulas). Mucinex D you have to buy directly from the pharmacy, it is not for sale on the shelves. I admit it’s making my nose a little runny, BUT the nasal passageways are open!! With them open I was able to use a neti-pot and flush out alot of junk. I’m hoping that once this box of mucinex is done my passageways will remain open. I’m really happy right now though, haven’t breathed this easy in a long time! phew

  243. I have never tried Sinus Busters so I can’t tell you that it works. But, any time that I am wanting to try something new I look it up on Amazon and read comments from people that have used the item. It appears that Sinus Busters has worked for many. I have bought many things off that site based on other’s reviews. People are pretty honest about whether they love or hate something. Sinus Buster’s was next on my list of things to try.

  244. Hi all! I hope this helps someone… I am prone to sinusitis and just happened to be prescribed afrin AND flonase at the same time just 2 days ago. My doctor told me to use the afrin, wait 15 minutes and then use the flonase, and to be sure that i do 3 days on 1 day off of the afrin. I am also on sudafed AND a z-pack broad spectrum antibiotic. I guess he wanted to throw the medicine cabinet at it. I am getting great relief but am also getting worried that I may get re-congested after using the afrin. This is my very first time using it. I have experienced the super sticky unmovable mucus that completely blocks sinuses and have used a sinu-rinse saline solution, which normally works pretty well for relief. I use the sinu-rinse in the shower with really warm water and a nice heavy steam. Sometimes multiple times a day. Maybe this will help with folks trying to get off the afrin. This will be my method again in a day as I am pretty scared to pick it up again after the 1 day off. Good luck to you all and you will be in my prayers. Try the sinu-rinse system. It’s cheap and works pretty good to get rid of the super thick stuff, sold near the neti-pots.

  245. I have been addicted to afrin as i have posted before for abut 15 years. Now it stopped working as well and my nose is very dry adding to the discomfort. I recently stopped using afrin for 2 months and never could get over the rebond congestion. Not sure why people generally say it only taked a few days to a couple weeks..? long story short I think the afrin has done so much damage my nose will never function again. Im considering a laser surgery where they burn down your turbinates causing scarring so it is supposed to help congestion. Help! has anyone had this sugery Im afraid of the empteynose syndrome too

  246. I got hooked on Afrin 10 years ago while was pregnant, and have about a 1 bottle a month habit, which my immunologist tells me is not horrible. I became highly motivated to quit about a week ago when a family member shared an link with me, showing me that the active ingredient in my Afrin contains mercury, and I made a Dr appointment to help me quit the next morning. I am seeing an immunologist to help me quit because I know I am allergic to dust mites, which causes a great deal of congestion. So, he is treating me with 20mg prednisone 2 times a day for 5 days, Veramyst and Astepro. The Astepro is an antihistamine spray to help with the underlying cause of congestion, which I have found helpful for another reason. The antihistamine is keeping me calm and sleepy through this rough part, lol. I have tried to quit on my own before with panic attack results. I have to tell you that as of right now, 38 1/2 hrs in, I am currently breathing through both nostrils and have been sleeping comfortably most of the day, as I will admit I only got about one hour last night due to discomfort. For those of you who lack success on your own, with a GP or an ENT, perhaps give an immunologist a try. I never dreamed I could be this comfortable while quiting. It’s still a chore, but nothing like what I’ve tried to put myself through in the past.

  247. YOU CAN DO IT!

    Spraying Afrin in just ONE nostril won’t work, as the Afrin will work its way up the nasal passage and back down into both nostrils.

    I also had an Afrin habit … towards the end the decongestant was only lasting about 4 hours, so I was spraying 4-5 times a day. I was miserable.

    I am in the process of kicking the habit now — I’m on Day Eight. Here’s what I did: I bought a room vaporizer and a Vicks menthol inhaler (You know, those little plastic tubes that look like chapstick).
    I used the Vicks inhaler to get some comfort during the day, and at night I used the vaporizer and took a sleeping pill, because I knew I’d be sleeping with my mouth open, and I didn’t want my throat to dry out and get scratchy. The sleeping pill knocked me out enough so that I got SOME sleep, but I have to be honest: the first two nights were very hard. I had to get up a few times and use the Vicks inhaler or make a cup of hot tea. So there is no sugar-coating this process.

    But by the third night at least one nostril was open for most of the night and I slept well. And now my days are okay — I can breathe through both nostrils about 80% of the time.

    YOU CAN DO IT. Use all the crutches you can, try the Vicks inhaler and vaporizer to keep your throat moist and GOOD LUCK!

    • You can definitely do it!!! I decided about a month ago to quit…cold turkey. And it worked!!! The first 3 days, and especially the nights were miserable! But after that I felt a big change, I felt 50x better. I used sudafed a few times. But that was it. And now I am using nothing at all, and haven’t used a single spray of that crap since. I’m having no problems at all. I can breathe very well and I’m much happier. I was using 2 bottles of Afrin a week! And I quit and was feeling better in just a few days

      • That’s so great to hear!

        I’m on Day 11 now. I have to be honest, my poor nose fluctuates between clogged and clear every 15 minutes — it doesn’t magically get totally clear I guess. I’ve been VERY tempted to use the spray especially at night, but if I sit up in bed and use the Vicks tube inhaler for a minute or so, at least one nasal passage will open up a little and I can get back to sleep.

        I figure this will take maybe a month for total clarity.

        I really suggest that people who are suffering during withdrawal try a room vaporizer and a sleeping pill at night.
        These don’t bring total relief …. but the vaporizer really helps soothe your throat on those nights when you have to breathe through your mouth all night.

        And I am so glad I found the Vicks tube inhaler. The menthol /eucalyptus really does work to open up clogged passages. Of course it’s not as effective as Afrin, but it’s not addictive either!

        It can be hard to find these tube inhalers, but just ask at the drugstore. Rite Aid and Walgreens have them.

  248. I bought a new bottle, and poured half out, replaced the other with distilled water. Each day I poured a tiny bit out and added the water until it was all water. This breaks the cycle without the freak out of not being able to breathe. IT will work….I promise. If you are really having trouble you might have underlying sinus issues. My nasal passages are really narrow and every cold would completely block my nose-allergies too-this is why I started using nose sprays. I am having surgery to correct that-but after having a nasal spray addiction since high school (I am 37) I have been without for a number of years. If I do want to use some when I get a cold, I use very diluted stuff-that way I don’t have the same problems.

  249. I did it

    I have been on afrin for 2 years having to spray my nose every 2 hours . After reading all of the post on this site I decided to try the one nostril trick. Well after one week I have trown my afrin bottle in the trash can. The first 2 days I thought I was gonna die but then the congestion slowly started easing up. Its been seven days now and I can breath own my own.

  250. Pace & Kala – Im so glad to hear that it’s not just me who stopped the afrin and still had congestion for weeks on end. I actually stopped for 2 months and had your same problems, congestion on and off during the day and worse at night switching sides. Sorry to say i gave up and went back to afrin after being frustrated. Most people sound like it only takes days to several weeks to get clear so i just gave in. The afrin doesn’t work like it used to for me is why i tried to stop using it in the first place, but it helps better than using nothing at all. A ent suggested a turbinate surgery that involves burning and scarring the turbinates so that they don’t swell..? I dont know because another ent said since I have nasal dryness that the surgery can give me empty nose syndrome. So im happy to hear that you guys are hanging in there. Please let me know when your congestion goes away completley. Im wondering for some people will it ever go away completely?

  251. Have been addicted to Afrin for over 30 years. It stopped working for me in October 2011. Had to switch to 4-Way nasal spray and Advil Congestion Relief. I get about 4 hours relief before in need to spray and take pills again. I need help! I cannot go cold turkey. I have tried it. Panic attacks from not being able to breathe is too intense for me to handle without help. I made a doctor’s appointment. I can’t smell anything and most foods taste bland. I hope my doctor can help me get this monkey off my back!

  252. Hi from Aus. Yep, addicted to Aussie version of decongestant since pregnant with twins 10 years ago. Have two sprays with me at all times. Worried in case I wind up unconscious in hospital unable to speak … or breathe! Now I sneeze alot and have to cross my legs after the 5 sneeze!!

    Having determined to quit I came searching and found this site.

    Thanks, I don’t feel so stupid for succumbing to an addiction or so alone now.

    I have noticed that the more stressed I am the more my nose blocks, so I am going to add meditation to my day and couple that with healing one nostril at a time.

    Best of luck to all.


  253. Mia, I don’t believe that the congestion problem ever goes away. Using my neti pot, I stay on top of it by using it once a day. But it is not a cure. If I quit using it for 4 or 5 days, I get congested again. If there is a cure I would sure like to know about it. Surgery on my nose worked for about 1 month.

  254. I just had to post on the website that helped me through what seemed to be a hopeless situation I never imagined getting out of. I am a college athlete, so besides being human and needing air, being able to get as much air as possible when running for long intense periods is a part of my daily life. I got a huge cold last April while on a road trip with my team and had finals shortly after we returned from school. Before I knew it, I needed to spray and had no time to be sick. I am an athlete, student, employee, girlfriend, etc… So my time has always been demanded from some commitment or another. So….. for the past 10 months, afrin has controlled my thoughts (where did I leave my bottle, how long I have the next spray, if it’ll be a ‘good’ night of sleep or not) and my breathing, and my life.

    I know 10 months is nothing compared to some who have been on it for 15+ years, but addicted is addicted and it is miserable. So after many moments of sneaking away to the bathroom to spray or embarrassingly getting clogged after sitting down for 15 mins or having to hide it from my family and coaches, I decided it wasn’t worth it and I’d haft push through it. I began to tear up whenever I thought about having to have a afrin bottle tucked into my wedding dress one day and having to think about my breathing instead of the ceremony. I would have to spray on a normal basis up to 4 times a day and after a trip to Chicago this Christmas with my family….it stopped working. 2 nights in Chicago of no sleep and I have no idea why afrin wouldn’t work on my nose…i knew I needed to stop depending on it.

    I did my research. I read through most of these posts and gained hope and advise. I ordered the rhinostat system
    and got saline spray, sinus buster, and nyquil. I was preparing for battle. So with my pillows upright and everything within reach I took my first night without any nose spray. I took my dose of the rhinostat system and nyquil and passed out. I woke up twice with only one side clogged.

    Long story short I expected to be in pain, comfortableness for at least 5 days…..I had two semi-rough nights and only got clogged when I sat for too long. I am on day 6 and havent touched rhinostat, saline or afrin since day 3. YOU CAN DO IT. it seems hopeless and scary but night time is the biggest battle you’ll have as long as you stay busy during the day. Get through the first three nights and you’ll see some difference. But it’s a lot easier when you have all the tools available (medicine, advice, support, and MOTIVATION) you don’t want to have afrin with you your whole life. Your life is too precious to be scarred to live without afrin. As a 21 year old, I am not the wisest but I am smart enough to commit to a future without it. DO IT AND BE FREE. then post here if any of this advice (mine or others) helped bc you never know whose life you will help.

    • Katie,

      I’ve posted here before and have been Afrin free for more than two years using the One Nostril method to kick it in a week. I would just disagree with one thing you said: at 21, I think you’re already pretty wise. Great testimony!

      Anyone else that wants details on the One Nostril method, please look for my previous posts. It IS possible, you CAN kick it!


  255. Sherry – If you don’t mind me asking, what surgery did you have? I have looked up the one they want to do for me and i have read that sometimes it only lasts a year or so because the turbinates push through the scar tissue..I wonder if the afrin has damaged our noses to the point that we have chronic congestion? Because I remember times that i never used afrin and now even when I stop I can’t breathe right. Also, whats the difference between the netti pot and sinus rince? I will gtry it since you have said it helps you.Also how long have you been without afrin? Sorry for all the questions, it’s so frustrating feeling like Im alone at times..This has taken a huge toll on my life and I would like to find the best way to cope with this if I will be living with it my entire life! Thanks for your help

  256. Hi Everyone,
    Just wanted to stop by and share some awesome news and hope that it can encourage others. Today is ONE full week since I STOPPED using my nasal sprays and it feels amazing!!!!!!!!!!! And yes, it can be DONE….

    The first night I sprayed one nostril and it felt like my head was going to explode from the congestion and I cried most of the night, and prayed and asked God for his strength to carry me through,because I felt like I was going to die, but thank God my daughter held my hand and shared her IPOD with me and I was able to sleep for a few hours, but it was one tough experience. The next morning I used my rinse
    ( Nasopure wash) this is way better than the netti pot for me that is, and my left nostril cleared up during the day. So I got thinking, you know what? I don’t want to live like this anymore, because these darn nose sprays were practically dictating my life and it was difficult to have a normal day. So I decided no more and that was it, I went COLD TURKEY!!!!….

    Yes, the congestion comes and goes but I’ve found other ways to deal with it.. In the mornings i’m just so excited to wake up and brush my teeth and it’s amazing because now, even if I’m a bit congested the scent from my toothpaste actually clears me right out, haha. Then I use my Nasopure to rinse out and that helps tremendously. Whatever you do, get some sort of nasal rinse because this loosens the mucus and it is really helping with my everyday breathing. I’m doing it about 3 times per day, morning, mid day (if you can) and at night before bed. Another helpful thing is getting a cool mist vaporizer (as another member mentioned on here) it’s so very helpful at night.

    I’ m at the point now where I can take a nap during the day without even using the vaporizer in my room, and i’m sleeping comfortable. I finally told some of my friends and family about my addiction, and the support has been great:-) Thank God!!! I’ve thrown out a few bottles and about to throw out ALL…I want nothing to do with this stuff. This has taught me that anything that becomes a crutch in my life and takes the place of Jesus is very dangerous!!!!…..I can and I am living without the use of nasal sprays and so can you!!!…..

    If you have any questions feel free to touch base with me, I’d be happy to encourage you:-)


    PS. Oh yeah, the first 2-3 days I had a dryness that I was able to soothe using a dab of Vaseline it’s much better now, and that awful sneezing sensation that the sprays caused has stopped too:-)))))))))))))

    • Here is a follow-up story: I was inspired to get off Afrin (in part) by this web site. I posted my 3-prong method ~April,2010, so its been almost 2 years. I stopped using Breath-right strips after the first month(only because they were damaging my skin), but still do the Nasaline saline irrigation daily.

      The good news is that except for bed time, I’m off Afrin, and have been since a month into the ‘withdrawal’ process. I had a bit of a head cold last week, and did not have to take de-congestants.

      There really is not bad news. HOWEVER…I still usually take about .2cc of a solution made with 95% saline solution to 5% afrin in one nostril. To give you an idea how little Afrin I’ve used, I’m still on the same 1/2 empty bottle that I started with in 2010. I seem to have the same issue that several other long term users have…when I lay on my side for an extended period of time, the nostril closest to the pillow gets I turn over and wake up a few hours later with the other nostril stuffed. This must be an issue of the weakend or damaged membranes and gravity. Anyway, the drop of 5% solution helps enough to let me get to sleep although there are nights where I’ve fallen asleep without those couple drops.

      Considering the damage that long term Afrin use can cause, I consider myself lucky.

      • Hey Dawn,
        For the first few nights I experienced that feeling, but now it’s so much better!!! I hope it gets better for you as well….

      • Hey Lisa,
        Just wondering how you’re doing without the Afrin….

        Over the weekend, my allergies were horrible and I was terribly congested, so I used that horrible nasal spray. It drove me nuts the next day because I was still congested, but I know my limitations and so, I refuse to go back to that addiction. If anything, I have a diluted solution so I may have to use that for a few days, but trying really hard, not to use anything other than my vaporizer….

        The good news is that at least I know I can make it WITHOUT being addicted to nasal sprays!!!

  257. i have posted before. i have been nose spray free for months. organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother”. two or three times a day in a small shot of apple juice. takes a couple of days to clear you up completely but will relieve the congestion. natural and cheap. and is good for you. try it. if it doesnt work for you it only cost a few bucks and a couple of days.

  258. Mia, the surgery that I had on my nose was back in the early 80’s. I was told that I have a deviated septum. I don’t remember what they actually did. I just know that the packing that they put up your nose is really uncomfortable when it is pulled out. It helped for such a short time that I felt it wasn’t worth it and decided not to follow up. Hence my addiction to nose sprays.

    You asked about the difference between the netti pot and sinus rinse. I have only tried the netti pot. Gravity is what pulls the solution through the sinuses. The flow starts on it’s own if you have it at the proper angle. I find it quite soothing if you use water that is a little warmer than lukewarm. My Dad uses a system that he has to squeeze the bottle to push the fluid through the sinuses. Apparently it does the same thing. Either system could be used at a sink or in the shower.

  259. I had the turbinate reduction surgery in aug of ’10 and it worked for a while but 11 months later I was back on it. Very frustrating.

  260. Mia, I have been off the nose sprays for about 15 months now I believe. The netti pot is not a cure but I feel it is much healthier than using nose sprays or decongestants for a long period of time.

  261. Hi, I’m so pleased to see its not just me… I’m addicted to Vicks sinex nasal spray and have been for over ten years. Like others, I have bottles stashed in pockets and bags everywhere. And over Christmas I got the worst sinus infection, and the Vicks wouldn’t touch it. So I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to come off it. One nostril is clear, and the other blocks in the evening. I can manage to sleep ok without using the spray, but I’ve been taking two sudafed/sinutab tablets before bedtime. My worry is that now I’ll become addicted to them instead… Does anyone have any advice?

  262. I have been on Afrin for probably about a year to a year and a half now…ran out on Friday night and am broke so can not go and buy more…I’ve been forced to go off it cold turkey and have been off it for about 43 hours now…I have had moments where I thought I was cleared up like after my shower this morning and when I went out for a walk to get my mail this afternoon…but I came back inside my apartment and stuffed right back up again…the last time I got off Afrin it only took a day or so to clear up for good…this time it doesn’t seem to be happening so fast…I just don’t get it.

  263. Thanks so much advice in this article.

    I started using Afrin about 1.5 months ago when I felt some nasal congestion and did not even read the directions. After 4 weeks of using Afrin to clear congestion about every 6 hours, I suspected that the nasal spray may be the problem. I tried some different saline sprays, but they did nothing. I did try Sinus Buster, but it did nothing at all. I then did some internet searching and found out what was going on with my nose… “rebound congestion”, and initially tried to go cold turkey thinking, it can’t be that hard. Boy was I wrong, I sounded like Donald Duck at work and could not eat, talk, or breath without a lot of difficulty. I then took the advice of this article. I treated my left nostril and let my right nostril be clogged. I was able to last for up to 24-hours between treatments on the left nostril while my right nostril got better. It has now been six days and both nostrils are back to normal. What a relief!

    This one nostril at a time thing works… and allows you to function during the time your are quitting the nasal spray.

    I will never use Afrin or anything like it again. This stuff should not be sold OTC. In fact, I don’t think it should be sold at all.

    Thanks for the solid advice!!!

  264. Cascadia

    I try to avoid using the neti pot before going to bed. When I do, I sometimes feel pressure around my ear when I wake up. So, I use it a couple hours before bedtime and that makes a difference. I have found that the amount of water I drink during the day makes a difference in how stuffed up I get. Being hydrated helps the mucous flow through the sinuses easier. Sometimes it is hard to make myself drink water though. I would rather have coffee.

    • Hey Sherry,
      You’re so right about the water consumption, it does make a hugeeee difference!! And as for the coffee I can understand that, LOL…

  265. I’ve been afrin free for 2 months now and am still congested 50% of the time, especially at night. I haven’t slept well these past 2 months.

    NOTHING has helped me get better. I tried it all. Neti Pot provides temporary relief (a few hours), but temporary isn’t good enough.

    I think these past few years of afrin permanently screwed up my nose.

    I WISH it was as easy as some of the people here have had it, simply clearing up after a week of no afrin. I guess I’m not one of the lucky ones.

    • Hi Kayla,
      I”m so sorry that you’re still having a difficult time with the nasal congestion. Have you tried using a vaporizer at night also?

      I”ve noticed that it really helps me to breathe alot better and so, I usually get it set up and going an hour before I actually go to bed, so by the time I get into my bedroom the vicks or sudafed aroma is in the air.
      Also, try laying on two pillows.

      It will be a month soon since i’ve stopped using the sprays, and even though I did have a set back for a day, and used the spray, now I know how to manage the congestion if it appears again. Another thing, well for me is that I have to use the Nasopure often to rid myself of the congestion and it’s really working.

      Don’t give up!!!! IT will and CAN get better….


  266. Kayla-
    Im having the same problem! very frustrating..I stopped using the afrin for 2 months and was also congested most of the time and miserable at night. I tried nasal steroids, humidifier, sinus rinse, oral steroids..I failed and ended back up on the afrin. I was told and have read thet long term use of afrin can cause chronic enlarged turbinates that just dont shrink down anymore which is why some people stay congested. I agree with you that I have permanent damage now. I dont know what to do anymore, and also the afrin does not clear my nose like it did in the past which is scary.Please let me know if your congestion ever goes away or if anything works for you….

  267. I finally beat the nose spray Monster! Mia’s comment touched my heart. Afrin stopped working for me a few months ago. I had to use Wal-Four to get nasal relief. Mucus was no longer my problem. My nasal cavities would swell shut. Wal-Four gave me instant relieve from suffocation! It was the same curse I had with Afrin! I needed something to shrink the swelling inside my nose. Now cost me twice as much to breath. I needed help. And this is what I did to beat the Monster! (1), I went to an allergist for tests. I discovered I was allergic to grasses, pollen, dust, mode and mildew. Now I take weakly allergy shots. (2), I have also been flushing my nose with salt water three times per day due to my allergist suggestion. Instead of using the expensive nasal rinse you can find in Walgreens, my doctor recommended one eight ounce glass of distilled water mixed with one forth of tea spoon of table salt. I washed out my nose three times a day for three weeks. (Utilizing a nose syringe used to clean an infant’s nose). (3), I used a Vicks Inhaler when the times got rough. (Looks like Chap Stick) After three weeks, I no longer need or use nose spray or the Vicks inhaler. I FEEL GREAT!!! You can do it too. I have broken a thirty year addiction to nose spray. If I can do it, so can you!

  268. I’ve been online for 13 years and for some reason never thought of researching nasal spray addiction before. LOL I’ve used nasal spray daily, sometimes many times a day, for about 30 years now. Sorry to say I turned my husband onto it when he got a cold shortly after we married 28 years ago and he also has used it daily since. What a couple of nose squirters we are! Reading down through the comments here has been cracking me up! One of our major priorities at all times is to make sure we have nasal spray b/c without it we both feel like we are dieing. I’ve literally run to a store and ripped the box open and used it right there in the aisle before paying for it b/c I thought my head was going to explode in a million pieces. My husband and I both carry nasal spray with us everywhere we go and keep bottles on our nightstands, on the computer desk, in my pocketbook and my husband in his lunch tote. I have talked to my Dr.’s about it several times over the years and tried the script spray that gave me to help get off the real stuff but I might as well have been spraying straight water up my nose for all it did. I gave up attempting to get off it long ago. However, as I get older (46) and begin to suffer from various health issues, I realize the need to take much better care of myself and the importance of ridding myself with issues like the nasal spray. I typed into google “nasal spray addiction” and was led to a site for Rhinostat(as well as this site) – am wondering if anyone here has tried it and if so, if it was helpful? I’m sure someone mentions it somewhere within the over 400 comments but am lazy and hoping someone will respond to my comment so I don’t have to read through all 400+ to get my answer. LOL
    PS. Love the idea of doing it one nostril at a time, just not sure I could take the pressure of the non squirted nostril long enough, and then knowing I’d have to go through it all again with the other nostril seems too daunting. However, if I’m ever in a position where I don’t have to worry about going to work for a couple of weeks I will more than likely give it a try and will post results here.

    • Hi there,

      I don’t have any personal experience with Rhinostat, however I can tell you that (as per doctor’s information), the only purely effective way to get off of the nose spray is to do it cold turkey. Given the nature of the drug that is in the nose spray, it is the nose spray itself which creates rebound congestion. To give yourself any amount of nose spray (whether it is a tiny amount or diluted with saline), your nose and sinuses are still being given the very drug that is creating your problem. You can use the diluted technique however once you reach the point of not being able to dilute any further, you will still be left with having to just cut it cold turkey. The saline will not replace the drug… it just dilutes it. But as soon as you have no more nose spray, you’re going to be faced with dealing with the effects of rebound congestion, and so you will have to just go cold turkey. Mid as well safe yourself the month that Rhiostat claims to take to work, and just cut it cold turkey from the start. I went off nose spray cold turkey and yes, it was hard, but it was extremely effective and I was totally off the spray within just a few days.

      • Rhinostat worked for me … it only took a few weeks and I didn’t even finish the bottle! I would say it’s worth a shot. I had tried cold turkey before that and had nightmares of suffocating!

        I’m currently on round 2 of Rhinostat (a year later) because I went back to Afrin during a sinus infection. Totallly my fault – I knew better! I’m a music teacher and can’t stand having dry mouth and stuffy nose. I thought that if all else failed I’d just do Rhinostat again. I wish I’d been stronger, but at least the stuff works.

        • I used the Rhinostat system and have been off the afrin for a few months now. It worked great for me! I tried cold turkey and it just didn’t work. I also tried the “one nostril at a time” thing with no luck – the pressure on one side drove me crazy. I loved the Rhinostat system because I didn’t have to suffer through nights of not being able to breathe. For the first week using Rhinostat, I did have a couple of stuffy days, but not so bad I couldn’t breathe. And now, looking back, I’m so thankful to be off the nose spray… I would have paid $200 for the Rhinostat to have my life back again! One thing I did differently with the rhinostat… I was using afrin severe congestion which is mentholated and has a fine mist spray. Rhinostat uses a dropper, which I couldn’t get used to and I needed the menthol. So I bought a new bottle of my normal afrin. I used rhinostat’s bottle to measure the afrin and dumped the rest out. I used their diluting solution as directed. Then I put it in my afrin bottle so I had the fine mist spray still. They say not to do it in the directions… but it worked fine for me.

          Good luck! You CAN kick the nose spray addiction!!!

  269. Hi everyone,
    And best wishes to all who are struggling to beat this horrible addiction. I am in the midst of it now and let me tell you where I’m at:

    First off, I’ve got the double tap of addiction in that I am definitely and alcoholic and definitely an Afrin addict. Over the last year I’ve tried to get off the Afrin but my hangovers are just too brutal to go without being able to breathe. I tried the one nostril for a while but I reached for the nose juice during one of my hangovers and was back on it again. Not to mention that my drinking zaps any willpower I have so I knew the both had to go. So I decided to go cold turkey on these addictions and by the second day I was back on Afrin but not on alcohol…., Afrin is definitely harder to quit than drinking.

    I went seven days without a drink and then decided to start the Afrin one nostril withdrawal, but the panic attacks made me reach for the bottle (whiskey) and the drinking seemed to plug up the good nostril too. What else could I do but try again? So, I started using the Afrin in just my left nostril (because my right one seems worse) and did that for 7 days. And those were the worst days I could imagine. Being plugged on one side gave me vertigo and headaches and felt like concrete was poured into my right sinus. But I kept telling myself that it was better than having both nostrils plugged. But I became irritable with the situation and during the last two days I had 5 beers to try and get some sleep…, and that didn’t help much either: it seemed to make the good nostril worse. Although after 7 days the poured concrete feeling has dissipated a little and the right sinus has opened up on occasion.

    Ironically, my alcohol withdrawal only took like 3 days and consisted of the shakes, headache, nausea, and hot and cold sweats.., and really red irritated eyeballs. But most of that has subsided now so I’m really only battling the Afrin at this time. After the beer experiment I realize that to quit Afrin means to quit alcohol, so whatever that entails I am ready to do it. And after all the Afrin addiction is really a microcosm of my alcoholism…, a vicious cycle!!!

    So about a day and a half ago I stopped dosing the left nostril and what followed was just madness. I had expected the healed nostril to lend me some ease but both nostrils plugged totally. This has to be the worst feeling a person can live through…, it’s like you are drowning and can’t get enough air. And then the pressure on the sinuses causes debilitating headaches. I also was trying the Advil congestion relief tablets but they had no effect. Nyquil…, no effect. Sudafed.., no effect. Morning showers would loosen the phlegm enough so I could blow my nose but then both nostrils plugged right back up instantaneously.

    I paced…, I was panicked…, I looked towards the Afrin bottle but knew I couldn’t. But there is a bright spot.., every now and then the right nostril will open up and I can breathe a little so that gives me hope and I’m stuck to accepting that I’ll have to be plugged for a while. I’m on day two now and I’m totally plugged right now except that there is a little relief in the right nostril. I have noticed that when I’m walking around at work and exerting myself that both nostrils will clear for a while, only to plug again minutes later when I stop. But those 10 or 15 minutes of real breathing are worth more than gold. It seems like right now I’m cycling between a minimal clearing in the right nostril and it being plugged…, but there IS SOME CLEARING.

    I can see that for the next few days I’m going to be miserable but I’ve got to weather the storm. What good would it do to reach for either of the evil liquids I am damaged from? I’m getting off work now and going home and I’ll continue to stay sober and just talk myself through the totally plugged nose. I have seen some clearing so there is a bright spot on the horizon…, and that is the sun rising on a new life free from Afrin. When it’s over I plan on writing the manufactures and the Attorney General on the dangers of this medication and how totally enraged I am that there aren’t more controls on them. This is total bull#*&@!!

    My heart goes out to all of you.., and all I can say is stay the course. I know we can do it!!

    Ken J

  270. have just spent most of the evening reading through all these comments. i too, had no idea that afrin was so dangerous and addictive. i started using it during a head cold. that was 4 months ago.
    the addiction and rebound effects are bad enough… but here is another side effect that people may be unaware of. my blood pressure has spiked to crisis levels for the last 2 weeks. my last readings were 208 over 106. that is stroke level blood pressure.
    you can indeed die from this terrible afrin. the doctor told me today to stop it immediately. cold turkey.
    as i sit here typing this, i am breathing through my mouth. and i know i will have a terrible night. but 2 nights ago i sat in a chair with my heart pounding in arrhythmia and blood pressure so high it could have killed me. it was saturday night. i simply sat in the chair too frozen with fear to even call 911. i am a widow and live alone. i will NEVER touch that stuff again. many of you are so young you aren’t thinking in terms of blood pressure. but this drug can raise it no matter what your age. so beware. it is more than mere discomfort. it could very well kill you.
    drinking cold water through the night has been helping me. i am going to make this. it just takes courage. it takes wanting to live. even if it means having to breathe through your mouth for however long it takes. the doctor said i have no choice.
    i was glad to stumble upon this site. there is always hope in good communication. bless us all, every one!

  271. Day 2

    You know…, what with quitting alcohol and Afrin at the same time I got mixed up on my days. I’m currently on the second day with no nasal spray whatsoever but closing in on three. I also work night shift so that throws you off when calculating days. Anyway, it’s been a miserable two days. The first day was like an eternity with both nostrils plugged continuously and having to breathe through my mouth. I think the right nostril only cleared like twice that day for maybe ten minutes each time. When I went to bed the right nostril eased again enough to get to sleep, but I only slept a few hours and then woke to two completely clogged passages. The good part is that I have to work and working takes my mind off it for short stretches of time. The last time I tried to quit I was at home for a week (I work 7 on, 7 off), and let me tell you that your focused on it all the time. It is definitely better being at work and doing physical labor. When you get sweating a nostril will open from time to time providing a little ease.

    Day two probably sucked worst than day one, not in the fact that the nostrils were plugged all the way up more, but in the fact that my moral was suffering and I began thinking that there would be no end to this. The true fact is that late in the second day I had two great sessions of both nostrils clear which lasted like 20 to 30 minutes each. Man, I savored those like they were gifts from above. But I’m still getting totally plugged up in both nostrils. There is hope though and possibly an end to the madness. If I look at the last 48 hours I realize that it has got better…, albeit very slowly. But think about how your body heals from a sprain.., swelling takes a good 3 to 4 days to go down. And that is what I have…, swelling. Also, I have to keep a positive attitude and focus on the fact that our bodies do self heal. It’s a fact, and if we stop irritating the area it will eventually heal…, whether that be a rash, a cut, or Grand Coulee Dam nose.

    I was sucking down Halls cherry lozenges like crazy, and using Nyquil to get to sleep, but at this point I have discontinued all products and am trying to stick with only natural help.., like hot soups, hot showers, etc. Did I mention that I have tinnitus and the plugged up nostrils make the ringing much worse? I did find a nice little trick though…, when both my nostrils are plugged my ears will plug up when I swallow and it can give you vertigo and dizziness…, not to mention more madness trying to unplug them while your nose is full of Quickcrete and its set. It’s like your skull is in a vacuum and it’s trying to pull in through your ears…, a very unnatural feeling.

    I will report back in at the end of day three without the evil nose liquid but I want to end by giving a real assessment of my feelings. The reason I used Afrin in the first place was because I hate it when my sinuses are plugged or if my ears are plugged, and Afrin lets me breathe and unplug my ears at will. But to live through both of those things for over a week is taxing my mental and physical capacities to the limits. When Virgil guided Dante through the nine circles of hell, he left out the 10th one…, the one with withdrawals from Afrin nasal spray…, this experience has truly taught me the meaning of those words etched on the gates…, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”….,

    • Day 3

      Okay, day three of no spray whatsoever…, this has to be the day of disheartening: The day of demoralization: The day of reckoning. Here I thought day three would find me happily breathing normally with only a few slight plugs but it in fact is exactly the opposite. It is almost worse than day two. I only slept 4 hours again and lay in bed for hours later trying to get back to sleep. Both nostrils stayed closed the whole time I was home. After I showered I blew my nose like three times and then it totally swelled shut. But when I got to work I did get some time when both nostrils opened and I was able to breathe…, once again this was when I was exerting myself. I did sneeze for the first time today so that has to mean something…, like I’m getting some air.

      If there were ever a time that I am ready to get the spray and stop this madness, it is today. I still have the half empty bottle of Afrin too, but I have to stay the course. Last time I tried to stop I caved in at day two without spray and grabbed the bottle and drew hard on each nostril like 4 times and then when they finally opened a little I snorted who knows how many shots into my face until I was so clear I could breathe. But less than a week later I was back at the same spot: bottles at home.., empties in the trash…, bottle in the car…, in my pocket.., at work in my desk…, having to suck on that bottle every 2 to 3 hours and take like six shots in each nostril…, sneezing sometimes 7 or 8 times in a row…, sneaking out of meetings to dose up so I don’t swell shut in front of everyone…, first thing before bed…, first thing when I get up….,

      That of course is no way to live and I have to be focused on changing that instead of this nasal nightmare I currently find myself lost in. All I can hope is that day three gets better. My fear is that it will be the same on day 4. I don’t know how long I can take this without caving in again and freeing myself with the Afrin bottle again. I must stay the course!!!

      • Day 4

        So, where am I at with my nasal nightmare?…, my nose’s last stand?…, my lack of olfactory?…, Let’s do the good news, bad news thing…, first the bad news: I still only slept 4 hours and lay in bed for 3 more trying to get back to sleep. Both nostrils were pretty much plugged, but one or the other would clear for a few minutes here and there and then go back to plugged. If I lay on my left side, my right nostril would go in and out…., but mostly plugged all the time…., if I lay on my right side, same thing with the left nostril. So even though I stopped using Afrin on one nostril for over 7 days, it’s not much better than the other one. I’m even plugged as I sit here typing this. Also, for most of day three I was plugged up too.

        Now for the good news…, by the end of day three I had one occasion where both nostrils were open for almost 4 hours. This is a total record and shows that slowly my sinuses are healing from that etching fluid that comes in the Afrin bottle. And this gives me hope that I will finally be able to breathe. During the last 6 months that I’ve been using this stuff I never noticed that my sense of smell was minimal. But once I stopped using it I noticed I had no sense of smell whatsoever. When I put cologne on this morning I couldn’t smell it at all. It will be so nice when my sinuses heal and I am once again able to smell things. I guess this may go on 5 or 6 days until I actually get a full day of breathing normally. I am so sick of breathing through my mouth…, it has taken all my willpower to not reach for the Afrin bottle again. I vow that if I ever get a cold or nasal infection again that I will not use these nose sprays and only use natural remedies. I never want to go through this madness again.

        I know it’s my fault that I continued to use Afrin for so long, but it was a vicious cycle…, if I stopped using it I would plug up, so I would use it to breathe, until I got plugged up again, and so on. All I can say is that this has been the worst thing I have gone through that I can remember. I’ll keep you up to date of my progress.

        • How to quit nasal spray addiction in about 10 days!

          This is 100% effective but it isn’t pretty. Good luck, and remember: stay the course!

          First two days —- Buy a bottle of Neo-Synephrine. This has only a .05% solution and so is 50% of what you have been using. Use this for two days in both nostrils: dose up before you go to bed and then during the day wait as long as you can until you dose again. Try to go as long as you can before snorting up. This will begin to wean your nasal passages from the oxymetazoline (the main ingredient in all nasal sprays).

          Next four days —- Stop using the spray in one nostril and only dose up the other nostril. I stopped on my right side first because it seemed the worst one, but it doesn’t matter which one. You will never use spray in this nostril again. Dose the other nostril as before: right at bedtime and then wait as long as humanly possible to dose again. But don’t miss a dose! If both of your passages get clogged, you will be so miserable you will likely give up and snort into both holes.

          Last four days —- this is where angels fear to tread! Stop dosing completely and get ready for the worst ride of your emotional life. If you are lucky your passages will begin to open for brief periods on day two…, which means you only had to endure one full day of completely plugged torture. For the rest of us it will be until day three that the passages begin to open. This means three full days of madness, wanting to end the misery by crawling back to the Afrin. By the end of day three you will have moments of open nostrils, sometimes left, sometimes right…, for brief periods of time.., 10 to 15 minutes. As the mucus membranes heal the time begins to get longer and longer, and you will even experience times when both passages are open…, God, what a relief. But it will be short lived and you will totally plug again and wonder if this will ever end. It will, it just will do it slowly. By the end of day 4 (or worst case scenario 5 to 7 days!) you will be having periods of up to an hour, a few times a day and you will finally realize that you are off the juice and things will be back to normal soon.

          That’s it. You are now off and just need a week or more to heal completely, but you can handle it now and are in control. So here are a few notes to remember:

          -Stay hydrated!! You need to keep a lot of water in your body to allow your mucus membranes to ooze and heal. If you are dehydrated the liquid up in your sinuses will thicken and make your life much more miserable (if that’s even possible.., you will see what I mean). Drink lots of water, eat hot soups, ixnay on the coffee until this is over. Take hot showers, soak in the tub, sit in a pool…, anything to keep your body soaking up water.

          -Try other meds!! I used Halls cherry lozenges, Sudafed, Nyquil, Advil Congestion Relief in an attempt to help the nasal passages open. Nothing really helped me but who knows, maybe on some little level it helped to open the passages for the 10 minutes they did open. By the end of day 8 I would suggest cutting everything out though.., just to finish up healing normally.

          -Don’t irritate the passages!! Try to do the very least in irritating your nasal passages. Stay away from any dusty environments, don’t try to flush them out with liquids, blow your nose sparingly (although for the first two days off the spray you can blow with all your might, until you almost pass out, and still not blast through the wall-o-snot.

          -Use foam ear plugs!! Once you are on one nostril at a time or when you go full nothing, use these ear plugs as they lessen the feeling you get with the plugged ears. It seemed to help my dizzines