Tried or prescribed Decongestants for Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)? Share your experience. Have you?
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Decongestants are all related to adrenaline (epinephrine). Some are available topically (eg, nose sprays and eye drops), and others are taken by mouth. Because they can act as mild stimulants, they are often paired with antihistamines to counteract the sedative effect of antihistamines.
Common decongestants include:
The last two on the list, naphazoline and oxymetazoline, are often found in eye drops.
Possible side effects of decongestants include:
- Over-stimulation, such as nervousness and insomnia
- Raised blood pressure
- Rebound congestion—If these drugs are used for long periods of time, membranes get used to the effects, so that stopping the medication produces the swelling and congestion that was originally being treated. This is a common problem with nose drops and sprays.
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