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579469 tn?1311709150
Nose Spray Addiction
So, I've decided to clean house.    

I've kicked my Soma addiction back in June, I am kicking my Hydro addiction this week (day 3) and now I want to.......kick my nose spray addiction.  Yes.  I am addicted to Afrin nose spray.  I have been addicted for probably 5 years or more.  Problem is I have BAD seasonal allergies.  From March to June I am a complete mess.  But, July through Feb I'm ok, but can't put the spray down.  I stock up on Afrin like it's the end of the world!!  Out of all my addictions, this one has to be the most....embarrassing.

Anyway, my question is.....have any of you on this board been addicted to nose spray?  I don't even know where to start to kick this bad habit.  How long did it take you to get better?  What was your method for recover?   What was your remedy?

Thanks!
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28 Answers
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175734 tn?1225138040
Wow....I had a problem with afrin too. It shrinks the blood vessels in your nose and so helps you breath.....The more you use it the more you need and then you have stretched the blood vesels out so much that (like and old pair of socks) they will not go back.

I went to doctor b/c my wife couldnt take the nose problems i was having and he said it looks like a shotgun went off in your nose. I snore real bad.

I have not used afrin in a long time and im not real sure why... I do know this...when i get a bottle i spray out like half of it and then add water. That seems to really help.
I think i kinda used this method to taper down. Its been about a year now.
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Good post! I have been addicted to afrin nose spay off and on for over 10 years.I too have bad allergies. I can't not stand my nose stuffed up at all. My grandpa , dad, and brother all have been addicted to 4-way nose spray. They don't seem to plan on stopping. I am currently using the afrin nose spray again b/c I got sick and had a stuffed up nose. I also can't sleep with my nose just a little stuffed up. The way to get off it is to go to your primary care or allergist or ear nose and throat doctor. They will give you a strong steriod shot and a steriod nose spray such as nasonex, rhinocort, or flonase....they have many more. The allery spray they have doesn't work for me. I use Flonase 2 puffs 2x a day. So I hardly use the afrin. If you do the steriod shot, steriod nose spray, it will get you off of it in about a week or so. If you can't take it , my doc told me to take a cu tip and put a lil afrin on it and put it up your nose to up at the top and I did that and I got off of it many times doing that. It's just everythime I get a cold with a bad stuffy nose I get hooked back on the afrin again. Im trying to get off again. I know its a pain and embarassing using the afrin...well it is for me. You can do it! ?Your primary care or the docs will know what to do. You will be fine. Oh and everytime the doc looks up my nose...lol....he's like omg its a mess but then it gets back to normal!
Good luck sweetie!
Shell
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579469 tn?1311709150
Wow!!  I'm not the only one!!!   You know what's the most embarrassing is feeling like I have to use it everywhere I go.  I've "shot up" in restaurants, at work, at family events, amusement parks, you name it.   HOW EMBARRASSING!  

So, I already have a prescription for Flonase....but need to get it filled.  I fell off the Flonase wagon.  Got tired of shooting two sprays in my nose.  lol  I will restart the Flonase and talk to my doc about possible steroid pills if she deems it necessary.  C/t SCARES me to death!!!  

Good luck to you too Shellbell.  

Coolio, I am so jealous!!!  lol   Tapering sounds smart.
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352798 tn?1399301754
Flonase can irritate if used too often. When your nose plugs up, do some pushups. It will open the nose up. Use a nasal rinse with 1 cup warm water and 1/4tsp plain salt (no iodine) I use a baby's nose syringe and gently rinse out the nasal cavities.
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352798 tn?1399301754
Oh and what you are experiencing is called nasal rebound. When you spray, your nose clears but then the body kicks back in to plug the nose back up.
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I am just curious I don't know what nose spray feels like I was wondering what it makes you feel like that keeps u coming back to it? Is it like take pills? Do you get a I feel hops feeling? And I wish yous the best of luck stoping. I'm clean 2 week now from percs.
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352798 tn?1399301754
For me it was the freedom to breath clearly. No high just clear nasal passages. Mine were/are usually plugged. It isn't a true addiction but rather, the more you use it the less effective it becomes or it just doesn't last as long.
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210982 tn?1280987495
This is a new one to me...I am curious...what is the addiction? Does it give you a high? I have just never heard of this..

Thanks...I do hope you get thru this and I am sorry this is so tough for you..keep us posted
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352798 tn?1399301754
Look at my post above you.
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579469 tn?1311709150
About Nose Sprays:

There's absolutely no high when using nose spray.  What you get is clear wide-open nasal passages.  Nasal spray is a God-send when you have a bad cold or allergies and you can't breathe.  The directions say only use 3-4 days or so.  Beyond that you start to develop a physical addiction. This means that abrupt cessation results in your nasal passages swelling shut for up to 4 - 8 days or so with virtually no relief until they open back up naturally again, i.e. breathing through your mouth for about a week, day and night.  NO.  FUN.  You can get migraines and bad headaches from having swollen nasal passages.  You're uncomfortable in your head for about a week.  There's no nausea or or anything like that.  Your sinuses are going through physical withdrawals.
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579469 tn?1311709150
Hey scaredmommie,

Congratulations on two weeks clean!!! Wow!!  I am going on day 4 of quitting Hydros.  I quit soma in June.  The w/d's were 1000 times worse than the hydro w/d's.  Good luck to you, and everyone on this board!!  What a great place!
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Well I never tried the steriod pills b/c I hate the side effects and the way they make me feel. Most every doctor that Ive been to for the past 15 years will give you a steriod shot or corsizone...spelled wrong..bascially the same thing. The steriod shot will help big time with the swelling of the nose for about 2 to 4 days, depends on the person. Flonase and all the steriod inhalers help so much and the doctor will definatly give you that. yeah and just like GoingTo MakeIt said the Afrin,4-way nose sprays, etc. will give you a rebound effect and thats why people get addicted to them....like me...everytime I get a cold or allergies. I can not stand having a severely stuffed nose. Oh and yes using O/C saltwater spray helps clear things out up there too. Ive gotten off it many times and I CAN NOT STAND having a stuffy nose at all. Im almost off the afrin now. Yea! Good luck to everyone getiing off the nose spray!
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579469 tn?1311709150
I'm the same way....I can't stand not breathing though my nose.  I feel like I'm suffocating.  It's just awful.

Never had a problem with steroids.  Had to take it twice in my life in the last 2 years.  Once for some really bad swelling on my face and again from getting hives from penicillin (now I have to wear a medical bracelet for penicillin allergies).

***** to be me. lol
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372416 tn?1242669352
I had nose spray addiction in my teens and didn't even know it.

I just thought I had severe stopped up nose.  I was using spray for about a year, when my mother finally sent me to a doctor.

I couldn't beleive that my problem was the nose spray.  But I did as the doctor said....throw it away, and in less than 10 days I was all clear!

It's hard to put it away without sounding like you speak w/a hot potatoe in your mouth, but it'll be worth it!

Best Wishes,
Pamela
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Hey sparkie,
lol Im allergic to pennicillin too and sulfur anti-biotics. I broke out in hives when I was a baby from pennicillin and my doctor said when I was 17 and I had mono with a bad throat infection, they tried me on it again b/c sometimes you can grow out of it. Nope i didn't. OMG, I had these horrible little red , itching bumps all over my body for over a month...so embarassing, especially being a teenager with a cute bf...lol. It's a shame b/c pennicillin is such a good anti-biotic. I never thought about wearing a med. bracelet. Need to get one. I just remembered that my face was swollen from the mono and the hives and I had to re-take my senior pics 3 times b/c I was so swollen in the face. the first 2 looked horrible and then my 3rd take it was night and day...perfect pic! But, my yearbook pic has the first one so I taped my good one over it..lol. So glad your doing well. Don't worry you will be fine getting off the nose spray. I am personally having now severe allergies from the debris and everything being stirred up in the air from GUSTAV. So I am taking the Afrin just a little bit with allegra -D and Flonase. Oh yeah , get some allegra-D too. That will help you wean off the nose spray too. Forgot about that one.
So proud of you! Good luck! PM if you every need anything!
Shell
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579469 tn?1311709150
WOW!  My sister has severe allergies to sulfates.  She has to watch everything she eats and uses on her body (detergent, soap, shampoo, perfume, etc.)  She had an allergic reaction to penicillin years ago and the doc put her on a sulfer based antibiotic.  She developed a worse reaction to that than the penicillin.  Her life has never been the same since.  

When I had my allergic reaction to penicillin this past winter, the ER doc (I was in ER at 2am)  prescribed sulfer based antibiotics even after I told him what happened to my sister.  He prescribed them anyway.  I never had the script filled.  Grrr.  I wanted to throw it in his face.

So what were we talking about?

Oh, nose sprays. lol

So, I ordered a...don't laugh...nose spray taper system called Rhinostat.  Ever heard of it?  It's supposed to slowwwwly taper you from your nose spray to a placebo water solution.   I think it's a 30 day program.  Yeah, that's a long time, but I'm a BIG FAT WIMP.   :)  
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great post!

i recently got hooked on the stuff (the last month) and YES, it feels like if i don't use it now i can't breathe... and the allergies right now are heinous everywhere.  

thank you for the good advice!!

and again to those who asked - there is no high.  it just really ***** when you can't breathe thru your nose...
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I just recenetly in the past 5 years b/c allergic to sulfur.Yeah its not fair b/c we can only take certain anti-biotics that are strong and expensive. I know of the steriod nose spray Rhinocort...maybe its the generic. I know Rhinocort which is a steriod nose inhaler works awesome, its similiar to flonase, nasonex, etc. You will get releif in a week or so. With my steriod shot and allegra d, flonase and putting a cu-tip  way up my nose with a little afrin on it helped big time. I am a Big baby too and I got off it in less than a week. I just read about Rhinostat and its basicly afrin diluted with saline sloution. A longer wean. Its does say you can use a steriod nasal inhaler with it, which would probably get you off faster. I couldn't wait 30 days or even 2 weeks personally. But good luck to you!
I hope its works well for you. ps.I am scared to death of shots but my nose and severe congestion was so bad , I said do it....they can put lidiocaine in the shot and you barely feel it. I basicly helps you big time with the first few bad days. If I can get off it, you can too. Well Ive gotten off it a bunch of times b/c I always have to use the afrin when I have cold, severe sinus infections and BAD allergies. I am proud of you!
Again good luck!!!
Shell
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hi guys i thinki may have the same thing i'm very addicted to nasal sprays had a real bad sinus infection that will not go away been to the ear nose and thoat doc  have to go on monday and take a ct scan .oh the first doc said that he saw a nasal polyp but the last doc didn't, i'm waiting to have my ct scan to see what he see but anyway the  addiction is very bad i need the spray all day and nite
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653923 tn?1225948192
Years ago, I had an afrin issue, but my dr said it was OCD?? Who knows. I now use a neti pot daily, it looks like an actual tea pot, it is filled with saline solution, you pour it in one nostril and it runs out the other. Clears up all my allergies. I have been using this for 2 years. You can get them at walgreens. It's just salt water... Thought this might help
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