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Afrin Nose Spray & Smell Loss
I've got a bit of a cold and it's allergy/pollen season here in Atlanta so that's not helping either, but I have used Afrin very sparingly over the past couple of days to help with symptoms. I have not used Zicam spray, I've read those can cause damage to olfactory nerves. I did notice yesterday that my sense of smell was gone although I could still breathe through my nose (still a bit congested, but able to breathe). My question is, has Afrin ever been known to cause loss of smell? Is this a temporary thing just due to sinus inflammation or has the Afrin permanently damaged something? I'm a 28 year old male and I've never experienced such a drastic loss of smell. Any help?
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My Mom and I used Afrin around Thanksgiving 2007.  To date, neither one of us can smell or taste much of anything.  Has your smell and taste returned?  We have both been to several doctors and none can find anything wrong.  They claim it is not the Afrin, but how do they know? We are looking for others with the same problem and asking if you have found a solution.
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Did you ever get your sense of smell back? I'm going through the same thing right now. Please let me know!
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I used Afrin spray about three years ago when I had a bad cold.  I didn't read the directions very well and over used it.  Ever since then, I constantly have to blow my nose.  It drains every morning causing me to cough.  I went to my doctor and they tried treating me for allergies.  I never had an issue with allergies in the past.  When nothing worked, I gave up and thought it would just go away.  It didn't.  I have noticed that I can't smell things as well as I used to.  I personally believe I may have damaged my nose using this spray.  I regret ever picking it up off the shelf.  I have thought about seeing a nose and throat specialist, but am afraid of the costs that might add up to.  This may be the only way to go about it.  My doctor did say my septim was swollen.  That is why they thought allergies, but I tried everything out there for that and none worked.  The lack of smell may be causing issues with your taste buds, but I bet the problem is your nose.
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I have used Afrin for two days now (original formula) and I can not smell or taste ANYTHING AT ALL.  I found you by doing a search to see if anyone else has had the same problem.  I hope it goes away when it wears off, but after reading your post (and literally being unable to taste or smell even 12 hours after the last dose) I'm worried it may be more permanent.  Will keep you posted.
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I used Afrin a couple days ago. One day after using it, I realized that I could not taste my food although my nose was clear. I figured it was just temporary and would return. Now, two days later, as I was just cleaning some old moldy food out of the refridgerator, I realized that I didn't smell a thing. Nothing. This has never happened to me previously. And I, too, found this forum by searching on Afrin and "olafactory loss". I am very sure it is related to the Afrin. Before I used the Afrin, I could taste food even with a stuffy nose. Now, nothing. Clearly I am not the only one with this problem and it seems unreasonable that this is all a coincidence. I am going to book an appointment with an ENT specialist as soon as possible. I will post updates as I have them and I hope that everyone else will do the same.
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First off, are you saying you haven't been able to smell or taste anything since Nov. 2007? If so, that is absolutely terrible!

I cannot smell or taste anything, either. I used an Afrin-comparable product by CVS (same ingredient: Oxymetazoline HCl 0.05%) on Friday, January 8th, 2010, to treat sinus congestion and by the next day noticed that I couldn't really smell or taste anything. I continued using the medicine on Saturday, following directions carefully, skipped treatment on Sunday because I thought I was getting better, and used it again this morning because I thought I wasn't really getting any better. I smell nothing and taste nothing.

I didn't exceed the recommended dosage. I used it once a day (three sprays per nostril) for a total of three days. I am very concerned that this product may have killed my senses of smell and taste. Never have I thought that something like this would happen from medicine that's supposed to help.

I sincerely hope that there is a solution available. Please let me know if you hear of one. Thanks.
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I am 45 year old female never have used a nose spray until ziacam ads were all over tv.  I used it during a cold. I have loss some of my sense of smell.  sense then everytime I get a cold, my sinus locks up. I used Afrin five days and went to the doctor on 02/05/2010
the DR told me not to used the afrin anymore and prescribed steriods med. I am worried that once again I have loss my sense of smell.




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How do you feel now? I am having the same issue with Afrin right now. Does your sense come back?
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I'm following up with my situation and am happy to report that my senses of smell and taste returned after about a week and a half. It took prayers, and using a saline spray with aloe to promote healing in the nostrils. I'm not making any claims here that this is the solution for everyone. It may not work for you. Always seek professional help if you're not getting any better.
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I just googled afrin smell loss because I've used it for the last three days and noticed that my smell and taste were virtually gone.  I'm throwing this stuff away and am pretty concerned this could be permanent as I read through the posts.  Has any contacted afrin about this?
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I am currently getting over a bad signus and respitory infection. I saw the commercials and immediately had my boyfriend pick some up. After using it I noticed I couldn't smell much but my nose was clear. At first I ignored it but then realized I couldn't smell lotion hair shampoo or even my rabbits neglected litter box as I'm sick. I started feeling better and made my boyfriend some dinner and I couldn't smell anything and had a hard time tasting it too. I had to think about what I was eating to recognize it. It was hard seasoning and telling what was done. I'm a chef!! This is terrible! I haven't returned to work yet and am scared of what will happen when I do. Please someone let me know if they contact afrin.

Thank you,
A scared chef
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1222662 tn?1266947881
I am not professional chef - but I may as well be - I am horrified! Not being able to cook for my family, is depressing me.

I used Oxymetazoline once two days ago and still can not smell or taste. I can not tell if my baby has a soiled diaper or if my house is on fire. I am so scared and so grateful for pmjfrocks posting that after some time and nose flushing, the senses returned.  I pray that all of us will heal. I feel strongly that people should know about this. Clearly not everyone has this problem, but enough of us do. I never saw a warning on this label stating that you may lose your sense of smell and tatse, if I had, I never would have tried it.

Good luck everyone

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I have an one-year-old so I know what you're talking about when you say you can't smell your baby's diaper.

Hopefully, your senses will return --- hopefully everyone's senses will return. Have you tried using a saline spray with aloe yet? I used it once a day for a week and I believe it was integral to getting my senses back --- but not without a prayer, of course.

Because of the frequency of these kinds of reports, I'm wondering whether we should file a formal complaint to the FDA or something. This side effect we all had or are having is not mentioned as a possible side effect at all on the label. So, for that reason alone, I believe we should file formal complaints. Go to https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm to file your complaints with the FDA. I'm going to do it right now.
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I filed a complaint, it was easy, thanks for the information.
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I completely lost the sense of smell and taste after the second dose of Afrin, which was 10 hours apart from the 1st one.

When I asked my doctor about this side affect he said did not know anything about it and my loss of smell could be from the cold itself. However the pharmacist knew well about this side effect and told me it was temporary and it should take a couple days for me to regain senses.

It took 5 days when I firs noticed I could smell Listerine again.
Now a week later my sense of smell and taste is almost normal.

I feel lucky I did not pick Zicam as this one may cause permanent damage.

Zicam Maker Settles Lawsuit Over Users' Loss Of Smell

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/6279576/detail.html

I would like this side effect listed as a common one.
May be to write to FDA?
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My mom and I have still not regained our loss of smell and taste as of this date, and since all the doctors that examined us refused to acknowledge that Afrin was the cause, we took their word for it, and just went on with life, ignoring the fact that we had no sense of smell or taste.  Obviously with all of these recent posts, we were not imagining that Afrin was the cause. I even filed a complaint with the FDA when this first happened, and received NO REPLY. After reading some of the solutions posted, my Mom and I are both going to run out and buy some saline with aloe and start praying.  We will let you know . . .
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I feel so bad for you. I can't imagine not being able to smell since 2007.

Yes, please try the saline spray with aloe method. Don't know if it'll work since it's been so long, but you never know. I used Ayr's Saline Nasal Gel with Aloe. Dose is one spray per nostril daily. I used it for like a week and a half before my senses returned. Yours may take longer since it's been several years. Check to make sure that you don't exceed the duration of use.

And, definitely pray about it.

And, I would most certainly complain to FDA, to the manufacturer, to the news, etc. I've already filed a formal complaint to the FDA through their online complaint form. It's easy to fill out. Won't take long.
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Dear pmjifrocks:

Thank you for your suggestions and your kind thoughts.  My Mom is buying her Ayr's with Aloe as I write this message, and I will be purchasing mine tomorrow.  We will hope and PRAY for the best. We will let you know if it works!
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I have had no sense of smell or taste for almost 2 years now.  Used Afrin for two days, twice a day.  My senses are gone and according to my ENT, permanantly...and the only thing he could suggest was make sure i have smoke and carbon monixide detectors in the house.  I cant smell food, flowers, or my grandchildren after they have had a bath...BUT i also can't smell messy diapers (which could be a good thing) and i can't smell the farmers spraying their fields....but i would gladly smell all of that if given the chance.. before you use afrin or zicam or ANY nose spray, check with your doctor...
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Hello Afrin Users,

I used Afrin for two days (carefully following directions) and then got on a plane with a lingering sinus infection.  I got off the plane and quickly realized I had zero smell or taste even though I could breathe thru my nose easily.  I googled Afrin and smell loss and FLIPPED OUT!  I stopped using Afrin immediately, BUT DID REGAIN MY SMELL AND TASTE 36hrs later.  Maybe not 100%, but at least 80%.  I would never use Afrin again nor any product up your nose, it is not worth playing with such important senses!!  But, if you did use Afrin, and now can't smell or taste a thing (I put my nose up to nail polish remover and couldn't tell if it was water or the remover!), there is hope.  Stay positive, and give your body a chance to heal.  AND NEVER USE AFRIN AGAIN!!!
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I lost my sense of smell and taste for a whole week after using Afrin nasal spray. I do not wish to ever go through that again. I thought at first it was because of my cold but realized after using the spray it had to do with that. I was so scared after reading that some people have never regained their sense of smell that I would never have mine return. Not being able to taste is such an awful experience as well as not being able to smell. I hope my sense of taste and smell come back completely but as of right now its slowly coming back. Such scary experience. I did use the Ayr Saline Nasal Gel with Aloe after reading that it may help bring back my sense of smell. I'm not exactly sure if it had anything to do with it but I didn't think it would hurt to try it. Good luck to all those who read this and I hope more people realize before actually using Afrin that they are better off without it.
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1061534 tn?1276705661
Why would you conclude that the Afrin was the reason for the loss of the sense of smell?  It has already been well established that certain viruses can cause anosmia, while anosmia has not been shown to be associated with vasoconstrictors.  Viruses have a plausible mechanism of action, the vasoconstrictors do not.  Correlation does not, necessarily, equal causation.
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What about the documented effects of zicam that got recalled?  Couldn't this be a similar situation just with a different form of medication?
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