1 What is Afrin?

Brand: Afrin, 4-Way Long Lasting, Duramist Plus, Duration, Genasal, Mucinex Full Force, Mucinex Moisture Smart, Nasacon, Nasin, Neo-Synephrine 12 Hour, Nostrilla, NRS-Nasal Relief, Sinarest Nasal, Vicks Sinex 12 Hour

Generic: Oxymetazoline

Afrin is a drug which is used for the relief of nasal stuffiness and congestion, which can be caused by hay fever, cold or sinusitis.

This medicine can also be used for other conditions as well and that should be determined by your doctor. This medicine is available without a prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution
  • Spray

2 What To Know Before Using

Every medicine has potential side effects. So, the benefits of a drug should always be weighed against its associated risks. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing Afrin and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age-specific problems: Children can be sensitive to the effects of Oxymetazoline. They are more prone to getting the side effects of the drug. The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, that would limit the use of this drug in old age group.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from like:

  • Dryness in nose
  • Trouble urinating from an enlarged prostate—May make these conditions worse.
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • High blood pressure

3 Proper Usage

If you are using the spray form of Afrin, follow these instructions:

  • First, gently blow your nose.
  • Keep your head upright and spray the medicine into each nostril.
  • Sniff while squeezing the bottle quickly.
  • Blow the nose gently again, if needed and repeat the spray process until the total dose is used.
  • Wash the tip of the spray bottle with hot water.
  • Do not to suck water into the bottle. Then, dry it with a clean tissue.
  • Replace the cap right after use.

In order to avoid the spread of cold or infection, do not use the container for more than one person and throw the container away after your cold is better.

To avoid adverse effects, this drug should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

Missed Dose

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person.

The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider.

Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.


This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Afrin, there are some precautions you must take.

If symptoms do not improve within 7 days or if you also have a high fever, check with your doctor since these signs may mean that you have other medical problems. Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

All drugs have a tendency to cause unwanted effects along with its desired effects. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

Afrin can sometimes cause nasal irritation or burning sensation.

If any of the side effects becomes bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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