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

Afrin nose spray addiction

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.

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.

What?

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.

Dad, writer and photographer. Living the dream with my son Jake. I travel the world making friends and experiences while building my network or properties and friends.

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1,197 comments on “I Have a Nose Spray Addiction – I’m Addicted to Afrin
  1. Mit Tressler says:

    Ok guys. Here is what is working for me. I have one of those NetiPot things. I took the mix and prepared like on the package. I started mixing it about 1/3 NetiPot mix to 2/3 nose spray. Now, I am at 1/2 and 1/2.

    One nice thing is that the rebound is nowhere near as bad as it was and the nose spray lasts effects last much longer than they were lasting. I guess since it’s diluted, it’s not irritating my sinuses as much?

    I don’t know if I will ever 100% be off of it because my allergies are just so bad and if they flare up, I can’t stand not being able to breathe. I do think that I will be able to go down to 3/4 NetiPot mix and 1/4 nose spray.

    If the rebound stops, it would be great just to use a low-dose like that when my allergies flare up.

    (Here is where I was a couple weeks ago… I was using nose spray almost constantly and then the right side of my nose just quit opening up; that’s when I signed on this board. I probably have 20-25 bottle of nose spray. I don’t go anywhere without it and I have spare bottles everywhere: purse, car, work locker, all bathrooms in house, medicine cabinet, makeup bag, etc. I still have nose spray everywhere, but I am down to using it about 3 times a day… morning, late afternoon and then one time during the night.)

    Good Luck to everyone on here!!

    • David says:

      Hey all, come join us on FaceBook. Type in AfrinAddicts. We have a great group of supportive people who have been there, or still are, who can help kick this addiction. See ya there

  2. Joe says:

    Been addicted to afrin for yeas on out ! Stopped for about 3 yrs fought a bad cold and here I am back hooked on afrin again ! It stupid crazy !!! This addiction can drive a person mad!!! Went to the doctors to get help or a referral to see a nose doctor ! Explained the afrin 3day use ! Gave me a prescription of Flonase told me to take 2sprays up each nose and only use my afrin if needed for only three days prior of use with Flonase! ISO i wake up blow my nose and used my afrin to open up my nose and 1/2 hr later would put 2dropes of Flonase afterward ! I did not need any farina for up to 12 hrs ! Day two 22hrs (without afrin ) day 3 24 hrs! It only seem that at night time it’s were my nose gets real congested dropped the afrin completely and will start using Flonase one spray in the nose every morning and anothe spray later in the evening prior to bed time ! It really feels good to breath on your own with out depending on afrin every so hrs! Good luck to all of you dealing with this problem !! And please forgive my speeling

  3. Joe says:

    Been addicted to afrin for yeas on out ! Stopped for about 3 yrs fought a bad cold and here I am back hooked on afrin again ! It stupid crazy !!! This addiction can drive a person mad!!! Went to the doctors to get help or a referral to see a nose doctor ! Explained the afrin 3day use ! Gave me a prescription of Flonase told me to take 2sprays up each nose and only use my afrin if needed for only three days prior of use with Flonase! ISO i wake up blow my nose and used my afrin to open up my nose and 1/2 hr later would put 2dropes of Flonase afterward ! I did not need any farina for up to 12 hrs ! Day two 22hrs (without afrin ) day 3 24 hrs! It only seem that at night time it’s were my nose gets real congested dropped the afrin completely and will start using Flonase one spray in the nose every morning and anothe spray later in the evening prior to bed time ! It really feels good to breath on your own with out depending on afrin every so hrs! Good luck to all of you dealing with this problem !! And please forgive my speeling

  4. Joe says:

    Been addicted to afrin for yeas on out ! Stopped for about 3 yrs fought a bad cold and here I am back hooked on afrin again ! It stupid crazy !!! This addiction can drive a person mad!!! Went to the doctors to get help or a referral to see a nose doctor ! Explained the afrin 3day use ! Gave me a prescription of Flonase told me to take 2sprays up each nose and only use my afrin if needed for only three days prior of use with Flonase! ISO i wake up blow my nose and used my afrin to open up my nose and 1/2 hr later would put 2dropes of Flonase afterward ! I did not need any farina for up to 12 hrs ! Day two 22hrs (without afrin ) day 3 24 hrs! It only seem that at night time it’s were my nose gets real congested dropped the afrin completely and will start using Flonase one spray in the nose every morning and anothe spray later in the evening prior to bed time ! It really feels good to breath on your own with out depending on afrin every so hrs! Good luck to all of you dealing with this problem !! And please forgive my speeling

  5. Joe says:

    Been addicted to afrin for yeas on out ! Stopped for about 3 yrs fought a bad cold and here I am back hooked on afrin again ! It stupid crazy !!! This addiction can drive a person mad!!! Went to the doctors to get help or a referral to see a nose doctor ! Explained the afrin 3day use ! Gave me a prescription of Flonase told me to take 2sprays up each nose and only use my afrin if needed for only three days prior of use with Flonase! ISO i wake up blow my nose and used my afrin to open up my nose and 1/2 hr later would put 2dropes of Flonase afterward ! I did not need any farina for up to 12 hrs ! Day two 22hrs (without afrin ) day 3 24 hrs! It only seem that at night time it’s were my nose gets real congested dropped the afrin completely and will start using Flonase one spray in the nose every morning and anothe spray later in the evening prior to bed time ! It really feels good to breath on your own with out depending on afrin every so hrs! Good luck to all of you dealing with this problem !! And please forgive my speeling

  6. Gen says:

    Dude, I laughed so hard reading this. I thought you would have some dumb, flimsy way to break the addiction. But – NO – you found the PERFECT WAY!!!

    I was addicted for 13 years. Yeap! But I was stupid not to think about the one-nostril-at-a-time method back then so I stopped cold turkey and my nose felt like someone poured concrete inside each nostril. Absolutely zero air in/out. 100% congestion. I suffered this way for 2 days and then I graduated to severe congestion for another 2 days and mild congestion for another 2 and…you get the point.

    When I finally broke the dependency, I breathed a sigh of relief (pun intended).

    Next time I had a cold, I tried to deal with the regular congestion you get. But being sick is miserable enough without congestion on top of it and trying to sleep. So I was back on the Afrin a year later. That time I thought, hey, after this cold is over (2-3 weeks to be sure), why don’t I go off from one nostril, then the other. Well, for the last 10+ years that’s what I’ve done and it’s worked BRILLIANTLY! I start first thing in the morning by not using the Afrin on one nostril and it takes about 12 hours for the nostril to be rid of the congestion. Then, the next day I toss the bottle of Afrin as that day I’ll deal with another 12 hours of congestion recovery on nostril #2 and by that evening, I’m over it.

    • David says:

      We have a FB page dedicated to helping those addicted to Afrin. Share techniques, stories and vent if necessary about the frustrations behind the use of this poison. Come over to AfrinAddicts on FB, we will be glad to have you.

  7. Nathan says:

    Ohhhh, this has been a h3llish journey to put it mildly. Going on about 5 or 6 years I think. My doctor was not much help. Prescribed flonase or something similar but it only extended the times in between afrin hits. Now all of a sudden this year, the Rx is $40 bucks with insurance so I am walking away from that slight help.

    My addiction stems from my Sleep Apnea. I use my cpap machine with built in humidifier every night. For whatever reason, in the morning after removing the mask, I would have severe nasal blockage. It would last a couple hours. Got tired of that and used afrin one morning and that is when it all started.

    I hope to someday find a way to stop this terrible dependance.

    Thanks,
    Nate

  8. Brittaney says:

    I’ve been addicted to nose spray for a year. I use it about two times a day. Once in the morning and another at night. It’s weird because my husband and I are suffering together. Our nose got stuffy around the same time… Crazy! But I stop using nose spray all together “cold turkey” and I tell you what, it does suck butt! My nose will get runny and my ears constantly pop and make crackling noises. But my health means a lot to me and I will be trooper. To help, I’ve been using nasacort and saline rinse. What I do first is rinse my nose with a neti pot than spray nasacort. My nose is still stuffy but I can breath a little. Now for night time, I use nighttime medicine to help me sleep. Plus you can go to your doctor and explain to your doctor about your situation and they can perscribe you prednisone. It’s a steroid pill that can help with allergies and inflammation of the nose. It can help your stuffyness a little. But it’s good to use a steroid base nose spray to help your nose heal. One can be prescribed by your doctor but the others are nasacort and flonase. My nose will go in and out. One moment I can breath a little and the next it’s stuffed but it does help a little and I hope I helped you guys with your situations. We all can be troopers through this!

  9. Dave H says:

    Hey guys, ya I never had any luck when trying to quit by cutting The Afrin with a saline. It’s a bit like an alcoholic trying to quit by mixing his vodka with soda water. At night when it feels like I am gasping for breath I will spray an extra pump or two. That’s not to say mixing the afrin with saline is not helpful. I do it to avoid irritation at times. I may try Flonase or something

  10. Brittaney says:

    Hey it’s Brittaney again. I was addicted to nose spray for a year. And I stopped “cold turkey” I’ve been off of it sense last Friday 3-27-15 and it’s now 3-31-15. Within 2 days I’ve felt my nose getting back to normal. Today I can breath perfectly again. The first two days was rough, especially at night. Every morning when I wake up I will wash my nose with sinus rinse, spray two squirts of nasacort in each nostril, and take Zyrtec. At night time I would do the same but instead of using nasacort I would use saline spray, than before i go to sleep I would take nighttime muconax for colds to help me sleep and whatever which nostril feels the most stuffed than the other, I would stuff the stuffy nostril with toilet paper and it would help me breath better at night. After suffering for two days, I feel a lot better today. Not to mention I stopped using nose spray while I had a cold. I know it is tough to stop nose spray all together. Especially when you have kids and have to go to work. I can’t handle my nose being stuffed up either. But when my doctor told me all the damages that I was doing to my nose… It scared the hell out of me! She told me when the doctors would look at a patients nose that have been addicted to nose spray it looks like a chemical burn. Than she told me that eventually your nose will start deforming. I don’t want that to happen to me so I’ve decided to stick it out and deal with the stuffyness. I am 21 years old and I have a 1 year old son. I am a EMT and CNA. If I can do this, so can you!

  11. Britt says:

    Hey it’s Brittaney again. I stopped using nose spray “cold turkey” I’ve been off of it sense last Friday 3-27-15 and it’s now 3-31-15. Within 2 days I’ve felt my nose getting back to normal. Today I can breath perfectly again. The first two days was rough, especially at night. Every morning when I wake up I will wash my nose with sinus rinse, spray two squirts of nasacort in each nostril, and take Zyrtec. At night time I would do the same but instead of using nasacort I would use saline spray, than before i go to sleep I would take nighttime muconax for colds to help me sleep and whatever which nostril feels the most stuffed than the other, I would stuff the stuffy nostril with toilet paper and it would help me breath better at night. After suffering for two days, I feel a lot better today. Not to mention I stopped using nose spray while I had a cold. I know it is tough to stop nose spray all together. Especially when you have kids and have to go to work. I can’t handle my nose being stuffed up either. But when my doctor told me all the damages that I was doing to my nose… It scared the hell out of me! She told me when the doctors would look at a patients nose that have been addicted to nose spray it looks like a chemical burn. Than she told me that eventually your nose will start deforming. I don’t want that to happen to me so I’ve decided to stick it out and deal with the stuffyness. I am 21 years old and I have a 1 year old son. I am a EMT and CNA. If I can do this, so can you!

  12. Brittaney says:

    Hey it’s Brittaney again. I stopped using nose spray “cold turkey” I’ve been off of it sense last Friday 3-27-15 and it’s now 3-31-15. Within 2 days I’ve felt my nose getting back to normal. Today I can breath perfectly again. The first two days was rough, especially at night. Every morning when I wake up I will wash my nose with sinus rinse, spray two squirts of nasacort in each nostril, and take Zyrtec. At night time I would do the same but instead of using nasacort I would use saline spray, than before i go to sleep I would take nighttime muconax for colds to help me sleep and whatever which nostril feels the most stuffed than the other, I would stuff the stuffy nostril with toilet paper and it would help me breath better at night. After suffering for two days, I feel a lot better today. Not to mention I stopped using nose spray while I had a cold. I know it is tough to stop nose spray all together. Especially when you have kids and have to go to work. I can’t handle my nose being stuffed up either. But when my doctor told me all the damages that I was doing to my nose… It scared the hell out of me! She told me when the doctors would look at a patients nose that have been addicted to nose spray it looks like a chemical burn. Than she told me that eventually your nose will start deforming. I don’t want that to happen to me so I’ve decided to stick it out and deal with the stuffyness. I am 21 years old and I have a 1 year old son. I am a EMT and CNA. If I can do this, so can you!

  13. So Fain says:

    I did it!

    I have been addicted to Afrin for about a year now. It started innocently enough but I didn’t even spot my addiction until I was buying Afrin in 6 packs! I was using it 5 to 10 times a day and fighting a losing battle. I had to keep using more and more for a couple hours of relief.

    Well, a couple weeks ago I searched for an answer and found this website. I combed over the comments here and started my plan. I got Breathe Right strips and some Flonase OTC.

    For the first couple of days, I tried to reduce my Afrin use to as little as I could stand. At night I used Breathe Right strips to eliminate middle of the night sprays.

    On day 3 I used Flonase in both nostrils first thing in the morning. I used Afrin once that day in one nostril. Breathe Right strips continued at night. On day 4 I did the same.

    Days 5-7 were Flonase and Breathe Right strips only.

    On day 8, for the first time in over a year, I used no nasal spray at all! By day 10, I stopped needing the breathe right strips!

    Thanks for the advice all!

  14. mary says:

    Hi my name is Mary and about 3 months ago I got a bad cold and started using Afrin it’s been over 3 months now and it’s terrible can’t function talk or breathe at all without Afrin it’s crazy!! Gonna start trying the flonase, praying that it works I’ve been trying to wean off it by just using one nostril but in the morning and certain times of day it’s so bad I need it for both I got saline drops to moisten nose and I did get breathe right strips which worked but I had a bad allergic reaction to the strips my nose swelled up in fact my whole right side of face swelled up and my eye was bloodshot bad. So I had to stop nose strips I got Vicks ointment to put on nose but don’t work all the time I got mucinex severe congestion for nose that helps a little but not too long so now I’m gonna try flonase praying this works, at my wits end can’t take it no more, this has taken over my life can never sleep mire then 2 hours and all day just trying to breathe!! Will keep updating I’m not gonna give up till I find an answer and get off this for good tired of living like this!! Start saying prayers!!

  15. Dave H says:

    Hello again. Ok so two nights ago i was so miserable. I had it. I popped open all my afrin bottles and dumped them. Even the one out in the car. I have Flonase that I got like a week ago from Ideas given here (many thanks for them).So now I’m going to ride this out. I will keep you posted. Thanks again… Positive thought for the day – congestion equals healing.

  16. Me says:

    Thank you to the person here who suggested detoxing one nostril at a time off Afrin. I tried it and I worked (with the help of steroids from the doctor). I am completely off Afrin and can breathe normally again. Was on Afrin for 18 years so this is a new comfort zone for me and I am thrilled. Thanks again for the one nostril at a time suggestion!!!!!

  17. Linda Thomas says:

    I’ve used Afrin for decades – – off and on – mostly on. I’ve been trying to wean myself off of it without any real progress. My ENT told me I need surgery as my turbinates are so large (right side only), there is hardly any room for air flow, much less mucous drainage. I use Sudafed in addition to try and clear my head. Saline solution works well on the left side, but the right side is horrible. The ENT said that the Afrin usage probably led to the enlarged turbinates. Anyone else have that experience?

    • Kryss says:

      Yes, I just found out yesterday that my turbinates were enlarged due to afrin use. Were you told you needed surgery? Does that mean that they will never get back down to normal size?

  18. Dave H says:

    Hi again, Its day 7 since dumping the afrin. things have improved greatly. After the first 2 days I was breathing fairly freely with only short periods of congestion. I contribute the ease of this detox to the use of Flonase because the last time tried this I was a week without Afrin and still horribly congested when I threw in the towel. This Time, even though the Flonase was helping, I stopped using it at day 5 as I do not want to substitute one nasal spray for a more costly one.
    Well really just wanted to say, It’s going surprisingly well, give it a try. oh and if you need surgery and get it, my hats off to you. The healing time for that would scare the hell out of me.

    • Emily is Afrin Free says:

      Dave, I did the same as you. Today is day 5 for me, and I’m breathing better than ever. And this morning, I stopped the Flonase. I just broke the Afrin addiction… I didn’t want to cause any additional problems with the Flonase. (It’s a cortisone spray… there ARE side effects.) Last night, I was a bit stuffy, and even though, in the past, I would’ve reached for the Afrin, I took a decongestant instead, and it actually worked! (They did nothing for me before.) So today, I had a mini-ceremony with my son… and tossed all of my Afrin. After 17 years, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling. I’M FREE! And no longer a slave to Afrin. But I’m still processing it. Even though it’s been 5 days and I haven’t touched the stuff, and breathing freely, I sometimes feel as though it’s too good to be true… That at some point my nose is going to rebound with a, “Ha!! Fooled you!” Still, this is the best I’ve felt in YEARS!! Even my blood pressure has gone down! I never really realized what it was doing to my body. It’s NASTY stuff!!

  19. Emily is Afrin Free says:

    I was addicted to Afrin for 17 years, and so embarrassed by it that I wouldn’t even tell my doctor. But recently I had to change doctors and I thought, new doctor… new start. So even though I hated doing it, I told him. Come to find out, I have high blood pressure, and he told me that, along with a list of other serious complications from continued Afrin use, it also causes high blood pressure. He wanted me OFF the stuff. So, he started me on Flonase, two squirts in the morning, (only once a day), and that I could also take the Afrin, once in the morning and once at night, for the first few days, and then to stop Afrin in the morning a nd only take it at night for a few days. After that, stop completely.

    Well, I tried that. But once I stopped in the morning, I’d get so plugged, I felt like I was suffocating and gulping for air! There HAD to be a better way!

    So I read about the “one nostril at a time” theory and thought, why not? I couldn’t find where anyone actually had success, but I was more than willing to give it a try.

    So, after being on Flonase for a little over a week, while still taking Afrin once in the morning and once at night, I then woke up one morning and chose a nostril. I only sprayed in my right side, leaving my left one Afrin-free. At first, I couldn’t get ANY air through it. It wasn’t easy, but I was still breathing out of my right side. Determined to continue, I never sprayed that side again. In two days, I noticed a change. I was getting air through the nostril! Two.more days, and the air was flowing freely! BUT once the air started to flow at two days, I cut down the Afrin in my other nostril to a half a squirt in the morning and a half at night. I didn’t need mire than that! (Which was surprising because I used to have to squirt 3 or 4 times in each nostril!) By the fourth day, I only did a half at night. I no longer needed it in the morning. And by day six, when my left side was breathing freely, and I had cut the Afrin in my right side to barely a drop… I stopped completely.

    It’s been three days and I haven’t had to use Afrin… NOT ONCE!! I still use the Flonase, because it was instrumental in cutting down the swelling. But I’ve been breathing freely for three days and am ECSTATIC!!!! Eventually, I’m going to stop the Flonase, as well.

    After SEVENTEEN YEARS… of serious congestion and carrying bottles of Afrin around as though my life depended on it… I’m AFRIN FREE!!!!! It is the BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD!! And I was able to do it in such a way that it was VERY tolerable. And if I can do it, a person with such a SERIOUS addiction, so can YOU!!

    I will follow up in a few weeks to let you know how I’m doing. But please… If you have a serious addiction… PLEASE try this!!

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  20. Derek says:

    I would give Sinus Buster a try. Its the same spray dispenser but does not contain the harmful drugs that cause rebound and addiction. I am trying to kick the nose spray habit as well and this stuff really works. I have not been sleeping lately from congestion and have an appointment with an ENT on Wednesday. The claritin/flonase have not helped much, neither did Nasacort. However, this stuff cleared up my terrible congestion in a couple of mins.

  21. Jon says:

    I’m off Affrin for a week. I went to an ENT he put me on a steroid an antibiotic and Qnasal. I suffered from an Affrin dependency for 3 years. Now I am breathing better. It can be done. Seeing a ENT and getting medical treatment instead of trying to do it cold turkey or one nostril at a time has been better for me. I’ve went some days with out all the medication to see if I could breathe and I could. I do have a a deviated septum which could be causing the feeling of discomfort up there. The biggest thing to grasp is IT CAN BE DONE!!!! and it’s better to seek medical treatment.

  22. Candy Jacobs says:

    Hi! My name is Candy, and I am an Afrinaholic!
    Ok people. I have been reading a lot of these comments and have found them to be very helpful. However, I think I am going to go with the one nostril at a time method. I have been addicted to afrin now for 3 months. I am new to the whole allergy thing and was at my wits end with my nose! Afrin was AMAZING! I was using it only before bed at first, then it graduated up to 3 to 4 times a day! UGH! I now have flonase, but it does not cure my stuffiness! I believe someone previously said it right when they said it felt like someone poured concrete in both nostrils! It sucked really bad! I was jokingly telling people that I need to go to Afrinaholics anonymous! Now I realize, that yes, I AM ADDICTED!!!!! So, I have put 1 spray of afrin in my left nostril only! I feel great! Still stuffy in my right nostril, but I can breathe, and that’s all thst matters. I will keep you all posted on my “recovery” and thanks again for all your suggestions :)

  23. Lisa says:

    I too have an Afrin addiction.. for almost 20 years. It started with a cold, I actually remember the day. I decided I was done.. I needed to get off this crap NOW. So, I came here and started reading. I am using the one side at a time method. No Afrin on the right side but, using it to keep the left side clear. I decided that instead of using Afrin on the left side, I would use Flonase,1 squirt a day & a tremendous amount of saline to keep both sides clear. I started this process on Sunday, today is day 3- I have used no Afrin in the right side AT all and am 90% clear on that side.. I wont lie, I used sooo much saline but, saline is better then Afrin, and I just kept clearing it and this morning, I can breathe on the right side. The Flonase has helped keep the left side clear so I could breathe thru it. So, no Afrin on either side and the saline and 1 squirt of Flonase on the right side has helped make the rebound congestion not as awful as I had ever imagined. I used to keep my nose spray with me everywhere and today I left the bottle at home.. YAY!!! If I can do it after 20 years.. so can anyone!!

  24. Franky says:

    I’ve been using nasal spray for around 8 years. It started out with a pill addiction. That’s right said it! I’m off the drugs and have been for awhile. I would go through that about ten more times to not have to deal with quiting the spray. The one thing i hate is not being able to breath. So this is my first try on quiting. From all the things I have read on here i think i’ll try the on nostral at a time. To all that have this problem good luck!

  25. guy with his 2 cents says:

    just thought i would share a tip i found out.. jumping jacks, push ups, or anything to get your heart rate up makes the inflammation go away momentarily and helps you clean out your nose whenever you need. you still have to let your nose flare up for the most part to allow it to heal but this helps get through the day big time. so for those of you that just cant take it anymore, get your heart going and it helps a lot and clean with saline if you want while your nose is still open. on day 3 over here

    also if you smoke you really need to quit, give ecigs a try for no other reason than to clear up your nose. go back to smoking if you want after you get off afrin (dont see why you would but just sayin). massive difference when i made the switch, no more thick mucus in your nose so all you have to deal with is inflammation

    hope that helps

  26. Tori says:

    I’m not alone!!!
    Hi my name is Tori and I am a nasal spray addict. Big time. I’ve been using it for 12 years, 8-10 times daily.
    I have reoccurring nightmares that I’m kidnapped and my mouth taped shut and I suffocate. much to my family’s dismay, this results in my terrorizing screams in the middle of the night. These nightmares occurred when I become congested in my sleep and awake gasping for breath.
    I’m so glad I’ve come across this website. Knowing I’m not the only one suffering from this awful dependency is comfort in itself. I actually tried the one side method in the past to no avail. But am now inspired to try again due to the success stories on the comment posts. Thank you all for sharing. I begin today and shall keep you all posted on my progress.

    • tomas says:

      I have been on nasal spray for 12 years and a few months ( and few last months in volume one bottle per two days) . Now I am off for 13 hours 45 minutes. I had acupuncture done today and kind of it’s not completely stucked. Now left nostril is stucked completely, right nostrli always caused less problems and is doing better. Some air is coming through so it’s not awful.

      Actually I planned going one nostril at time , and as of now I am still in process of deciding whether keep on cold turkey or spray into right nostril.

      Now it’s 2:20 Am in my country and I kind of tired but now I don’t get sleep. I hope it gets better so I will be able to sleep before next day at work

      • tomas says:

        It’s been 24 hours since I started. At 4 a.m. I used the spray only in right nostril. Surprisingly I got decent sleep considering circumsteances. I slept 5 hours with a few interruptions but I was really tired. Left nostril is stucked occasionally I feel that I can get a bit of air through but far from it to be any good. Right nostril is not that bad I can get air through but it’s not comfortable. So definitelly I am going to endure with left nostril but I am going to limit spray in right nostril as much as possible

        • tomas says:

          Now it’s been 28 hours and about an hour ago my left nostril got better significantly. I can get quite a lot of air through. But I try not to get too excited.

          I thought acupuncture might help I remeber getting one 4 years ago basically for different reason but I said a doctor about my addiction . And after that I had to spray less frequently for some period. But I didn’t tried quit back then.

          As of now I must say I am a lot better then I expected I would be :)

          • tomas says:

            It’s been 32,5 hours. when I was out shopping my nose cleared quite well. Now home left nostril again quite stucked right is now better a the nights is coming :(

          • tomas says:

            It’s been more then 35 hours, it’s almost midnight and at the moment is really difficult. Right nostril completely stucked. left nostril partially open but was better in afternoon. I am not yet tired but before “sleep” haha I will spray in right nostril. I am getting nervous What if it won’t get better to the level I need ?

          • tomas says:

            It’s been almost 60 hours. Today wasn’t easy but I slept quite well last night a today bought this spray with sea water. Now for a few hours like two or three I can breathe really well. I might stay away from nasal spray even into right nostril . We will see but I am optimistic

          • Tomas says:

            It’s been 72 hours… Before sleep last night I used nasal spray in right nostril a slept well. Today it’s quite okay. I use saline water which actually help little sometimes I breathe quite well sometimes it’s a bit worse. Excited to see further progress.

          • Tomas says:

            Hello

            It’s been 98 hours since I started. Again last night sprayed in right nostril a slept well. Today I think there is progress compared to yesterday but it’s not like very easy recognizable. So we will see

  27. ali says:

    Did any of you use steroids? I’ve only been addicted for a month and I HATE the side effects of steroids. Can I do it without them??? UGHHH I HATE THIS

  28. Dis says:

    This guy is making tons of money off all you addicts. Everyone should make a webpage about this subject, throw some ads on it and watch the money roll in.

  29. Chris says:

    ****continued*****
    I have two options at this point. I only use one shot of afrin in each side about 2-3 times per day, but regardless, the rebound congestion has no limits. I purchased a Rhinostat kit that was about $40 that slowly weans you off by replacing the drug with saline. I also just bought sinus buster from CVS. Its a natural spray that has a pepper as its active ingredient. I dont mind being slightly stuffed up, but at night, having both sinuses completely obstructed is unacceptable. Ill report back when I have a better idea of what option worked best.

  30. Val says:

    Looking foward to your update!

  31. Steve L says:

    Somewhere on the web I read that for best effect, make sure you spray and breathe in with the Sinus Buster so it goes sufficiently deep enough (if necessary wait and do a second burst after the first has cleared some of your sinus.) It could be that people aren’t getting the spray far enough along your entire passageway. You will know how far you’ve sprayed by the feeling in your nose. ;) But again, I haven’t found it to be that bad. I’m sure the sensation is different for each person though, based on the varied responses about how bad the burn is.

  32. cat says:

    Chris, definitely want to hear your results!

  33. abby says:

    hey chris! how’s it going?

  34. svolan117 says:

    read my comment above yours man

  35. rubymusic1 says:

    I’ve read about pepper(active ingredient)works very well but i’m yet to try it. I find saline solution itself usually helps wean off of afrin very well. I also have a terrible problem with rebound congestion.

    Good luck with whichever you decide to use!

  36. hookedonafrin says:

    did this ever work?

  37. Majella says:

    Hey Chris,

    I’m also thinking of using the Rhinostat system to wean off Otrivine (similar to Afrin). Just wondering if you found it of any benefit?

    Majella

  38. Pam says:

    What option works best or do I need to do both?

  39. Angel says:

    I also tried to natural pepper spray stuff it burns and makes your eyes water. It doesnt make my nose as clear as afrin did but it does help. I cant take nasacort becsuse im pregnant or i would do that.

  40. bill gimbel says:

    sinus buster made it worse for me

  41. Ronda says:

    Went to the doctor today and he had two interesting suggestions. Told me to try 600 mg of ibuprofen every six hours to help with the inflammation and a nasal rinse called Alkalol, which you can find at CVS. It’s a natural rinse with peppermint, eucalyptus and menthol oils.

    It’s been one day of this and I’m noticing some improvement. It’s slow, but I don’t feel like I’m going to suffocate and it’s actually quite sooting to use the Alkalol rinse

  42. TJ says:

    I’ve been on nasal spray for 3 yrs. I really need help…

  43. Katir says:

    I’m happy to have found this website….I felt like I was the only one with this problem! I’ve been using Afrin for about a year and a half now. I’ve been researching how to stop because I can’t handle not being able to breathe out of my nose. I will try the one nostril method I think.

  44. Emily is Afrin Free says:

    TJ, PLEASE read my post on how I broke the Afrin addiction. I was dependent on that horrible stuff for SEVENTEEN YEARS!! I have tried other methods, but I always felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t get ANY air through my nostrils, and swallowing was a complete nightmare. It was HORRENDOUS!!

    If the “one nostril at a time” method REALLY worked! I didn’t do it all at once. Heck, I was on the stuff for so long that it didn’t matter if it took two weeks.

    One week, I did Flonase. Two squirts in both nostrils every morning… ALONG with the Afrin. I gave myself one week for the cortisone to start working on shrinking my sinuses.

    After that, I stopped using Afrin in my left nostril. It was plugged, at first, it I still used Afrin in my right nostril, so I could still breathe.

    After two days of doing that, I gradually used less and less Afrin in my right nostril, going longer and longer between squirts.

    The last time I used it, I barely used a drop. And I had NO PROBLEM breathing.

    So the next day… I stopped completely. And I haven’t needed it since! I didn’t suffer, I didn’t drown or choke, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. If I had known, years ago, that I could’ve broken that horrible cycle, I would have done the very same thing.

    And if I can do it, after SEVENTEEN YEARS, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work for you. As long as your not allergic to Flonase, or similar cortisone nasal sprays, it’s really worth a try. (PLEASE ask your doctor first, just to be sure you’re able to use it without causing damage.

    Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor. I was an Afrin sufferer, like you, so this isn’t legal medical advice. It’s just what worked for ME.

    After two weeks, I’m still breathing normally! And I haven’t looked back since. There are days when I stop to think about the ENORMITY of what I had accomplished… And I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!

    It really IS possible to break the Afrin addiction. And hopefully, if your body responds to the Flonase, like mine did, you won’t have to suffer throughout the healing process. (Again, please check with your doctor. I he/she is anything like mine, they will support and encourage you through it. Don’t be afraid to tell them.)

    I wish you ALL THE BEST!!!! Please post to let us know how you’re doing. I really AM rooting for you. This addiction is horrible, and I hope, hope, hope that you have the same success that I did.

    And I also wish that for EVERYONE who is suffering from Afrin addiction. Please, if you’re doctor gives you the ok, and you’re able to use Flonase, PLEASE give it a try.

    I never thought I’d be able to break the addiction, but I am a walking, talking, BREATHING testimonial!

    All the best and GOOD LUCK!!!
    Emily

  45. Mike says:

    I had this addiction until about a month ago. But imagine having the addiction in only one nostril! I knew about the blow back effect since the late 1980’s, so when I used a spray I only used it in one nostril at a time – only my right side, since my left side never seemed to clog as bad.

    At night, I could spray my right nostril and sleep on my right side – my left side would drain to the right, while the right side stayed clear. But I wound up doing that for YEARS.

    For anyone about to use the “One Nostril” technique. Just DO IT. The only way I was able to break my “habit” was by accident. One day at work, I just got too busy to use a spray – it was that simple. So my nose clogged, but it wasn’t so bad, since I didn’t have time to notice. On my way home from work that night it occurred to me that I hadn’t used any spray since early that morning, so I decided I would try to go “all the way”. Here is what happened to ME:

    Having only been treating one nostril, my one nostril clogged completely, while my left side stayed clear. I went to the drug store and bought some Breathe Right strips. It pulled my swollen right side open and life was good – I slept well that night. The next day was a Saturday, so when I needed to, I could put another strip on my nose. After not long of doing this, I noticed a sore starting up on the bridge of my nose. Turns out, my skin is sensitive to the glue. Thankfully, they make a clear one that uses a less caustic glue.

    Over the course of the next week something strange happened. I could breathe fine on my RIGHT side, but my LEFT side clogged!! This made no sense to me, but it happened. It got so bad I almost went back to the bottle. I went through a two week period of cycling on and off, wide open to completely clogged, sometimes in the space of a few minutes, in BOTH nostrils.

    Fortunately, after about two weeks I finally cleared up and have stayed clear since. Here are some suggestions you might use to help out:

    1. Do NOT drink coffee or alcohol during your rehab. Both dehydrated me and clogged my nose NOTICEABLY after only a few minutes. Staying off both helped.
    2. Drink water. Hydration is a GOOD thing.
    3. Use the clear nasal strips – they are an absolute lifesaver. Remember, your nose is most likely NOT filled with mucus. It’s the tissues that have swollen, and pulling them open with those strips WORKS.
    4. Remember that even when you are treating only one nostril, the other one is getting a little assist (at least that seems to have been the case for me). When I finally stopped using, my OTHER nostril went berserk.
    5. One last thing that got me over the hump – I bought one of those menthol inhalers. These don’t really decongest you at all. But they do give you a little sensation in your nostril, which (at least for me) makes it seem as though you are getting some circulation in there. I didn’t go crazy on it – just used it on particularly bad times. Frequently, I would use it and after an hour or so, my nose would naturally unclog anyway.
    6. Exercise. When you move around you get your adrenaline going, which will naturally decongest you a little. For me, it seemed to be climbing stairs.

    Finally, you CAN do it. If I could do it, so can you. And I’m truly better off now. Good LUCK!

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "I Have a Nose Spray Addiction – I’m Addicted to Afrin"
  1. […] nose spray addiction started last year when I was having what I swear was the biggest congestion problem on earth. Last […]

  2. […] for this and it is important not to go beyond it like taking nasal spray that could lead to afrin addiction that is an unhealthy quick […]

  3. […] meds, but I figured there had to be another way because those weren’t options for me.  One suggestion that made the most sense, was the single nose […]

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