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.


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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1,017 comments on “I Have a Nose Spray Addiction – I’m Addicted to Afrin
  1. chinnie says:

    I had a 4 year addiction in the early 00s to Afrin. An allergist prescribed cortisone spray and some tablets (can’t remember which), a treatment that did wonders and I’ve been Afrin-free ever since… Until this week, when I caught a cold and used it for temp. relief, thinking I was being careful. But I wasn’t. I’ve been congested for 3 days and trying to de-congest with cortisone and vaporub. I hope it goes away soon. Afrin and sprays alike should be taken off the market.

    • chinnie says:

      Replying to this post to update that I’m Afrin-free again. I did the Rhinocort + Saline + Vicks Vaporub + steam + TheraFlu for a week and now I’m not congested anymore from the cold or Afrin. :)

    • Cathy Reulbach says:

      I’ve had allergies all my life. I used to live on those little red sudafed pills. I started taking them when I was a teenager and bought them OTC in hundred pack. Then I was told I couldn’t take them anymore because they raise my blood pressure.
      I started taking Afrin , the no-drip kind about 5 years ago. I was amazed how fast it worked. Not a single prescription allergy medication worked like Afrin did!
      I have asthma and if I have a blocked nose it means I breathe more through my mouth. The nose has filters for dust and other pollutants,the mouth does not. So I have more asthma attacks when I can’t breathe through my nose!
      I have tried everything out there , allergy pills, different types and those lousy prescription nasal drops that gave me huge headaches and nose bleeds!
      I even argued with the nurses and doctors at the hospital that Afrin worked better.
      Everyone talks about the rebound congestion, but I maintain how is that any worse than huge headaches and nose bleeds. Plus the prescription stuff just doesn’t work!
      I learned how to deal with the rebound effect. When I get it, it lasts no more than a day. I figured the nose needed to be cleaned out. There is probably a build up of the Afrin stuff, so I use a saline nasal spray for a day and the rebound effect is gone.
      There was a time when I didn’t have insurance and prescriptions are expensive, especially compared to the OTC stuff. The newest prescription nasal spray I was given, Fluticasone Propionate, barely worked though it did not give me nose bleeds or mind blowing headaches, just minor ones. I did lose some of my sense of taste though. Plus, I repeat… it doesn’t work! My nose will open very slowly and only partially. That lasts maybe 4 hours and then the nose closes down!
      Unfortunately the blood pressure issue has become worse and I am warned I could have a stroke, so I am trying real hard to not use the Afrin I have, but it’s really hard when my nose is so plugged up and my asthma is hitting so much I am taking medication to control that, when a simple nose spray works so well. It is soooo frustrating!
      It took me months to wean myself of Afrin, and then allergy season hit and I was begging my doctor to help me.
      Why is it they can make all these allergy medications, but the only thing that works is a bottle of Afrin for under 10 bucks??? Someone needs to make a safe decongestant! For anyone who suffers from rebound, try not using the Afrin for a day or two and only use a saline nasal spray. It will clean out your nose, feels good, is totally safe, but don’t expect it to work much on opening your nose.
      For now I am on yet another allergy medicine and am on blood pressure pills and take Afrin for only the really bad days and dealing with having more asthma attacks than I should be having. I wonder if I take the blood pressure ills if it will counteract the bad effects of the decongestant.

  2. scorpio21489 says:

    I am 41 years old, and I first started using nose spray at ten yrs old. I used it on and off over the years, but the last few have been worse. I need to get off this, I am sick and tired of it having control over my life. I bought sinus buster, but haven’t used it yet. I thought the capsaicin cream was awful, so i’m having a hard time deciding to put it up my nose. I also bought saline. I have an appointment with my dr. But in the meantime I am gonna try all the great suggestions I read about on this site. I had no idea there were so many people in the same boat as me. This stuff shouldn’t be on the market. I will beat this addiction, not only cause I want to, but because I have to. Good luck to everyone. Please give updates.

    • Rachel says:

      I was addicted to afrin for 9 years. Recently I found this thread and would read the posts over and over again. Finally I decided I would give it a try. First I slowly started decreasing the number of times per day that I used the Afrin. I used saline also ( not sure if it helped or not) then once I got down to six sprays per day, I started using the flonase nasal spray( doctor prescribed) I was able to completely wean off . I’ve been off the Afrin completely now for a week, but am still using the flonase once per day. I can finally breathe at night and am so happy to feel normal again.

  3. Carlos says:

    Hi everyone I started using afrin for about 7 months and the way I quit using it is doing the one nostril at a time. I quit spraying my right nostril but I was still using spray for left side it took about 15 days for my right nostril to be completely heal then when I was good in my right nostril I stoped using in the left side but this time I bought nasacort it’s not addictive I just used to help me more for my nasal rebound and it’s been about a month I have not touch that stuff I thank god I’m not using it no more. I hope this work for u guys good luck

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  5. Taylor says:

    I’ve been “on the bottle” for the last seven years now. People always thought I was joking when I told them I was addicted to nasal spray. I have finally decided to break the addiction but I absolutely HATE being congested. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with it.

  6. Heather says:

    I have been using nasal spray (Equate, Afrin generic) for more years than I think I even want to admit to myself. I have always had sinus problems but I was diagnosed with anxiety over a year ago. I have had a lot of questions regarding this diagnosis because I have never been one to crack under pressure. Now, after TONS of research I started getting links suggesting nasal spray can cause some of my “anxiety” symptoms- rapid heartbeat, palpatations, dizziness, etc. I have tried unsuccessfully to get off the stuff on my own and finally got in to see an ENT today. But they symptom I was most concerned with arose in recent weeks- constriction in my throat. The Dr I saw is spectacular. So understanding and listens so incredibly well. He indeed does not think I have generalized anxiety but anxiety and panic induced by the side effects nasal spray can cause! Which include rapid heart rate, palpitations, high blood pressure… and my throat is swollen because it is so dry because my rebound congestion is so bad and Im breathing so heavily through my mouth. Incredible. I was given a new steroid spray and a small dose steroid shot. He told me the next few days will be miserable. And I am feeling that in the WORST way currently. However I plan to stick to his plan. The RX spray twice daily and the injection. I have a follow up appointment next week. He says I should feel a noticable difference in about 2 days as long as I refrain from using the otc nasal spray, which I will. I will update as I progress. I truly wish everyone here luck. I had no idea so many people had this same problem. Its nice to know I am at least not struggling alone.

    • Joshua says:

      THANK YOUUUU so much for your testimonial!! I’m a 27 year old male suffering from constant “asthma attacks” and was relying on afrin to keep my nose open. I’m feeling the effects of rebound congestion and was worried that the anxiety was my problem! I will quit now, suck it up, and buy a netti pot to see if it helps moisturize things again! Thank you!

      • Heather says:

        Joshua, while my anxiety is not completely subsiding, I am not having daily struggles with breathing and rapid heart rate etc, tripping me into a panic attack. I updated below but, Ill tell u directly, see and ENT and ask about a steroid shot u get quarterly (every 3 months) and Dymista spray. I used breathe right strips and Vicks vaporub on my chest neck and feet. Also possibly look in Young Living Essential Oils… they are a true miracle. I have a family member educating me on how to use them and plan to purchase a kit soon. Im using cool mist humidifiers in my home 24/7 to re-moisten all the damage done by the otc nasal spray and they also help a lot. Much luck and I hope u have great results!

    • Will says:

      use Manuka honey in one nostril while only using Afirn in the other. Give it 2 weeks.

    • Will says:

      So…I’m re posting this because my 1st post didn’t “take”. When I finished 7 weeks of radiation for throat cancer it left me with dry mouth. BAD news when you have a stuffy nose. I used Afrin for 2.5 years. Got sick of it. The Dr’s steroids would not work. Finally made a decision to correct it. Swore it to one nostril only until the other one healed. I remembered using Manuka honey in my mouth during the radiation. it delayed my 1st mouth sore (ulcer) until the 6th week (usually 2nd week) so I started using it in the nostril that I swore off Afrin. 10 days later that nostril is clear around the clock. Even 1st thing in the morning. Look up this honey and it’s qualities. It’s remarkable stuff, especially on any mucous membrane.

    • Cindy says:

      I’m new to this site as I’ve been searching for the same problem and wanted to know how you made out. I hope you did well and how long did it take for you to be able to breath normal.
      Thanks, Cindy

      • Randy says:

        I had been dealing with this mess for about 7 mos. I read what others tried and decided to do one nostril at a time. It took about 8-10 days one side and then with using Vicks and a lot of sudifed, I got through it. It’s been 3 weeks and I’ve been without any spray for 10 days. I’d say I’m 80% healed all together. It really does work spraying one side and letting the other heal. At first I would spray my left, and they would both clear up. I think doing the left relieves pressure so both would clear but the left side I sprayed would stay clear for a much longer time. The right side would close up quickly. Then after a few days my in sprayed right side just stayed solid plugged for a week. Then finally it started clearing. You just have to stay with it until it heals. Then I stopped altogether. The first three nights were difficult. Lots of Vicks and sudifed but then I could finally sleep mostly through the night. You just got to stick with doing only one side until it clears no matter what. It really works on the one side. Your other side will heal if you give it enough time!

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  9. Stephanie C says:

    Hi my name is Stephanie. Im 24, and Im from New York. Ive been using menthol afrin nasal spray, originally because of a cold but now I cannot breathe without it. I wake up in the morning and experience a pretty bad panic attack because when I can’t breathe, my heart starts racing and I have to get up and walk around and eventually use afrin again. I’m scared I wont be able to get off of it, I just looked it up on google because I just used it and tried to blow my nose and Its bleeding and I’m scared. Reading your stories and seeing how similar they are is a little bit of a relief, I have people who think Im just joking when I try to explain it. It can be frustrating. Im considering going to a doctor, but I feel like they wont listen because I use to be addicted to pain meds and everytime I explain anything they just assume im out to get pills :(

  10. G.N.Argust says:

    I kicked habit using Walgreens Ephrine drops 1% (phenylephrine HCI-w/o alcohol) diluted with sterile water 50/50. Used the one nostril idea and increased water 60/40 then 70/30 etc. In side healing up I soothed it with Ayr saline and XClear spray. Oral decongestants can help but pseudonephrine can ruin sleep. Stay hydrated, use moist air and saline rinses before bed. Good luck and don’t give up.

  11. Adam says:

    Hey all,

    I’m 27 and I became addicted to the stuff just recently.

    I have terrible allergies and my nose was constantly plugged. I knew from past experience how effective Afrin is, so I started using it. After three days, I was still plugged, so I figured I could keep using it until the season passed.

    I stayed on it for two weeks. I am now completely hooked and can’t breathe without it. I can’t sleep because of it, and I start a new job next week.

    I’m trying two things: first, I’m going to try curing one nostril at a time, as many have suggested, and two, I’m going to use 4-hour Afrin instead of 12-hour, just enough to allow me to fall asleep. I can deal with the blockage during the day.

    Thoughts and prayers welcome. I must kick this stuff.

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  13. Heather says:

    Update: the first night after I had seen my ENT and received a steroid shot and a prescription spray (Dymista) was miserable. However I committed and threw out my otc nasal spray and never turned back. I used those breathe right nasal strips and a vaporizer and Vicks on my chest, neck and feet for a couple nights. Im happy to report that other than that first night, I havent had any issues at all. Im not using otc spray anymore and I feel much better overall. I am grateful for finding such a knowledgeable and caring ENT to help me and Im grateful my weaning process was not as long nor as horrible as I had expected. I recommend asking about Dymista and this steroid shot though. It is supposed to be given every 3 months and controls all 5 allergy triggers year around if kept up on. I feel the combination has truly helped me. Also, I bought two cool mist humidifiers and I run them 24/7 to re-moisturize everything the otc spray dried out and burned, per my ENT’s recommendation as well. Its been a great help too.

    • Will says:

      Heather, I’m a stage 4 throat cancer survivor and as a result of the radiation I barely make any saliva. BAD news when you have a stuffy nose. However…while going through the rads I read about Manuka honey from New Zealand (16+ strength)and used it as a mouth rinse. Where most folks get mouth ulcers in the second of 7 weeks of radiation I got my first one at the end of the 6th week. Fast forward to 3 years later and totally addicted to Afrin. The steroids from the Dr did nothing. I decided to religiously use afrin on one nostril only until the other one got better. I got some more Manuka honey and have been putting it way up and around in my “stuffy” side. After only one week that side is clear all the time. FYI…other honeys will work too but do some reading on Manuka and it’s healing qualities. Awesome stuff (no pun intended) Good luck !!!

  14. After just one week of withdrawal, one nostril at a time, I’m well on my way to success after an addiction of more than 40 years, first on Privine and then on Nostrilla. I had two days and worse nights before my untreated nostril began to open. I still have occasional, very bearable stuffiness, but after coming this far, it’s easier to avoid hitting the bottle. Never again. I just hope I will regain my full sense of smell. After many unsuccessful attempts, I was driven to quit by an episode of extremely high blood pressure. Good luck to everyone. It works!

    • Trina says:

      Hi Janice, if you receive this message… I would love to know how you are doing now. Please, details if you can. :) Hardest part? Easiest? Tips, tricks, advice… how’s your sense of smell? How you feel overall… etc.. etc…
      Thanks so much!!! Wishing you the best!

  15. Venecia says:

    Wow ! Had no idea this was such a big deal . 35 years old . Have been using sprays for over 3 years , just getting worse and worse by the day . That’s how I found this website . Please keep me posted . It’s a great website ! Thanks so much for all your helpful ideas . Gonna start trying to quit .

  16. Nick says:

    is vicks vapo inhaler a safe means to help get off of the nasal sprays? anyone here have insight?

  17. max says:

    My father is 80. Still snorting coke after 50 years. Just at night. (I think… And almost every night, and drinks lots and lots of cheap vodka with it. “Appears” to be in great health and is up and out of tge house every day. Claims not to be an addict…. And lately, the nasal spray bottles are piling up- 7 a week or more. Any comments on cocaine plus nasal spray? Thx.

  18. wyatt kenneth logan says:

    Wow I had a feeling this was going on and honestly wonder why I didnt decide to research it sooner. Ive had a strong addiction for about 3 years or so and ive noticed it has gotten way worse as time progresses I was just in jail not too long ago with the blunt end of a cold I might add, u know that final part of the cold when u get that burning feeling and u know the worst congestion storm is coming. Yeah I was getting that on the first day in jail. No spray. 3 days. And to top it all off this was a case of mistaken identity and I had a beautiful fiancée on the outside. I couldnt sleep at all and it was the worst 3 nights of my life I can safely say. I want freedom from this affliction and my healthy nose back. Theyre have been times where I would get so frusterated I just wanted to cut the damn thing off. Im so happy I found this site im gonna see what I can do with the one nostral weaning. Also a quick tip, working out gives minimal temporary releif and worked for instances when I had the severe jail cold. Try it out it will strengthen not only your nose game but mustles too!!

  19. Jim says:

    To everyone who is or has had problems with a Afrin type nasal spray addiction I just successfully broke the addiction for the 2nd time by only spraying it in one nostril,while the other one heal. I also have been using Flonase. I have been looking online during this time to see if there might be a better way. I found something that might be helpful to anyone who is suffering trying to quit. Check out Rhinostat.

    • nose body says:

      Ok. In all scheme of things, is my nasal spray addiction really worth losing sleep over ? It hasn’t impacted my job,circle of friends nor has lead to risky behavior. What was the pivotal “rock bottom” event that are you seed help ?

      • CupOfTea says:

        Constant discomfort, inability to sleep due to dependency that requires you to use it every hour. It will reach a point where you are no longer getting relief from your stuffy nose at all, if you work with people, it is embarrassing to have a booger tissue in hand so you can wipe your nose every 30 seconds because you are too stuffed to even blow that runny crap out. It just really sucks to feel your general health and comfort are dependent on having a little bottle of meds to squirt up your nose.

  20. David says:

    Hi all, my name is David and I am an addict…never thought I would say that, but I am.
    I have one heck of a story so please bear with me, this post will be lengthy, but the end result is worth it.
    It all started around 1981 in 9th grade football, I sailed up to block a punt and when I hit the ground I, and a couple other players, were covered in blood…my blood. X-rays confirmed my worst fear, a shattered nose caused by my face contacting the punters foot which came from up under my facemask. I was in great pain for four weeks, had two adjustments to straighten the right angle my bridge became, really bad racoon eyes and frequent bleeding. Once it healed, and oddly considering the follow up x-rays looked good, I found it very hard to sleep at night due to what I like to now call “cement nose”. I needed relief so I began to search for a remedy…I tried it all, sprays, pills, steroids, NettiPots, you name it, I tried it..including contemplating the use of a large diameter drill bit, but I am not that dumb..but was quite desperate.
    My last resort, which I was warned to stay away from, was Afrin. I bought a bottle, took it home, used it and was in pure bliss, heaven, I could breathe.
    Thus began a 33 year relationship with my one and only demon, Afrin. I would keep it everywhere, in the car(s), in my pocket, at friends houses, and if I found myself suddenly without, I would pay the $8 at a convenience store for my fix.
    I had a septoplasty in 1988 that was to remove damaged cartilage and once and for all straighten the septal defect, they said my facial bones needed to be fully developed to get the maximum benefit from surgery, and at 23, the doc thought I was ready. It didn’t work and my x-rays looked just like they had after healing from the initial fracture. Afrin was my only recourse to be able to breathe, I figure my issue is sinus related, not damage related, simply because I have two wide bore tunnels now allowing air freely into my nasal passage after using it. I figured it would never be an issue so I continued using Afrin.
    Fast forward over three decades of addiction, two, sometimes three bottles a week, things were good, I could breathe, but I was still hooked and carried it everywhere. I never thought that what was about to happen ever would, I was happy, but my sinuses were not, and the revolt was about to ensue.
    I went to Oregon this past summer to be with family, attend a wedding, etc. Now, I have hayfever but it is well controlled with an OTC Zyrtec, which I have taken for years with absolutely no side effects, it works very well for me. This time was different however, some strange things began to happen that I could not understand and my usage of both Afrin and Zyrtec were about to go through the roof. Not only was I going through a bottle a day, sometimes more, my nose ran like a hydrant, Kleenex became the second thing I was to carry everywhere, I needed a backpack just to carry supplies for my nose, and Zyrtec was being used more than normal (usually one a day, even one every other day was sufficient).
    I sneezed constantly, blew my nose every 30 seconds and began to get this weird tingling in my face around the bridge of my nose, my nares and lips. Then it began, a three month long string of cold sore after cold sore(Cold sore virus harbors in the facial nerve complexes and comes out when stressed or you get too much sun (and a few other factors, those are my two though)).
    I was going crazy.
    I figured this new-found facial tingling was the cause of the cold sores but back burnered that notion because I was too busy snorting Afrin or blowing my nose, trying to breathe. I also could not stop itching my nose, I am sure most people I came in contact with thought I was a coke fiend, I was a fiend alright, however my vice was Afrin and not cocaine. It was getting really bad, I was using up to two bottles a day, a box of Kleenex every other day and I could not sleep, could not work, could not go out. Nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant with a guy next to you sneezing and blowing his nose all while snorting something out of a bottle every 2 minutes.
    I just could not figure out what the hell was going on, why was this happening to me and what was it?
    The final blow came one evening when my fuse burnt out and the top blew off the whole thing. I was with my girlfriend (who is a nurse and was very concerned regarding my condition)at home trying to relax, watch TV and remain calm, but the demon was ready to emerge, and I was not ready for that to happen.
    I sneezed like 8 times in a row, snot flew everywhere, bloodshot eyes leaking goo all while trying to snort half a bottle of Afrin so I could breathe…WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING ANYMORE!!!! It simply was not helping good ol’ cement nose and I totally lost it….popped, snapped, kapleeeewy, the lid blew off.
    I got up, threw the bottle down the hall, kicked over the trash can, ripped the bedroom door off the hinges and began the search for my handgun, I was going to blow my nose one last time….right off my face.
    She freaked out, grabbed me..crying, and said that she thought I had actually developed an allergy to the Afrin and using it was just making things worse, she also called me an Afrin junkie. She begged and pleaded with me to stop using it, she was very worried as my health seemed to deteriorate right in front of her eyes.
    I sat down, calmed down and began to cry myself, how could I let something like this have such a grip on my life, every moment was spent snorting, blowing, sneezing, itching, it was driving me completely insane and the thought of developing an allergy, to an OTC, something I used just fine for so long, was not in my playbook. She had always been worried about my consumption, but this final moment, this last straw brought it all out and she was going to help me kick it no matter what it took.
    I AM an addict, I AM a junkie, my health was going out the window and I was becoming a hermit because I could not go out of the house dripping and blowing goo everywhere, I rarely slept anymore, my BP was about to cause a stroke. I suddenly became very afraid.
    I was ready to kick it, but how? What was I going to do? I tried before but it failed miserably every time.
    Well, I began to research, internet search and ask questions on how to kick this habit, I felt like a druggie, seriously. I looked at every method, every device, every suggestion on every forum and contribution I could find, and I came to one and only one conclusion, I had to quit cold turkey.
    NOW, that does not mean I did, so let me tell you how I managed to kick a 33 year habit in which I probably snorted 50 gallons of the stuff over that time frame, AND spent a ton of money..@ approx. $5 a bottle at Wal-Mart times I will estimate 2 per week=$10 per week, $40 per month=$480 per year times 31 years..that’s roughly $15,000 I spent on a nasal spray, you can increase that in the last two years as I used a bottle a day, add another $3300 onto the other total=$18,300, that’s a new car people.
    It had to stop, and it had to stop NOW.

    The ingredients:
    #1, throw out ALL Afrin bottles you have except one new bottle.
    #2, find yourself a TB syringe, they are used for insulin shots.
    #3, get yourself, somehow (may need a doctors prescription, yes, for salt water), a hospital grade bottle of 0.9% sodium chloride, aka normal saline.
    OR, make your own salt solution, just be careful to not go too salty or it will just dry your nose to the point it will crack and bleed.
    #4, buy one bottle of Ayr saline spray, and dump it out. I only use this one because it is 50ml, therefore you can accurately keep track. Any nose spray bottle will work, this is just the one I chose.
    DO NOT use the OTC saline sprays, most, if not all of them, contain the ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride, the main culprit in the rebound affect which keeps you hooked and keeps you stuffed up, along with the active ingredients of course. Yes, you are going to use a small amount of Afrin, which has the BC in it, but the 0.9% saline, the normal saline, does not, OTC saline sprays are full of it. It will be diluted where it won’t have much of an effect.

    The recipe:
    I dumped out the Ayr, boiled the bottle, tip, cap and spray tube. I then added 47ml of the saline. Using the TB syringe, instill 3cc’s, three syringes full, of the Afrin. This is the beginning of your weaning process. Use the entire bottle, yes, it will be miserable the first few days but it will get better. I weaned myself 1/2 cc at a time. So, next bottle, boil it first just to keep it all clean, inject 2.5cc’s of the Afrin into the now 47.5cc’s saline, and so on.
    I am now down to my final 1/2 cc of weaning and let me tell you, I can breathe. For the first time in my life I can breathe through both nostrils freely WITHOUT the grip of Afrin. I have not used my new mixture for four days now, it has become a here and there thing. I do get slightly stuffy at night, but it is not enough to keep me awake. Also, the tingling stopped, the sneezing stopped, the runny nose stopped and the best of all, the cold sores stopped. I AM FREE!!!! My BP normalized, I can sleep all night now, we go out again, nothing like kicking a gross addiction and regaining control of your life to make your health improve. I went through the worst of the worst, I developed an allergy and I almost ended it all because of it. Thanks Afrin, hope you enjoy that new car I paid for.
    So, there you have it. Total cost for the process is probably less than $10. I still have that one bottle of Afrin on my shelf, after 9 weeks of weaning, I have not touched it and cannot wait for the day I will BBQ it in my grill. That bottle has 9cc’s missing out of it, which is probably what I snorted up one nostril.
    I hope my story inspires someone else to do the same, and, I hope it works for you. Everyone is different and everyone will respond differently. After 33 years, I am simply amazed at my progress and cannot figure out for the life of me what took so long to get it done. I owe a lot to my girlfriend, she has helped me through this and has been very supportive.
    Good luck!!

    • CupOfTea says:

      Oh my gosh I can empathize! I have had fits of rage due to my nose refusing to clear. It seems like such a small request, please just let me breathe comfortably! And when the one thing that seemed to answer my prayers started to work against me, I just lost it. Kicking things, hitting things, throwing things. CRYING MY EYES OUT. I never seriously contemplated actually killing myself, but I though things like “I can’t do this, I can’t be living like this for 10+ years like people I have read about…”. Congratulations on freeing yourself from this nightmare!

    • Raul says:

      David, thank you. I laughed so so hard. My wife thought I was going to die of laughter. I wasn’t laughing at your pain, you just know how to tell a story. I’ve been addicted for 6 years now. I am 26 years old and I have high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and angina. As well as difficulty in breathing at times, feeling of short of breath. I’m 6’3 with an athletic body build. I want to be free. I will try this remedy tomorrow. Thank you for your help. :–)

      • David says:

        Good luck Raul, postcuourxprogress please, would love to know how it all works out.
        I made up my last bottle of mix tonight. Am down to .25cc Adrin and 49.75cc of 50cc saline. I am basically Afrin free.
        You can do it, it just takes a load of willpower. Good luck.

        • Raul says:

          So it’s been three days. I have been using a saline solution nose flush bottle thingy. And this spray that contains saline and sodium bicarbonate to level out the ph level in my nasal cavity. Which is working great in decongestant my sinuses. I am also taking claritin D, perhaps for just a month. And nasal strips, which work well but leave red hickeys on my nose. Oh yea and I have lost all sense of smell and taste, Yes completely. I’m kinda worried but Im trying to keep calm and hoping it comes back soon. I have no Idea why. I can breath just fine but I have absolutely no sense of smell or taste at the moment. But absolutely no afrin. Heart palpitations still there, no angina. So it’s looking good. Please if anyone knows why I lost my sense of smell and taste please give me your opinion. Thank you David, Thank you all. Lets beat this addiction! Let’s prevail!

  21. Abby says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve been doing the one nostril at a time method for close to two weeks but it’s not getting any better! People on here say that after three days their nostril was all healed. But for me I’m still super stuffed, and not feeling like there’s any difference between the nostril I’m using the nose spray in to the one without. Ahhhhhhh can’t breathe :( it’s horrible, I feel like I’m suffocating.
    Anyone have advice? Please? How long did it take you? Is there any point in my suffering or should I just go back to using it in that nostril? If this isn’t going to work, at least I’ll be able to breathe with the nose spray…. HELP me please :(

    • Jim says:

      Look at how other people did the dilution method. If you don’t want to do that check out Rhinostat it’s 40 bucks but the say they can get you off of the nasal spray within 17 to 42 days. I believe the only way you can get it is online. Hope that helps. Good luck.

    • David says:

      Am sorry it is not working for you. I felt that after 33 years of use, that one nostril at a time method would not work for me either. I feel it depends on how long you have been using Afrin.
      Please see my post, the one as long as a book, above. There I give you what I did after 33 years of use, and it worked, I sit here typing you with a clear sinus, no afrin and little use of my last mix.. You WILL have a few days of misery, but it is so worth it after that.
      Just make sure to use PURE saline, not the OTC stuff which is full of Benzakloniun Chloride, the main culprit in rebound effect, which is why you are still stopped up and therefore need more stuff.
      You may need to make your own saline with salt and water, just not too much salt or it will just dry you out and make your nose bleed. Titration of the afrin is key, I started with 3cc and worked my way down to the final .25cc in my mix now, which basically makes it pure saline. I read so much on here and other sites to determine what I was going to do, this plan was my creation out of all the other ways people did it.
      Good luck, please post your progress.

    • patrick says:

      Got o the Ear Nose and Throat doctor. Get a Rx for Xyzol and Prednisone and get a heathly supply of breathe right nasal strips. all combined, it works in about 43-4 days. I just di it.

    • patrick says:

      Got o the Ear Nose and Throat doctor. Get a Rx for Xyzol and Prednisone and get a healthy supply of breathe right nasal strips. all combined, it works in about 43-4 days. I just di it.

  22. bill says:

    I have been addicted to 4 way acting for 25 years now. My doc says its effecting my prostrate and I need to get off this stuff. I am using the one nostril method and started with the left nostril. After a week it seems to be clear (healed) no rebound effect. My right is completely blocked and I am miserable. I am using some Azelastine the doc prescribed but it does not good. Matter of fact anything these docs recommend never works at all. They just dont get it. I am fucken miseerable.

  23. CupOfTea says:

    I cured my nose spray addiction after almost a year of misery! I had been on and off nose spray for years, usually a couple months and then one morning I would just wake up and not need it anymore, but due to allergies the need would always come back. I had a terrible respiratory infection in January last year while I was pregnant, I was weary of nose spray, being 6 months pregnant, but I just couldn’t get any rest or comfort… Knowing that I would likely get hooked I caved anyway… I worried for those three months how terrible it would be to be in labor with a stuffy nose, knowing that I likely would not be able to use my afrin. I was spraying both nostrils pretty much every hour, and barely getting any relief at this point. Amazingly, the spray I used just before going to the hospital held me over in relative comfort for about 3 hours, and since I was in labor for so long, I was able to use my nose spray a couple more times, once I was in so much pain I needed the Demerol, I no longer needed the spray, who knew pain meds would clear a stuffy nose right up? so I went a full 24 hours completely clear! Once I was in hard labor and they no longer let me have Demerol, it came back! And it was miserable! I had to do all the breathing and pushing with a completely blocked up nose! I was able to use my nose spray the rest of my stay in the hospital, I never did tell my doctor I was using the stuff while I was pregnant… So I had to do it whenever I knew I would be alone. I spent the next five months trying off and on to cut myself off completely or wean myself off, to no avail… One week I noticed one of my nostrils was opening up a tiny bit on its own from time to time. I took action, I told myself this is IT, I have a chance to get off the stuff. I bought some behind the counter sudafed, I got my husband to buy me some too and even his mother. I started taking 1 24hour sudafed at night and 1 in the mornings, pretty much a double dose every day only 1 spray in 1 nostril every night, the one that wasn’t ever clearing on it’s own, then when it wasn’t working as well I took 2 and night and one in the morning, eventually I was up to 3 at night but no more spray at all! I know it was not safe but I could just not deal with being addicted to afrin anymore, I was willing to do anything. over the course of a month and a half I was down to 2 sudafed at night again, 1 in the morning, then 1 at night and 1 in the morning and finally just one at night! It was not completely relief ever, but enough to help me get to sleep, I would of course wake up stuffy every morning but getting up and walking around would fix it. After a full 2 months I was completely off both sudafed and afrin! Now it has been two months since I have been completely off of both, my left nostril never feels completely open but it is still comfortable, my right nostril gets stuffy if I lay on my right side, and is usually a bit stuffy when I wake up in the morning, but I am willing to wait for it to fix itself, (if it ever does…..) but I am completely free of stuffy nose meds and can breathe freely all day long most of the time! THANK GOODNESS.

  24. Rick says:

    I’m not addicted to Afrin. I’m addicted to breathing. I have used Afrin for 20 years, almost every night. I have no “craving,” nor do I use it during the day. I have not experienced the “rebound” sympotomology you’re talking about.

    • CupOfTea says:

      That need to use it every night is the rebound congestion you claim not to have. An addiction is a physical dependency, you need it to breathe, right?

  25. Chrissir says:

    I was addicted to generic nasal spray for almost 5 years. I started using it when I was pregnant with my first daughter and before I knew it, I couldn’t breathe without it. I would use it until I would get nose bleeds, small cuts on the inside of my nose, and excruciating sore throats. I quit cold Turkey and suffered for three days and nights until it got better. Two weeks later, I still have trouble breathing at night, but I will never use. That poison again.

  26. Abby says:

    I’ve tried the one side at a time method, it’s been a Month and I haven’t used it in one side, I have no idea what people are saying about their nose being healed after three days or a week. I’m doing this for a month and it’s FAR from okay. Woke up this morning with the side which I haven’t used the afrin on for a month totally congested! Why is this happening?? Feeling so sick and miserable :(

    • CupOfTea says:

      I completely agree, this cold turkey nonsense or one nostril crap did not work for me and I have it a month or so. This is not healthy medical advise just what worked for me. Double dosing Sudafed, the kind you get from behind the counter. I would buy Zyrtec with Sudafed in it and have my husband buy me the regular 24 hour Sudafed, because it is sold in limited quantities, you need your ID. I even had his mom buy me some of the 12 hour stuff. At first it was 1 at night 1 in the morning. And only use the spray in one nostril once at night. If the double dose stops working, take 2 at night one in the morning. I was finally taking 3 at night and one in the morning but I was completely off afrin, and my nose felt much more comfortable. I weaned myself down to 1 sudafed a day and then none. I was off, unfortunately I still got a stuffy nose whenever I layed down, but I could deal with it. It was much better than what I was suffering from before. But then seasonal allergies kicked in and I was getting full on stuffy again. I started up on my sudafed again, only 1 pill at night one in the morning. I added the now over the counter Nasacort. 3 days and I could breath just fine EVEN laying down! Now as long as my allergies persist I will continue to use Nasacort, but you only need it once a day. I have even gone several days without using it and still could breathe just fine!

  27. Megan says:

    Is this normal?

    So I’ve been using afrin on and off for about 8 years. I’m not addicted full time, but will use it when I have colds, then for a few months after. I’ve always been able to wean myself off with discomfort that lasts maybe 24 hours. I’ve currently been using at night only for about a month until I recently got a cold (when I say recent, I mean 5 days ago). Still have the cold and am extremely stuffy. I started the one nostril thing, spraying it in my left only. When I spray it in there, my right nostril will clear also. Am I doing something wrong? Am I not actually healing? Ahh what’s happening to me?!

  28. Brandon says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments yet because there are so many so forgive me if this is already posted. but to truly wean you need less and less over time. So an idea I have is to take a bottle of afrin and a bottle of saline and dilute with a 1:1 ratio. Fill half the bottle with afrin and the rest with saline. Then after a period of time when you feel you’re ready fill 1/3 afrin with 2/3 saline, then 1/4 and 3/4 and so on. You will gradually get less and less afrin and need it less as time progresses. Use your congestion as a guide for when to reduce it more and only use it when absolutely necessary. For example, only use it at night time to breathe while sleeping or use the mixture during the day and the full strength at night.

    My problem is that I wear a CPAP so I’ll prob always need something at night but my ENT said to use my congestion as my guide. I’ve been able to use it only at night for a long time and then only during the day when I have a cold or infection. My ENT want to do surgery so for me this is the lesser of two evils.

  29. Brandon says:

    I haven’t read through all the comments yet because there are so many so forgive me if this is already posted. but to truly wean you need less and less over time. So an idea I have is to take a bottle of afrin and a bottle of saline and dilute with a 1:1 ratio. Fill half the bottle with afrin and the rest with saline. Then after a period of time when you feel you’re ready, fill 1/3 afrin with 2/3 saline, then 1/4 and 3/4 and so on. You will gradually get less and less afrin and need it less as time progresses. Use your congestion as a guide for when to reduce it more and only use it when absolutely necessary. For example, only use it at night time to breathe while sleeping or use the mixture during the day and the full strength at night.

    My problem is that I wear a CPAP so I’ll prob always need something at night but my ENT said to use my congestion as my guide. I’ve been able to use it only at night for a long time and then only during the day when I have a cold or infection. My ENT wants to do surgery so for me this is the lesser of two evils.

  30. Yousef Shohayeb says:

    What I find very helpful honestly is using an oral decongestant to make the transition easier. Also the one nostril technique could help you as well. But be careful and make sure you’re not taking more oral decongestants than you should because they have their side effects if you do (ex: anxiety).

  31. Lyle says:

    I was addicted to Afrin for over 10 years and finally got of of it a few years ago with the help of a local physician. Some kind of rx nasal spray. A few later I had an impacted wisdom tooth at 43 years old (too old for wisdom teeth). When I had it pulled I was informed that the roots had grown into the nasal cavity and it had to be repaired. They did not want me congested so they told me to use Afrin, four years later I was hooked once again. I had a bottle in each vehicle, at work, home, in my wife’s purse, my bowling locker, briefcase, and anywhere else that I could think of to stash one. Finally one day I decided to quit. I quite on Friday and the first three days were miserable but, I stuck with it and have been off of it for a year now. I had tried all of the remedies over the years, but quitting cold turkey was the only thing that worked for me.

  32. Amanda says:

    Hi all. I’m 24 and I have been addicted to Afrin for 2 and a half years. I have usually been able to use the recommended amount and just stop but right now I am to the point of giving up. It started how it usually starts..the little girl I babysit had a cold and of course I caught it. Against my better judgement, and everyone telling me not use it; I bought Afrin. Fast forward to now, I can’t leave the house without it, constantly running out to a 24 hour pharmacy if I run out in the middle of the night and having severe anxiety if I leave it at home. Tonight I have reached my breaking point. At this point, I am using Afrin every 2-3 hours. Right now I have a breathe right on, the humidifier going and putting Vicks all over. I was wondering if I would be able to do this by myself would need to see an ENT. I am at the end of my rope and will try anything at this point. Thanks! Sending you all positive thoughts!

  33. SMAN says:

    It’s amazing how well these nose sprays work. If you think Afrin is good then you haven’t tried Nostrilla. One half a squirt up each nostril and I’m clear for 12 hours…but!…I got addicted to this stuff on the very first use. Now I get plugged up every 10-12 hours and have to use it again. I can’t go on like this…in addition I think it also has some weird sleep side effects that I never had before I tried Nostrilla. I may have to go to my Dr. to get off this stuff with some steroids but I have to try something. It’s amazing just how powerful these drugs are.

  34. requiredfield says:

    Sinuplasty. Done. Google it.

  35. Mike says:

    I’m finally cured!

    I’ve suffered with this addiction off and on for years. My latest bout was so bad I went to an allergist for help. He prescribed steroids – Prednisone – to relieve the swelling in my sinuses and get off the nasal spray. He prescribed 8 days of Prednisone but after a single pill I noticed a huge difference. I cut my 8 sprays in each nostril per day habit to 2 sprays per day after only a day and a half on the Prednisone. By day 4 of the Pred I was not using the spray at all… I never even finished the eight days of treatment. I am taking decongestant pills and antihistimines for my allergy symptoms, but the rebound congestion from the nasal spray was completely cured after just a few days of the Pred. Try this – it is the only thing that worked for me.

  36. Chris says:

    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.

  37. Val says:

    Looking foward to your update!

  38. 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.

  39. cat says:

    Chris, definitely want to hear your results!

  40. abby says:

    hey chris! how’s it going?

  41. svolan117 says:

    read my comment above yours man

  42. 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!

  43. hookedonafrin says:

    did this ever work?

  44. 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?


  45. Pam says:

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

  46. bill gimbel says:

    sinus buster made it worse for me

  47. 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

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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