What is this medicine?

Oxymetazoline (OX ee me TAZ oh leen) is a nasal decongestant. This medicine is used to treat nasal congestion or a stuffy nose. This medicine will not treat an infection.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): 12 Hour Nasal, Afrin, Afrin Extra Moisturizing, Afrin Nasal Sinus, Afrin No Drip Severe Congestion, Dristan, Duration, Genasal, Mucinex Children's Stuffy Nose, Mucinex Full Force, Mucinex Moisture Smart, Mucinex Sinus-Max, Mucinex Sinus-Max Sinus & Allergy, NASAL Decongestant, Nasal Relief, Neo-Synephrine 12-Hour, Neo-Synephrine Severe Sinus Congestion, Nostrilla Fast Relief, Sinex 12-Hour, Sudafed OM Sinus Cold Moisturizing, Sudafed OM Sinus Congestion Moisturizing, Vicks Qlearquil Decongestant, Vicks Sinex, Vicks Sinex Severe, Vicks Sinus Daytime, Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief, Zicam Intense Sinus

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • high or low blood pressure
  • history of stroke
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • scleroderma
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • thromboangiitis obliterans
  • thyroid disease
  • trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to oxymetazoline, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for use in the nose. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the package label. Shake well before using. Use your medicine at regular intervals or as directed by your health care provider. Do not use it more often than directed. Do not use for more than 3 days in a row without advice. Make sure that you are using your nasal spray correctly. Ask your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

The medicine may interaction with the following medications:

  • MAOIs like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine
  • medicines to treat blood pressure and heart disease like ace-inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, digoxin, and diuretics
  • medicines to treat enlarged prostate like alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin, and terazosin
  • nafarelin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

To prevent the spread of infection, do not share bottle with anyone else.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • burning, stinging, or irritation in the nose right after use
  • increased nasal discharge
  • sneezing

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy