The nose knows not
January 16, 2009 6:54 PM   Subscribe

So I went and got my nose addicted to dristan... How do I stop with the spray but still breathe?
posted by muscat to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Use one of your old empty spray bottles. Put some dristan from a new bottle into it, and then add some tap water. Use that instead of the fresh bottle, and try not to use more than you usually do.

After you run that one out, do it again.

The third time, use even less dristan and more water.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:59 PM on January 16, 2009

Been there w/ Afrin. I used to use it 2x a day. It was fairly easy to back off to only once a day at bedtime, but after that, quitting was hard, especially because I couldn't fall asleep with the feeling of a stuffy nose.

I found that humidity in my bedroom helped, as did sleeping with my head elevated so it wouldn't be so clogged. Then I decided to only spray one nostril a day, and alternate them so there was more time between uses in each side. That made it easier to break the cycle.

Good luck.
posted by mmf at 7:00 PM on January 16, 2009

Also, I should have included the frequent use of saline spray during the days. You can't overdo it and it helps you keep breathing. I used Simply Saline.
posted by mmf at 7:02 PM on January 16, 2009

My experience was that it only took 24 hours of cold turkey misery to clear things up. Hope it goes that fast for you.
posted by fish tick at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2009

Whenever I have sinus trouble, I use neti pots, the ones where you pour salt water in and it rinses out the other side. Yeah, it seems gross, but....wait, no, no it can be kinda gross sometimes, yeah. But it works better than saline spray for me. All that water rinses completely through your sinuses hydrating everything, which lasts longer than sprays. In the winter, i only feel the urge to do it once every two or three days. Also, rinses OUT dust, dirt, bacteria, and sometimes snot; sprays sometimes just shove that stuff further up into your sinuses, causing more blockage and infections.

There are many different types of these pots you can get. I got a little ceramic one from Whole Foods for ~$10. Its blue and kinda pretty, so I dont feel silly leaving it out on my counter.
posted by CTORourke at 7:33 PM on January 16, 2009

I second Simply Saline. I use it often, and switched away from chemical relief.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:40 PM on January 16, 2009

Saline never worked for me, especially with the nose spray withdrawal. Cold turkey was the only way to go for me, but not at night. Start using it in the morning for a couple days, and THEN stop. The horrible stuffy nose withdrawal will be during the day, and not at night, and that's much easier to deal with.

Another thing that worked to clear my nose was espresso. If you think about it, it's not that different from pseudoephedrine. Has similar effects. So, quit during the day, and drink a bunch of espresso.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:02 PM on January 16, 2009

I get strung out on OTC nasal sprays too. Are you still sick or suffering from congestion? My doctor gave me a prescription for Flonase to get off it when I was sick for quite a while and using Afrin a lot. Her recommendation was to use a saline wash (like a neti pot), then use my Afrin, then use Flonase (does come as a generic now too). The Flonase helped the Afrin last much longer, so the bounceback wasn't as hard to survive, and I could still sleep. After a day or so, I could drop the Afrin and just use the Flonase and saline wash. Then, when you're better, you can stop everything.

Now when I'm sick, I try and stick to saline washes only and a saline spray and never use the Afrin, etc, unless I really can't breathe.
posted by gladly at 8:47 PM on January 16, 2009

Yeah, Flonase and saline.

If you get a Neilmed Sinus Rinse bottle, it's kind of like a neti pot, but with vastly more entertaining nose-douche action. Don't do it when you're drunk, though-- your various flappy bits won't react in time to stop you from drinking a bunch of salty baking soda water, and you'll be nauseous for about three hours.

not that i ever did that. oh, no, not me.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:16 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Rhinitis medicamentosa is a sort of silly name, but once you know how to spell it, you can learn more about it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:05 PM on January 16, 2009

Flonase or similar nasal steroid and/or oral decongestant; the stronger the better, prescription-strength if necessary. Flonase is a godsend for chronic stuffiness.
posted by walla at 1:44 AM on January 17, 2009

Also: exercise just before bedtime. Climb your stairs for 10 minutes, do jumping jacks, whatever. Exercise is a natural decongestant and will help clear up your nose for sleep time.
posted by twiki at 4:48 AM on January 17, 2009

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