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Re: Afrin Addiction
Feb 20, 2005
Hi all,

My name is Dallas Alice and I am an Afrin-aholic. I have been off and on that spray for the last 20 years. I would use it for a year or so and then take a 3-day solitary weekend and cold turkey off of it, and it was hard as all get out! But back then, that would 3, bingo, I could breathe on my own again. Yet it took 3 days of breathing through my mouth and barely sleeping to get off it.

Skip ahead about 10 years and I'd been on it for about 3 yrs, so I decided to do my usual c/t, well this time it didn't work and I ended up with a raging sinus infection that took me to the dr.s office and I was given the same steroid-type spray I think some of you have mentioned along with antibiotics. It took about 2 weeks, but I got off it and stayed off for a year.

Now I've been on it straight for almost 8 years. I stopped briefly with the help of flonase and saline sprays, but it's the nighttime thing...I just can't sleep I am so plugged up! Now that I've been on it so very long, I am afraid of what damage I may have done and if it is related to my recent diagnosis of borderline high blood pressure. I suppose the only thing I can do is come clean with my dr. and see what he can do.

Although I've seen this topic talked about on here before, I never chimed in because most of the posts were from short term users of nasal sprays, but this thread seems to have some long-term users of it and I can so relate to every single post on here. I was at the dr's office recently for strep throat, and they looked in my nose and all they said was it was red? I was expecting them to say it had holes eaten through it or something awful like that! What have any of you heard about the negative things, besides the fast heart rate (which dr's have also told me Afrin is notorious for bringing on) that long-term Afrin use can do to you? I am tempted to try my old 3-day c/t remedy, but the fear of the rebound being as bad as it was the last time I did it stops me. Professional help is the only thing I can think of...any other ideas out there? I'd love to hear more on this from you all and anyone else in the same situation.

You know, I suspect this is a much more common addiction than people know or admit to. My dr. told me he went through med school with a man who was terribly addicted to it and had it in his white coat pocket at all times. Oh, and to the poster who's gone to the drugstore in the middle of the night...I've done the same thing at least a half a dozen times! Thank goodness Walgreens is right down the street...

Good luck, and I'll be watching this thread for ideas and/or home remedies that might work.

Take care,
Dallas Alice

p.s. Have most of you found that Afrin no longer lasts 12 hours but more like 3-4? That's about where I'm at...I might be able to stretch it to 6-8 depending on the circumstances, but I go through a bottle of it easily in 10 days...yikes!

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