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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

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OTC Nasal Spray??
Jul 9, 2005
This is somewhat OT, but I was wondering if anyone has ever been addicted to and recovered from using OTC nasal decongestants like Afrin or 4 Way??

I spent the better part of 5 years being addicted. I have seasonal nasal allergies, and one year I just started using nasal spray and never stopped. It is more of a substance that you become dependant upon rather than addicted to. When the effect wears off, you get what they call rebound congestion, which in many cases is worse than the initial congestion. You start having to use it more and more often, and then become totally dependant. Finally, last year, I just quit cold turkey. It took 4 days of nothing but solid congestion and hell to get over it, but I did. I have recovered since then and only use it for cold congestion, and never for more than 3 days. I take prescription shots of kenalog for allergies now, and it works great. It's a steroid.

But, I was wondering what kind of damage it may have done to my body over the years. I have heard that it can cause permanent damage to sinus passages and mucus membranes. I have also heard that it bad for your pulse rate and blood pressure. I have heard of people needing surgery to correct damage done. Can anyone tell me if this is true and what else may be the case?

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