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Hooked On Nasal Spray - Help!!!! (Page 1)

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I have become seriously addicted to nasal spray. Crying or Very sad I am in total fear of being unable to breathe and carrry a bottle everywhere. The 12 hour stuff lasts about 3 hours for me. Sadly, this has been going on for many years. I have tried to quit before...... Tried one nostril at a time, tried cutting it with saline to wean off it, tried cold turkey...... But even when the chemical dependency ends, I find that I immediately stop up on whatever side of my head is lower. So I can't sleep because I toss and turn and when I lay on my right side, my right sinus immediately closes completely.

How can I end this horrible dependency and live life without the bottle in my pocket.
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First Helper snowboar
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replied April 15th, 2004
Nasal Spray Dependency
I was additcted to nasal spray for years as well. The only known, proven way to break it is, indeed, to go cold turkey. It takes three days. And it works! It will not be easy. You have to treat it like you would a bad cold. Take off work if you have to. You will lose sleep, your nose will stop up, it will drive you crazy. But after three days, you will have broken the addiction.

Thereafter, if you absolutely must use a nasal spray, never use it for more than one day. If you have the need a second day, use saline mist, so that you at least are alternating days. But try to avoid ever having to use it more than one time.

Good luck! Most people have no idea what a true physical dependency/addiction this is.
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replied October 2nd, 2011
That's not true! You can wean yourself off using the dilution process. Works like a charm with no rebound congestion. That means you actually get to sleep and you'll have NO embarrassing public stuffy moments! NoMoreNoseSpray.com tells you exactly how to do it.
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replied May 10th, 2012
nasal spray addiction
I was addicted to nose spray for 22 years. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and read constant use causes high blood pressure I tried to get off it. The first few days were hard esp. at night. I put the bottle by my nose w a little drop in it to see if my brain was thinking I was getting it and open up. It worked enough to help me sleep. By the 4th day I was fine and I have been nose spray free for 4 years. I thought it would be harder than it was. After the first 2 days it gets better. No one I know believed I dont use nose spray anymore. I use nasal irrigation when I am plugged up and it works. Hope this helps.
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replied April 28th, 2004
Get Off of Nose Spray And Still Breathe!!!
Hi. I am new and was looking through stuff....
I noticed your post and had the same problem when I was little. Catch a cold, use afrin, then use afrin for months-long after the cold was gone. Here is the solution!!!
Go to your locally owned family pharmacy, and buy a bottle of ocean (saline) spray. (it will come in a squirt bottle similar to the afrin one). Take your old bottle of afrin, and pour in a little saline mist. This dilutes afrins 'powers', but still has the same effect... More or less. And, you don't have to just quit breathing for a couple of days!!! Keep adding the saline every couple of days until you no longer need it! It should only take a couple of days. And, it works like a charm!!!!
Good luck Laughing
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replied June 15th, 2009
I have been using nasal spray for the past thirty years. I have used all types. I have weaned myself off many times. I know what it is like to not be able to breath, I am trying to go cold turkey right now. It is hard. I ca not breath at all without it but i know I have to stop using it. Nothing is really working for me now. If you find yourself hooked, please get off of it. I am one of the worst addicts to nasal spray. It only gets worse. i think the stuff should not be so accesible. It should be prescription.
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replied July 9th, 2011
The weaning off method does work. I was addicted a few years after high school till my late thirties. Take your afrin bottle. The nozzle part pops out with a little help from gripping it with your teeth. Add a little saline or tap water. Each morning add about the same amout of liquid that you used the previous day. It may take a couple of weeks but you will win this war! Once you have won(AND THIS IS IMPORTANT!) and you catch a cold...only use nasal spray for a day or two at most, and then only at night so you can sleep. The several colds I have caught since I freed myself I have only used it once each time, on the worst day of the cold, and then only at night. Do not mean to insult anyone , but, to free oneself of this nightmare and then get addicted again is just insanity. Good luck.
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replied February 4th, 2010
Nasal Spray Addiction
I had the same problem many years ago. When I was pregnant I used nasal spray the whole time and then it was a long time after before I was able to get off. What works for me is to get some decongestant pills, like Sudafed (generic works just as well and you will be treated like a meth maker and have to get it at the pharmacy and sign and give your license, etc. ??). Right now I am working on the same issue from having a cold and am trying to use it only at night and use the saline and decongestant pills during the day. I know it is miserable, I carried a bottle at all times just like you.
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replied March 2nd, 2010
I am on day 2 of going cold turkey getting off nasal spray. Did not sleep much last night. I had to do the same thing last year around this time. Starts with a cold, that leads to me breaking down and using the spray, then before you know it, hooked. I should start feeling better tomorrow.
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replied July 17th, 2012
Steve, see my post, it really helped and easy to do. do 1 nostril at a time while using steroid with the other. in less than a month, you can kick the addiction.
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replied April 16th, 2010
Lol what a freak. Anyway, I am also addicted to nose spray. I didn''t even realize I needed it until I went out of town with my sisters and left my bottle at home...my nose completely swelled up and I literally could not breathe except out of my mouth...which made for a really awkward dinner. I never realized how addictive nose spray could be!! It has been about 2 months now that I have to use it 3 or 4 times a day 1 spray/nostril each time. Last night I used it before bed and the one spray didn''t help. Any time I forget it at night, I wake up choking and gagging my throat is so dry from breathing out of my mouth!! I am hoping to get this problem under control while I have the weekend off. I got some Sudafed today and a vaporizer for my room. Any other suggestions?? There is so much pollen in AL right now, this is going to be tough.
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replied April 17th, 2010
My nasal spray addiction
I am also addicted to Nasal Spray. In Canada, it''s Dristan and not Affrin, but the same thing really. I started using it on Jan 1st, 2010 as I had major sinus congestion. I have used it every day since then and more and more frequently becuase I was building up some kind of dependency to it. It had menthol in it too so it was destroying the inside of my nose. My nose you bleed, I would start forming scabs because of the sores on the inside, and then stick more spray up there and the scabs would erode and start bleeding again. Really painful and forget about sleeping for more than an hour at a time because that''s how long it was taking to need another dose. Worst experience ever really. I cried a lot and was getting really depressed. On Wednesday this week (today is saturday) I received an order of RHINOSTAT after I saw it on an episode of The Doctors. Bought it online (Google Rhinostat). this stuff is amazing and it has only been 4 days and I am already starting to wean off the Dristan and just slpet 5 hours straight for the first time in a month. It says it takes between 17-42 days to have a full effect, but many people beat it before then. I have tried everything else and this is the only thing that worked for me. I tried steriod pills from the doctor, saline sprays, netti pots, literally, everything. Rhinostat is AMAZING. If you feel like I did, honestly, this is the only thing that will bring you hope.
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replied July 9th, 2011
Finding Rhinostat after an online search on nasal spray addiction was truly one of the greatest moments of my life. After reading the info on their site I remembered that once the nozzel on my Afrin bottle came out with the little straw attached and I just poped it right back on. Then the light came on over my head. I just took the nozzle off added some tap water and did it each morning. It took about two weeks as I was addicted for about twenty+ years. Good for you for almost being through with the addiction. Be very careful from now on when you catch a cold. Take care. Rob
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replied April 19th, 2010
I was so hooked on nasal spray that I would not leave the house unless I had a bottle in my purse. I had a bottle in my car, and a bottle in my nightstand drawer. It got to the point that I was using it several times a day. I had used it so much that it caused an infection in my top, front teeth. I knew I had to get off the stuff.

Here's what I did: I stopped using it in one nostril, but not the other. This way I could have relief in at lease one side of my nose while the other side re-learned how to breath on its own. After about a week, I stopped using the spray altogether. It took about two weeks this way to totally breathe on my own, but at least I was not totally miserable during the weening process.
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replied April 20th, 2010
Experienced User
All that chemical in the spray is dying you up, stop the spraying and drink a glass of clean non-fluoridated water with a pinch of sea salt every hour. Your nose won't be plugged anymore. Keep a glass by your bedside. Any chemical is addicting...in food, in pharmaceuticals. Chemicals are man-made. I bet you a billion dollars cave man didn't have nose spray because they had no chemicals back then. When you have a cold, drink water and take lots vitamin c, if you get diarrhea cut back a couple pills, that is how you can tell when your body has enough vitamin c.
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replied April 24th, 2010
Try a natural nasal spray to replace your OTC one such as SinuSoothe or Sinus Buster. They are better for you, are non addictive and do not cause rebound congestion
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replied October 10th, 2010
Hey. Im 13 and unfortunately I devoloped a dependency for nasal spray. Theres a really easy trick to end this vicious cycle. Buy some "rub on headache meds", or icy hot gel and rub it on or under your nose. These medicines make a forign environment for you nose therefore the blood vessels in your nose will contract, halting the production of mucus. Try putting a rod of ice in your nose for a humongos temporary relif.
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replied November 10th, 2010
I have been using nasal spary every day for two years, I found out I was pregnant and new I had to stop using it as there is no wasy of knowing what harm it could do to the baby, I stopped using it completely 5 days ago, it was horrible for 2 days I could not breathe or sleep and my sinus hurt badly, but it has eased and now I am just a bit stuffy but I can breathe through my nose properly Smile My advice throw the bottles away you will feel awful for a couple of days then it gets better and you are back to normal!!! It so nice not to have to panick about running out of nasal spray or whether I have forgotten to take it out with me, and even nicer that I do not have to spray it up my nose every couple of hours!!
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replied December 30th, 2010
I too have been addicted to nasal spray for about 20 years, started as sinus congestion as a teenager and have been using it ever since. I now have thyroid disease and am awaiting surgery, one of the conditions of taking thyroid meds is that you cannot take decongestants with them so I HAVE to get off the stuff. I have decided to do cold turkey. Today is day one and i am in a right bunged up old mess but I am hoping to be better in about 5 days time. I agree that these OTC meds should be prescription only. People (including me) abuse them because they are readily available and they assume they can't do much damage.
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replied February 4th, 2011
I too am addicted to nasal spray. I am not ready to give it up just yet because I love my sleep and love to breath. Thank you for all your advise here on this forum. I will be sure to return when it's my turn to say good bye to the squeeze bottle.
Thanks guys.
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replied March 9th, 2011
Nasal Spray addiction
OMG - FDA should really step in and take Afrin off the shelves...... I scheduled an appointment with an ENT doctor though they will not see me until I have been off Afrin for two weeks. I am using saline with not much luck yet, though it is just the first day. The Netti Pot won't even break through. A very hot shower does provide some releif. I'll tell you what, I am so clogged up that when I swallow my ears pop. I have no taste, can't smell nada!! I am on day two and I hope I will not have to sleep sitting up again. I will fight through this and update again on day five.

Brian in Austin, Tx.
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replied April 18th, 2011
Nasal spray Addict
I was addicted to nasal spray for five years after having my tonsils removed. Tried several things such as the netti pot and pills to quit using the spray...nothing would work. I would buy six bottles at a time to ensure I'd be "set" for awhile. Finally I decided to make an appointment with an ENT. After I called to make the appointment I decided to try one last time to quit, cold turkey. The first day/night was MISERABLE. The second day I woke up and felt some relief out of my left nostril. But, my right was still pretty clogged. After the third day I could breathe on my own again. It's been one month since I've used any spray and it feels amazing....never even went to my ENT appt. Just a little advice, keep a bottle of water handy the first few nights without the spray..my mouth and lips got really dry and even cracked a little. Just keep drinking water and rotating sides u sleep on. It gets better!
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replied February 10th, 2012
Hi There,

I just recently conquered my addiction to nasal spray. It started when i was 15 or 16 years old, when I got really bad allergic rhinitis and just couldn't breathe through my nose. I bought a bottle of nasal spray and never put it down. I am now 20 years old, and after doing enough online research about just how addictive and damaging this stuff is for your health, I decided right then and there I was quitting it. I threw my bottle of nose spray in the garbage. The first day wasn't too bad, because I had used some in the morning before deciding to quit, and so its effect did last most of the day. But by that evening, I could feel the congestion coming on. By about 9pm that night I was full-blown congested to the point where both of my sinus passages felt like they had cement in them, and then due to the pressure both of my ears "popped" and I couldn't hear. I got the worst sinus/pressure head ache and spent the entire night awake and crying. I also went through about a 30 minute panic attack because I couldn't breathe and the pressure in my head was so extreme. I almost called the ambulance, it felt so horrible. I did not get a minute of sleep that night. The next day, I had bruising all under my eyes because the pressure was so severe, and my sinuses were still totally inflamed and I couldn't hear. I felt nauseous and sick and weak and tired and felt like I had a full pumpkin on my head. Slowly but surely, my sinuses began to drain. Sometimes I would only get the tiniest bit of relief for 30 seconds or so, and then they would stop up again, but those little seconds of relief gave me hope. I stuck to it and as uncomfortable as it was, and how little sleep I got, it has been worth it. It is now day 5 of being totally off nose spray and I have been comfortable and happy since day 3. The first day/night is the absolute worst, but if you can make it through one terrible night, I guarantee you will be back to normal within just a few days. I haven't touched nose spray since and I don't ever plan on it. Both of my sinuses are totally open and free and I am sleeping better than ever (I don't have to wake up and spray because I can't breathe in the middle of the night!). I don't have to worry about carrying my little bottle around, etc. It's such a great feeling. And the chemical burns on the inside of my nose have totally healed over and the nose bleeds have stopped. I purchased a cold-mist humidifier which has made a huge difference in adding some humidity to the air and allowing for some nice cool air to inhale, as well as a vick's plug-in vaporiser that just released a cool/minty smell into the air that I find it very soothing.

You can do it!!! Like I said, if you can endure ONE really rough night, you will be off nose spray within just a few days. I had been using it for years and years, and it nly took me one brutal night, and about two days of having my sinuses alternate being congested while the other was not, and then all of a sudden both opened up and have stayed clear and open since!
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