Information about Oxymetazoline

Oxymetazoline Uses

Oxymetazoline is used in the treatment of nasal congestion. It treats congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold.

How Oxymetazoline works

Oxymetazoline is a decongestant. It works by narrowing the small blood vessels which provides temporary relief from inflammation (redness and swelling) and discomfort.

Common side effects of Oxymetazoline

Dryness, Irritation, Sneezing
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
30 Dec 2020 | 06:14 AM (UTC)

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Expert advice for Oxymetazoline

  • It works right away and each dose provides relief for up to 12 hours. 
  • The right way to use the nasal spray:
    • Shake the bottle before using the medicine. 
    • Clean your nose thoroughly before using the medicine.
    • Insert the bottle tip into one nostril and close the other nostril. 
    • Direct the spray towards the sides of your nostril, away from the cartilage dividing the two sides of your nose.
    • Breathe out gently through your mouth and repeat the same process for the other nostril.
  • Avoid deep breathing as it will cause medication to go back to the throat and make it less effective.
  • Do not share the bottle with anyone else so that you do not spread germs.
  • Oxymetazoline can make nasal congestion worse if used for more than 3 or 4 days in a row (called rebound congestion).

Frequently asked questions for Oxymetazoline


Q. Is Oxymetazoline addictive?

Treatment with Oxymetazoline does not cause mental addiction. However, patients may get physically addicted such that they may feel an urge to use Oxymetazoline. Hence, it should only be used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Q. Is Oxymetazoline a steroid/ antihistamine?

No, Oxymetazoline is not a steroid or an antihistamine. It belongs to a class of medications called adrenergic medicines that are used as nasal decongestants (to relieve congestion of the nose).

Q. Is Oxymetazoline safe?

Oxymetazoline is safe if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Take it exactly as directed and do not skip any dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully and let your doctor know if any of the side effects bother you.

Q. Does Oxymetazoline cause cataract/keep you awake/ raise blood pressure/insomnia/drowsiness?

There are no such reports which suggest occurrence of side effects such as cataract, insomnia (inability to sleep) or drowsiness during treatment with Oxymetazoline. However, Oxymetazoline can raise blood pressure when taken with medicines that are used to treat depression, like selegiline and moclobemide. It can also decrease the effect of medicines used to treat blood pressure. Hence, patients should consult doctors regarding the possible side effects and drug interactions.

Q. Can I take Oxymetazoline with Benadryl (diphenhydramine)/ phenylephrine/ pseudoephedrine?

Oxymetazoline should not be taken simultaneously with Benadryl (diphenhydramine)/phenylephrine/pseudoephedrine. Consult your doctor before using any other medicine with Oxymetazoline.


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