I found your site last week (3rd of May 2009) when I was looking for treatment for Chronic Bronchitis and have a story of my own to share. It goes like this.

I am a drug addict. My drug of choice is not heroin, speed, coke, pot, pills crackタᆭ in fact it’s something far more innocent seeming but just as insidious. My drug of choice isタᆭ.Oxymetazolin Hyrachloride or the active ingredient of your common, pharmaceutical nose spray.

I live in an area where pollen allergies are common, and I guess I have them a bit. Nothing major, no watery eyes or anything, but since have broken my nose playing football and suffering a now somewhat deviated septum, my left nostril always felt a little blocked. The one fateful day in 2005, also suffering a cold and with a wife complaining my snoring is out of control I buy a nose spray to try and clear my nose. One sniff into each nostril, and they are on fire, but a few minutes later and I can breathe clearly through each nostril. I’d tired antihistamine sprays, salt water sprays, they’d done nothing, now all of a sudden WHAM I could breathe. Got a good night’s sleep that night, as did my wife.

I was clear of nose most of the next day, but as the sun set and the humidity increased, my nasal passages seemed to close in and I found myself reaching for the nose spray. BAM, WHAM! and I could breathe again. I had receive a warning from the chemist only to use the spray for 5 days maximum, then I should stop using it or I could suffer a rebound effect. ON day 5 I stopped using the spray, and though I could not breathe through my nose as well, my cold was over so I stopped.

A few months later, I got another cold and it was a doozy, so I reasoned no rebound could be worse than the congestion, so I kept using it for a week. After the week, my cold seemed to have hung around. By the middle of the afternoon my nose was alternately dry, drippingタᆭ. but always stuffed. A sensation of the nasal passages being totally closed. No problem, a couple of squirts and I was fine.
This went on for another week, then another month, till I realized I could not go a night without it. I would wake with a blocked nose and dry mouth. Nothing could allow me to get back to sleep, but two squirts of the juice. I started to suffer nosebleeds, I needed to spray 2-3 times a day instead of just the once at night but no biggy. It was still better than blocked noses, and I reasoned my addiction was fairly benign.
Then things started to go really pear shaped. I had my blood pressure measured, and it came back high even though I am a light meat eater, am not overweight and don’t smoke. Investigation showed no obvious cause. When asked about medications I was taking, I did not mention the nose spray. Why would I? It’s not really a drug is it?

Then, I noticed that not only was my nose closing totally when I was coming off the spray, but it was also dripping thick, white mucus. I was always coughing too, like I had a bug in my throatタᆭ. then it went to my lungs. I was tested for whooping cough, Chlamydia (THAT went down well with the wife even though the doctor assured her less than 50% of cases were transmitted sexually) and eventually diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, with no specific cause. I was prescribed steroids, which didn’t help at all.

I then started to think that perhaps my nose spray was involved. By now, I had been using it for 4 years, and my cough was much worse, when I needed a hit of nose spray. My nose dripped mucus when I was coming down off it, maybe I was sniffing the stuff into my bronchials and lungsタᆭ and they were reacting the same way? I had to find out.

I went to my doctor with my hypothesis, he shrugged and said 12 months of bronchitis why not try getting off the nose spray and seeing what happens? Easier said than done. No nose spray, no breathing through nose, no sleep, cranky man. The doctor recommended I get some night time cold tablets. Philosophy was they contained a big whack of pseudoephedrine which opened up the bloods vessels including those in my nose so I could breathe + an even bigger whack of antihistamine which makes you sleepy, and also reduces the creation of mucus caused by allergic reactions.)
First night was torturous. The pseudoephedrine stopped me sleeping, at the same time the antihistamines made me stupid and groggy. I lay in bed, in a haze unable to sleep or get up. The next morning, I was exhausted. I COULD however, breathe ever so slightly through my nose all night, and could in the morning even though the pseudoephedrine had by now in the main worn off. I made it through the day at work, then went to bed, and managed to sleep even with the cold tablets pulling me this way and that, because I was so exhausted.ᅠ

4 days later? I sit here typing with a nose I can breathe through, my bronchials are 80% better than they have been for 6 months, as are my lungs. I am thinking my blood pressure will be down tooタᆭ next time I get it checked. I have no doubt, my allergies remain, and I am going to get the bent septum straightened surgically, but either way I am better off with a slightly blocked nose, than one unblocked using Oxymetazolin Hyrachloride nasal spray.

I think these nose sprays are the most insidious of creations. No visit to the doctor needed to get it, it’s cheap so when you get addicted you’ll never need to rob a convenience store to get the money to pay for it. The harm it does I doubt there is even any real data on it. Because there is no harm to society(no robbing of convenience stores) governments don’t care, they have bigger fish to fry(far enough). From a drug company’s perspective, it’s a wonder drug. It’s sold with the warning “Don’t use for more than 5 days” so if and when you do get addicted(and you will) they can always say you used it in a way they recommended you didn’t do. so it’s your fault, not theirs, and certainly not the drug’s fault either. The worst part for me is, that I have now found some alternatives that apparently don’t have the same rebound effect I never needed to be exposed in the first place to the addiction and health risk.

My advice to you NEVER use an over the counter nasal spray containing Oxymetazolin Hyrachloride or similar chemicals. They are addictive, they cause high blood pressure, and they damage your nasal passages and can cause long lasting irritation of your bronchials and lungs if you suffer from a rebound effect.

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