Decongestant nose sprays can reduce the nasal congestion caused by allergies, sinus infections or the common cold. Although these products are useful for short-term use, using them for more than two or three days may cause a “rebound effect” that leads to more nasal congestion. If you have questions about using a decongestant nose spray, call your doctor for advice.
Afrin offers many different types of decongestant nose sprays. These include Afrin Original, Afrin Severe Congestion, Afrin Extra Moisturizing, Afrin Sinus and Afrin All Night. These products are available as a traditional nasal spray or in a pump-mist applicator. They also are available in a “no-drip” formula, that prevents the solution from draining out of the nasal passage. All Afrin products contain either phenylephrine hydrochloride or oxymetazoline as their active ingredient. Afrin products are widely available and do not require a prescription.
Dristan offers only one type of nasal spray, Dristan 12-Hr Nasal Spray. It contains 0.05 percent of oxymetazline as its active ingredient. It is widely available at drugstores, supermarkets and online. Dristan products do not require a prescription.
Vicks manufactures a variety of cold and allergy products, which include the decongestant nasal sprays Sinex VapoSpray 12-Hour Decongestant Nasal Spray, Sinex VapoSpray 12-Hour Decongestant UltraFine Mist and Sinex VapoSpray Moisturing Decongestant. Each formulation contains 0.05 percent of oxymetazoline. Vicks products are widely available and do not require a prescription.
Many popular retail chains offer store-brand versions of decongestant nasal spray. Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid are just a few of the retail chains that offer store-brand decongestant nose sprays. The ingredients of these store-brand nasal sprays vary, so check the label before use. These store-brand decongestants do not require a prescription.