Decongestants are one of the best medicines for nasal congestion. They are available as capsules, nasal sprays, and others. They work fast in relieving the symptoms of nasal congestion. You shouldn’t use them for conditions like rhinorrhea as they may not be suitable. Meanwhile, if your condition is caused by an allergic reaction, this drug can be used together with an antihistamine. Antihistamines are especially good for treating allergies.
How decongestants work
They work on a receptor on the blood vessels. The constrict blood vessels to make them shrink. As a result, the blood flow to the area will also decrease, which in turn creates a bigger opening in the nasal passages. It doesn’t take long until you can feel the effect after use.
You will feel that the sinuses become more open and it will be easier to take a breath compared to before it had been applied. While they help open congested sinuses, this drug may not provide relief for accompanying symptoms like itchiness. That’s why it’s often combined with other medicines.
Types of decongestants
There are a few decongestants you can find at pharmacies. They are either taken orally and or applied topically. But if you want one that’s widely used, pseudoephedrine is the right choice. It’s important to know the side effects before taking a decongestant. As for pseudoephedrine, the side effects are usually mild.
It may cause irritability and headache if your body isn’t tolerant to the compounds in this drug. Another possible side effect is an increase in blood pressure. For this reason, if you already struggle maintaining your blood pressure, please ask for your doctor’s advice as to how to take this medicine and if there are safer alternatives.
Beware of dependency
This is another thing that you should be concerned about. Some people develop dependency after using a decongestant. It can be called an addiction although this term sounds a bit inappropriate for this situation. Basically, dependence means you need to use a decongestant repeatedly to relieve the symptoms. For instance, at first a decongestant nasal spray would work just fine. And you use it for a couple of days.
And then, once the use has been stopped, the congestion returns quickly. This indicates that your body has developed dependence. This specific condition is also known as rebound congestion. The solution is not to keep using it, but switching to other alternatives. Even home remedies may provide relief, so there is no need to depend on this drug if you experience serious side effects.