Addicted to nasal spray: The risks of instant relief

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one purchase at a drugstore that can

lead to years of misery we're talking

about over-the-counter nasal spray when

used correctly it can bring relief from

the stuffy nose

our senior health correspondent Monica

Robbins found if warnings aren't heated

users can easily get hooked on these

leading to a lifetime of dependence and

in some cases permanent damage

Brian doll can't live without it people

sometimes think I'm a cocaine user

because I sniff so bites you know Dolls

drug is legal and available at any

drugstore over-the-counter I've got one

in my book bags that carry around and

probably got one in my car I probably

got one upstairs in my bedroom a stash

of nasal spray never far from sight

that's allowed him to breathe freely

through his nose for two decades Adrien

Mattias - I had to have it in my drawer

at my house and my car anywhere I went I

had to have it

a nagging cold started her nasal spray

addiction but then the cold went away

and I still couldn't breathe and I

couldn't breathe without it and then it

became obsessive Mattias and doll are

far from alone sales of non prescription

nasal sprays top 45 billion dollars with

generic label after no drip and Afrin

leading the pack and the warning labels

are there for a reason this is a true

addiction it is a psychological and a

physical dependence on this so it can be

a real challenge to get off of these

sprays once you've been on them for a

prolonged period of time

too often dr. Raj cinoiii sees patients

who can't stop the spray over time they

stop working and actually cause rebound

swelling putting you even further behind

than when you were when you started

taking them so when should you take them

and for how long the sprays work for

severe congestion like from a sinus

infection or cold but as the box clearly

states no more than two doses a day and

no longer than three to five days

warnings doll and Mattias wish they

followed if I stopped using it then it

would just inside just swell up and you

know couldn't couldn't breathe when you

can't breathe you panic and that's what

makes it so scary to break this cycle

doctors will usually switch a patient to

steroid nasal spray their non addicting

can be used long term for tougher cases

steroids in a pill Mattias kicked the

habit on her own doll is still

struggling the longer you use it like

for many years and years and years it's

almost like your nose it's like it

remembers Monica Robins Channel 3 News

Adrienne managed to stop using the

sprays brian fears he may need surgery

to help fix his nasal passages doctor

strongly encourage you to strictly

follow the directions when using these

products they say over-the-counter

sprays are fine for colds but allergies

are better served with steroid sprays

that are not addicting and can be used

long-term of course talk to your doctor

about concerns