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Want to know how to replace daily regime of Otrivin efficiently. Had nose surgery, now blocked nose.

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, I need to know how to replace a daily regime of otrivin efficiently. I had a nose surgery last year and since then my nose is permanently blocked. I was told to use otrivin to unblock it. The problem is, I have been using it daily for 3 months, 3-6 times a day. I know it is harmful to do so, but I really can't breathe without it. I live in Saudi Arabia so the air is dry and dusty; changes in weather are the worst times of the year. Using otrivin affects my health very much: I am super sleepy and have cardiac troubles. But without it I can't function either. I tried a few things, such as boiling water once, and saline solution spray once, but nothing is as effective as otrivin. I don't have the money for another surgery at the moment. Please advise on the possible replacements, as doctors here aren't all competent... Let me know if you need more information. I really want to get better. Thanks, XXXXXXX
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later

Thanks for the query

You are going through a condition called 'Rhinitis Medicamentosa'. Rhinitis Medicamentosa is a condition induced by overuse of nasal decongestants, it is also called ‘Rebound Rhinitis’ or ‘Chemical Rhinitis’.

I do not understand why your doctor had prescribed you Otrivin nasal spray for more than a week. It is not supposed to be used for more than 5 days. When you start using the spray the nasal mucosa gets dried up and leads to crusting of the nasal secretions, nasal bleed and block.

It is very easy to get rid of this problem; you need to follow the below mentioned procedures and you will be alright.
1. Stop smoking as soon as possible
2. Drink plenty of water to keep the body tissues hydrated
3. Stop using Otrivin
4. Use saline nasal spray 1puff in each nostril 3-4 times per day, this helps in restoration of moisture of the dry nasal passages and sinuses and also lessens the inflammation of mucous membranes.
5. Use steroid nasal spray to help in overcoming the rebound nasal congestion
6. Avoid using coffee/chilled beverages till you recover completely.

The above mentioned treatment will definitely help you in recovering from the problem, but it is wise to consult your ENT specialist for a complete evaluation and management. You do not require any surgery at this juncture.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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