The chances of side effects caused by decongestant drugs are very few. This article briefly discusses some of them.
Nasal congestion can greatly interfere with the affected person’s day-to-day activities, comfort, sleep cycles, and overall health. Therefore, one of the effective treatments for tackling this problem is using a decongestant drug. The drug is easily available over-the-counter in the form of nasal sprays, and oral tablets or liquids. Most people find more relief using the nasal sprays as they tend to work faster and do not cause drowsiness.
Decongestants act like stimulants, which can increase the blood pressure and the heart rate. As a result, they tend to worsen the existing symptoms of heart diseases. Therefore, people affected by hypertension or any kind of heart problems must consult their physician before using them.
Although decongestants are considered safe, some people experience their side effects. One of the common side effects is disruption of sleep cycles (insomnia) accompanied by nervousness. This is because the drug causes stimulation of the brain.
Some of the side effects which are less severe include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Once you stop taking the drugs, these side effects should disappear. If not, then consult your doctor.
Some side effects, though rare, can be serious in nature. If they occur, seek medical attention immediately. They include:
- Difficulty in passing urine
- Allergic reaction characterized by rash, swelling of the throat, and breathing problems
If the nasal sprays are used for more than 3-5 days, the nasal lining stops responding to the drug. This leads to overuse of the spray. Once the medication stops, the congestion starts getting worse. This condition is known as rebound congestion.
There are certain drugs which can make the aforementioned side effects worse and severe with time. They include antibiotics, antifungal medications, antidepressants, medications for high-blood pressure and heart disorders, and non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, precaution must be exercised against taking a decongestant and these drugs at the same time. People affected by diabetes, emphysema, thyroid, and those on medications such as antidepressants, diet pills, or anti-migraine drugs, must consult their physician as they are more vulnerable to experience a stroke.
Decongestants are also known to interact with certain types of medication such as antipsychotic drugs, theophylline, urinary acidifiers, and drugs administered for treating Parkinson’s disease.
Although the aforementioned effects are less likely to occur, taking a few precautions beforehand, and using home remedies can keep the patient from trouble and additional worries. People who are advised not to use decongestants may seek alternative treatment for nasal congestion by consulting their doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.