Rebound Rhinitis

Posted in Rhinitis

Rebound rhinitis also known as “rhinitis medicamentosa” is a nasal condition that one experiences due to excess use of topical vasoconstrictive medications for more than 4 to 5 days. These medications may include oxymetazoline, pheylephrine, xylometazoline and naphazoline nasal sprays. The medications work by constricting blood vessels in the lining of the nose. The swelling can become worse with the continued use.

The patient usually starts taking an over dose of the medicines once they feel the unexpected blockage in their nasal cavity as a remedy from further blockage but in actual the patients make their condition worse by doing so and end up in a fully blocked nose that needs different medical treatments or has to be surgically removed. Of course the over dosage of any kind of medicine proves to be injurious than being a recovery, medicine should always be used for a limited time and till only when the recovery is being observed. The use of anti –infective agent benzalkonium chloride, which is a usual ingredient in topical sprays makes the rhinitis condition worse by increasing the rebound swelling.

DRUG-INDUCED rhinitis:

The rhinitis caused due to medications other than topical decongestion like oral contraceptives, psychotropic medications and antihypertensive medications which may include some other mechanism is called as drug induced rhinitis.

The vicious cycle of nasal sprays:

In most places the nasal sprays are written down as the beginners of vicious cycle of rhinitis. The relief of being able to breathe properly in seconds after using a spray that shrinks the nasal tissues letting in exhilarating rush of fresh air immediately has made the users ignorant of the severe side effects of the over dosage of these sprays.

It is  a common problem observed in nasal spray users.A survey has shown that almost 7 out of ten of the nasal spray users end up abusing them. The patients get addicted to the use of such sprays and feel only at ease when experiencing continued use.  A girl once admitted to go through the host’s medicine cabinet just to find a bottle of a spray when she went to attend a party that clearly stated her addiction for the medication. Dr. Bhattaharyya once sated that the inside of the nose of a person suffering from rhinitis looks like a chemical burn.


The treatment of rebound rhinitis begins with the discontinuation of the topical sprays at once. The condition can become better itself when the use of nasal sprays is triggered but if the patient is not willing to stop immediately there are several methods to decrease the effects. Consult a physician and follow the prescription to avoid further drastic and severe stage of the disease. The patient should be educated properly about the pros and cons of the medication they decide to use for their nasal problems. And they patients should be offered frequent office visits in the first few weeks of their medical treatment.

The patient can make the recovery fast by having withdrawing treatment meaning that they withdraw from one nostril at one time. Studies have shown that this results in quick recovery from rhinitis.

Pain relief can be suggested to patients that are not ASA sensitive.


Nasal corticosteroids reduce the local inflammation by reducing the nasal congestion sooner. Oral medication is rarely necessary.

It is advised that once you decide to use a nasal spray always read the precautions and limit the use to only three to four days. The medicines are available on the local pharmaceutical stores and can be purchased online. The medications can differ in their potency and half life but they all are equally effective.

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