Oxymetazoline (oxymetazoline hydrochloride)

Oxymetazoline is a nasal decongestant.

Pronunciation: OX-ee-MET-azz-oh-leen

What are oxymetazoline’s uses?

Oxymetazoline gives short-term relief for nasal congestion due to colds, hay fever, upper respiratory tract allergies, sinus infection or a runny nose. It's available over the counter as a nose spray. 

What dosage should you take?

The dose depends on your age and reason for taking it.

However, a typical guideline for the nasal spray or drops is:

  • Adults and children over six: Use two or three drops or sprays of 0.05% solution in each nostril every ten to twelve hours. Don’t use more than twice in 24 hours.

However, first check the correct dosage with your Clicks pharmacist, particularly when it comes to children up to six years old.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Don't use for longer than three days. Frequent or long-term use of oxymetazoline may cause nasal congestion to recur or worsen.
  • Don't share it with anyone as this can spread infection.
  • May affect blood sugar levels. Speak to your doctor about any risks.
  • If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss the risks of using oxymetazoline during pregnancy with your doctor.
  • It isn’t known if oxymetazoline is excreted in breast milk during breastfeeding. Discuss any risks with your doctor.
  • Its use should be avoided in children younger than six, however discuss this with your doctor or Clicks pharmacist.

Oxymetazoline should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions, so first discuss its use with your doctor or Clicks pharmacist:

What drug interactions could you experience?

As a rule, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take to ensure you don’t suffer the effects of adverse drug interactions.

What are oxymetazoline’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

  • Increase in nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Stinging
  • Burning

More severe side effects include:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and swelling of the mouth).

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or the ambulance immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • A slow heartbeat
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in August 2015