Oxymetazoline is a drug to relieve nasal congestion which can be caused by colds, allergies , sinusitis, or allergic rhinitis. This drug can also be used to treat red eyes due to mild irritation . Oxymetazoline is available as a nasal spray, nose drops, and eye drops.

Oxymetazoline is a decongestant drug that works by reducing swelling of the blood vessels in the nose. That way, the airways become more open and breathing becomes more relieved. Meanwhile, as eye drops, this drug works directly to constrict the blood vessels in the eye.

Oxymetazoline trademarks: Afrin, Iliadin, and Cendo Asthenof.

What is Oxymetazoline

class Prescription drug
Category decongestant
Benefit Relieves nasal congestion and treats red eyes, as well as blepharoptosis
Used by Adults and children
Oxymetazoline for pregnant and lactating women Category C (Oxymatazoline nasal drops or spray) : Studies in experimental animals show an adverse effect on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. The drug should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. Category B (Oxymetazoline eye drops) : Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. It is not known whether oxymetazoline is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without consulting your doctor.
Drug form Nasal spray and drops, as well as eye drops

Warning Before Using Oxymetazoline

Oxymetazoline should not be used carelessly. There are several things you need to pay attention to before using this drug, namely:

  • Do not use oxymetazoline if you have a history of allergy to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products, to avoid drug interactions.
  • Consult your doctor about using oxymetazoline nasal drops or spray, if you have or currently have hypertension, tachycardia , enlarged prostate, heart disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism , Buerger's disease, scleroderma , or Raynaud's syndrome .
  • Consult your doctor about using oxymetazoline eye drops, if you have had or are suffering from a stroke, aneurysm , myasthenia gravis , visual disturbances, eye infections, heart or blood vessel disorders, hypertension, hypotension, Sjögren's syndrome , or glaucoma .
  • Do not immediately do activities that require alertness, such as driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery after using oxymetazoline eye drops, because this drug can cause blurred vision.
  • Tell your doctor that you are using oxymetazoline before having any medical procedure or surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult your doctor first if you want to use oxymetazoline eye drops in children aged 6 years.
  • Immediately consult a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction , serious side effects, or overdose after using oxymetazoline.

Dosage and Rules for Use Oxymetazoline

The dose of oxymetazoline can vary for each patient. The following is the distribution of oxymetazoline doses based on the form of the drug:

Nasal spray form 0.05%

Condition: Nasal congestion

  • Adults and children >12 years: 1–2 sprays, 2–3 times daily for 5–7 days. Alternate dosage: 2–3 sprays daily, maximum 2 times per day, for 3 days.

Forms of nose drops 0.05 and 0.025%

Condition: Nasal congestion

  • Adults and children >6 years: 1–2 drops 2–3 times daily for 5–7 days (as 0.05% nasal drops)
  • Children 1–6 years: 1–2 drops 2–3 times daily for 5–7 days (as 0.025% nasal drops)

Eye drop shape

Condition: Red eyes due to minor irritation

  • Adults and children 6 years of age: 1-2 drops, in the affected eye. Drug administration can be repeated as needed every 6 hours or according to doctor's instructions.

How to Use Oxymetazoline Properly

Follow the doctor's recommendations and read the information printed on the oxymetazoline packaging before starting to use it. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Wash hands before or after using oxymetazoline. To avoid contamination, keep the tip of the drops and nasal spray or eye drops from touching or getting on other objects.

Oxymetazoline nose drops are only used specifically for the nose. Lie on the bed with your head hanging over the edge of the bed (looking up position). Drop the medicine in each nostril and don't change position for 2 minutes so the medicine doesn't come out of the nose or fall down the throat.

For oxymetazoline as a nasal spray, hold your head up straight and insert the tip of the bottle into one nostril. Cover your other nostril with your finger. Inhale quickly and gently spray the medication into your nose. Repeat these steps for the other nostril if necessary.

If you are using oxymetazoline eye drops, tilt your head slightly back and pull the lower eyelid down to form a pouch. Instill oxymetazoline eye drops, then close your eyes for 1–2 minutes with your head down.

If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using oxymetazoline eye drops. Wait at least 15 minutes before putting your contact lenses back in.

Oxymetazoline is generally only used as long as there are still complaints. If the complaint has improved, you can stop using oxymetazoline.

Do not use oxymetazoline for the eyes or nose for more than 3 days without consulting a doctor. Consult a doctor if your complaints have not improved after 3 days of using oxymetazoline.

Store oxymetazoline in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Keep medicine out of reach of children.

Oxymetazoline Interactions with Other Drugs

There are several drug interaction effects that can occur if oxymetazoline is used with other drugs, including:

  • Increased risk of fatal hypertensive crisis when used with monoamine oxidase inhibitors ( MAOIs )
  • Increased risk of developing arrhythmias and hypertension when used with tricyclic antidepressants , appetite suppressants or psychostimulants such as amphetamines
  • Decreased effectiveness of beta-blockers or other antihypertensive drugs, such as methyldopa , in lowering blood pressure
  • Increased risk of ergot poisoning (ergotism), which is characterized by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and weakness, numbness, itching, or arrhythmias , if used with ergot alkaloid drugs, such as ergotamine or methysergide
  • Increased risk of damage to the heart and blood vessels when used with antiparkinsonian drugs, such as bromocriptine
  • Increased risk of arrhythmias when used with cardiac glycoside drugs, such as digoxin

Oxymetazoline Side Effects and Dangers

Some of the side effects that may arise after using oxymetazoline nasal drops and sprays are:

  • Burning or burning feeling in the nose
  • Dry nose
  • Sneeze
  • Have a cold

Check with your doctor if the side effects above don't improve or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or serious side effects, such as:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Headache or severe dizziness
  • Nauseous
  • Ears rumbling
  • Hard to breathe
  • Anxious or confused
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Mood swings

Meanwhile, the use of oxymetazoline eye drops can cause side effects in the form of:

  • Burning or stinging feeling in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizzy
  • Flustered

See your doctor right away if you experience redness, itching, or swelling around your eyes, changes in your vision, drooping eyelids ( ptosis ), pain in your eyes, or dizziness like you might pass out after using oxymetazoline eye drops.

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