OXYMETAZOLINE (OX ee me TAZ oh leen) treats a runny or stuffy nose. It may also be used to treat sinus congestion and pressure. It is often used for a short period of time. It works by decreasing swelling in the nose, making it easier to breathe. It belongs to a group of medications called decongestants.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
High or low blood pressure
History of stroke
Trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland
An unusual or allergic reaction to oxymetazoline, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for use in the nose. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Shake well before using. Do not use it more often than directed or for more than 3 days in a row without talking to your care team. Make sure that you are using your nasal spray correctly. Ask your care team if you have any questions.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
This medication may interact with the following:
Certain medications for an enlarged prostate, such as alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin, and terazosin
Certain medications for blood pressure and heart disease, such as ace-inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, digoxin, and diuretics
MAOIs, such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Dryness or irritation inside the nose
Worsening runny or stuffy nose
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
To prevent the spread of infection, do not share this medication with anyone else.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or have expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, ask your pharmacist or care team how to get rid of this medication safely.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.