Millions of Americans in pursuit of a remedy for stuffy nose and sinus pressure turn to over the counter (OTC) nasal sprays because of their quick action, availability and presumed safety. But did you know prolonged use of topical nasal decongestants (TNDs) often leads to addiction? Case in Point: A 32-year-old male was referred to me because of complaints of chronic nasal blockage. The patient suspected his problem was hay fever (allergic rhinitis). During the interview, he revealed that a year ago he began to have trouble sleeping because of a stuffy nose. He felt considerably better after using a TND before going to bed. Within 2 weeks he began to awaken in the middle of the night requiring another dose of his nasal spray for relief. One month later he required doses 4 times daily in order to avoid severe nasal congestion. By the time I saw him, he was going through almost a bottle of nasal spray daily. His diagnosis was Rhinitis Medicamentosa (RM) which means nasal inflammation (rhi...
Generic Name: DECONGESTANT/DEXTROMETHORPHAN/ACETAMINOPHEN/GUAIFENESIN -
ORAL Mucinex Cold-Flu & Sore Throat Oral Uses
This combination medication is used to temporarily treat
cough, chest congestion, fever, body aches, and stuffy nose symptoms caused by
the common cold, flu, or other breathing illnesses (e.g., sinusitis,
bronchitis). Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps to thin and loosen mucus
in the lungs, making it easier to cough up the mucus. Dextromethorphan is a
cough suppressant that affects a certain part of the brain (cough center),
reducing the urge to cough. Decongestants help to relieve stuffy nose symptoms.
This product also contains acetaminophen (APAP), a non-aspirin pain reliever
and fever reducer.
This medication is not usually used for ongoing coughs
from smoking, asthma, other long-term breathing problems (e.g., emphysema), or
coughs with a lot of mucus unless directed by your doctor.
We've visited this topic many times over the years here on HealthCentral, but since there's always a lot of interest in what are viewed as more "natural" treatments, I thought it might be useful for our community if I pulled all the information together here in one post and also updated it with the latest knowledge about alternative or natural approaches to treating allergies.
Why Do We Want to Go Natural?
I read on another website, in a post written by a doctor, that people often seek natural treatments because of a mistrust in the medical establishment, and I suppose that may be true, but I think it's only part of the story.
Some of us just don't like putting foreign chemicals into our bodies, no matter how helpful they are in controlling our symptoms. Nor do we enjoy spending hundreds of dollars a year on prescription and over the counter medications!
So, we look for alternatives that feel safer, more "back to nature" and that are a whole lot cheap...
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