Oxymetazoline is a topical decongestant used in products such as Vicks Sinex, Nuprin or Afrin (as Oxymetazoline hydrochloride). Oxymetazoline is generally available as a nasal spray. If overused (usually for a period of more than 3 days) it can cause a "rebound congestion" where the tissues of the sinus are damaged, become swollen, and therefore the person becomes congested after the drug wears off. As a result, a user can become addicted to the drug, in the sense that he/she cannot breathe through the nose without constant use of the spray. more...
Oxymetazoline has sympathomimetic properties, and thus constricts the blood vessels of the nose and sinuses in-turn causing less production of mucous. It is frequently used by anesthesiologists to prevent nasal bleeding during nasal endotracheal intubations.
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