Have you ever used a nasal decongestant spray like Afrin? If you have, you may have noticed the warning on the labels or from a physician stating that you should not use this product for more than 3-5 days at a time. That is because it can cause a rebound nasal congestion that can complicate your troubles more and be difficult to resolve. The active ingredients in nasal sprays that you should look out for are: Oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, xylometazoline and naphazoline. You have to look out for marketing scams as well, such as Claritin and other nasal sprays advertising these products to use for allergy symptoms, however, these medicines are not recommended to treat your allergies because of this rebound effect. It is much safer and quite effective to use intranasal corticosteroids or antihistamines instead. The first week is often the most difficult for waning or withdrawal symptoms and can be weaned gradually while supplementing treatment with intranasal corticosteroids or sometimes a dose of oral steroids is needed. Although, for a short duration, these nasal sprays can provide relief from severe nasal congestion, there is a risk of developing this rebound effect and must be used with caution. Please contact your board-certified allergist to discuss treatment for you nasal symptoms so we can help you with the best and safest options available.