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Can I use use nasal drops for a long time?

Q: I have a problem of nasal congestion which remains there through out the year. In winter it becomes worse. I had used some nasal drops (Otrivin) for some years. They seemed to help but have I have discontinued their use for the last couple of years. Is there a permanent cure for nasal congestion? Is it OK to use nasal drops continuously for an extended period?

A:It is not safe to use nasal drops for a long period of time as the nose gets immune to its actions and can lead to a condition called rhinitis medicamentosa, where even drops cannot open the nose. They should not be used for more than 10 days. If necessary, antihistamines, and local steroid nasal sprays may be used. The nose needs to be assessed by nasal endoscopy to determine if there is sinusitis or not.


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