The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans and is caused by more than 200 different viruses

What is Decongestant?

A decongestant is a medication that helps to relieve stuffy noses and sinus congestion.

Most decongestants are available over-the-counter, which means you can buy them without a doctor’s prescription.

These drugs work by narrowing the blood vessels in your nose, which reduces swelling and congestion.

Decongestants may be used for the common cold or for allergies such as hay fever

Decongestants are available in both oral and topical forms.

Oral decongestants may come in tablets, capsules, liquid gels, liquids, or sprays.

These medications might be taken alone or combined with other medications such as pain relievers or antihistamines.

Topical decongestants include nasal sprays, drops, ointments, and inhalers.

Decongestants may cause side effects such as irritability, restlessness, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, dizziness, headache, and constipation or diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms while taking a decongestant, call your doctor immediately.

Decongestants are available as pills or sprays and are available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription. When you have nasal congestion due to a cold or allergies, these medications can help you breathe better and feel more comfortable

A decongestant can be used to treat
  • Nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies
  • Nasal congestion due to sinus infections
  • Ear congestion due to ear infections

Decongestants may cause other side effects such as jitteriness, trouble sleeping, dizziness, headache, nervousness, and feeling restless or hyperactive (especially in children). If these side effects bother you, talk to your doctor about other medications you can take for congestion instead of decongestants

How do Decongestants work?

Decongestants work by shrinking swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages. This reduces the blood flow to your nose and shrinks the tissue lining your nose so that you can breathe easier.

When should I take a Decongestant?
  • Take a decongestant when you feel stuffed up from a cold or allergies. A decongestant is best to use during allergy season or when it’s hard for you to breathe through your nose because of stuffiness.
  • A typical adult dose is 1 tablet or capsule (continuous-release tablet: 30 mg) every 4 to 6 hours as needed. For oral liquid products: 30 mg every 4 hours as needed.
  • It takes 10 to 15 minutes for decongestants to start working and they have a maximum effect after about 30 minutes. The effect lasts for up to 8 hours with nasal sprays, nasal drops and liquid medicines, but only 2 hours with tablets or capsules.

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