The need-to-know information for Oxymetazoline (Afrin)


Pearls and Fun Nuggets

1. Oxymetazoline wasn’t the first of it’s kind ☝ It was developed from xylometazoline at E. Merck Darmstadt by Fruhstorfer in 1961.[1]

2. It comes in a cream 👌 In the United States, oxymetazoline 1% cream is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for topical treatment of persistent facial erythema (redness) associated with rosacea in adults.[4]

3. The commercials were classics 🎬 From the mid 1980s to mid 1990s, the brand Sinex was featured in many television advertisements. Some of these commercials showed men, women, and children using other brands of nasal sprays, and then standing upside down on a sidewalk, or against a wall, etc or hanging upside down from various playground equipment to prevent their nasal spray from dripping out.

Patient Perspectives

“This oxymetazoline nasal spray is a god sent. It’s so amazing. My nose was so stuffy I couldn’t breathe out of either nostril and 3 sprays into my nose and it’s completely clear and I can breathe freely. It’s amazing. Wish this could be used longer than 3 days but it does the job perfectly”


“NEVER NEVER TAKE THIS MEDICATION. I repeat NEVER. This medication put me in a worse position than I was before. I decided to take this because all of the pills weren’t working, but it does not help. Afrin says to put 2 squirts in each nostril every 10-12 hours. However, when doing that, it creates a horrible BURNING sensation in your nose and specifically your throat that lasts for hours. If you want to be congested and burning for hours, take this.”


“My doctor recommended this product. I tried for hours to get the cap off. Yes, I understand the directions and have plenty of experience removing childproof caps. I pressed and turned and get only clicks. I pressed soft, hard, and in between. I pressed hard enough to collapse the neck of the bottle and turned so hard it distorted the bottle. I looked on the internet and found hundreds of postings about Afrin with these adult-proof caps, going back 3 years. I finally went to CVS and bought CVS brand of the same medication in a bottle that opened normally. I am returning my bottle of Afrin to the store where I bought it. I have no opinion about Afrin brand as it is inaccessible.”

Brandon Simpson, PA-C
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