Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs

Decongestants are the drugs or medicines used to relieve nasal congestion, which in common terms, refer to stuffy nose.

Causes of Nasal Congestion

There are various causes of nasal congestion or a runny nose like as follows:

  • Cold and Cough
  • Viral Infection
  • Allergies to grass, pets, foods or other substances

How do decongestants work?

As already mentioned, decongestants are used to relieve nasal blocks. They are available in the form of capsules, gel caps, nasal sprays, and nose drops. Some decongestant products require a physician's prescription but there are also many non-prescription (over-the-counter) products. These medicines work by narrowing blood vessels in the nose lining. As a result, blood flowing through the area reduces and the swollen tissue inside the nose shrinks. This helps in passing of the air easily through the nose passage.

It is to be noted that decongestants do not cure colds or reverse the effects of histamines. They are not for relieving all of the symptoms associated with colds and allergies. They help in relieving only the stuffiness.

Benefits of Decongestants
  • Relieving stuffy nose caused by a cold or the flu.
  • Relieving studdy nose caused by sinusitis or allergies.

Common Decongestants
  • Levo-methamphetamine
  • Ephedrine
  • Naphazoline
  • Phenylephrine
  • Oxymetazoline
  • Propylhexedrine
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Tetrahydrozoline
  • Synephrine
Common side effects of OTC decongestants

Though there is no such serious side effects of decongestants, some may face the problem of nervousness, dizziness and sleeping problems. In extreme cases, it causes high blood pressure.

Related Article

Some Effective Natural Decongestants

Prescription Drugs   Non-Prescription Drugs