Oxymetazoline (Into the nose)

Oxymetazoline (ox-i-me-TAZ-oh-leen)

Helps relieve a stuffy nose.

Brand Name(s):

12 Hour Decongestant, 12-Hour Nasal, 4-Way Long Lasting, Afrin, Afrin Extra Moisturizing, Afrin No Drip, Afrin No-Drip Sinus, Afrin PumpMist, Afrin Sinus, Afrin w/Menthol, Children's Mucinex Stuffy Nose Spray, Dristan 12-Hr, Duramist Plus, Good Neighbor Nasal Spray Pump, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Nasal Spray

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to oxymetazoline.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • If you are using the nasal spray for the first time, you will need to prime the spray. To do this, pump or squeeze the bottle until some of the medicine sprays out. Now it is ready to use. Prime the spray after each time you clean the pump, or if you have not used the medicine for 5 days or longer.
  • Shake the nasal spray well before each use.
  • Before using the medicine, gently blow your nose to clear the nostrils.
  • Keep your head upright while spraying the medicine into each nostril. Repeat until you have used 2 to 3 sprays in each nostril.
  • Do not use more than two times in 24 hours, unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Do not share this medicine with other people.
  • After using the nasal spray, wipe the tip of the bottle with a clean tissue and put the cap back on.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Keep the bottle tightly closed when not using it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, or an enlarged prostate.
  • Do not use this medicine for more than 3 days unless your doctor tell you to.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Burning or stinging inside of your nose

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.