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Medical Pharmacology of nasal sprays

  1. Sep 14, 2012 #1
    This thread is about nasal sprays, not tablets. I'm always having problems with nasal infections so I want to learn the pharmacology behind the sprays. Firstly, there are 3 types of problems I have with the nose. Congestion (by far the worst), runny nose and itchiness. I'll list the ones I know of, can you inform me about exactly how they work.

    Saline sprays:
    I know that salt kills bacteria so they should help sterilize the nose. They do absolutely nothing for me. They don't remedy congestion, runny nose or itchiness. I don't understand how they are supposed to decongest the nose either.

    Steroid sprays:
    These don't decongest my nose at all either. I know steroids are antiinflammatories but what else do they do? Do they stop itchiness? My nose was itching like mad so I decided to try the steroid spray (had been lying in my drawer since I thought it was useless) and its not itching anymore. Seems to have worked. I thought only antihistamines could prevent itching.

    What about runny nose? Do steroid sprays lower mucus production?

    Xylomethazoline sprays:
    As a nasal decongestant, this works amazingly well for me. I know how this one works, its an adrenaline agonist and thus, causes the blood vessels in the nose to constrict. It also causes rebound congestion though so its not an ideal decongestant. I believe pseudoephedrine can also be used locally in the same way. These sprays don't remedy the itchiness or runny nose at all though.

    Heres some ones I just read about but have never tried:
    Antihistamine sprays:
    I want one of these because if I use xylomethazoline to decongest my nasal passages, then the itchiness comes back with a vengeance and I start sneezing like mad. Do antihistamines also help decongest the nasal passages? What about mucus production? Will these remedy a runny nose?

    Anticholinergic sprays:
    I have no idea how these might work. I here:
    that they dry up nasal secretions so it sounds like these are the sprays to use if your problem is a chronic runny nose. Is that their sole purpose then, to prevent mucus production?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2012 #2
    you are pretty on all accounts with the drugs. Steroids will suppress the immune system. saline spray, i dont think they ever worked for me either, dont think there is any reason behind it's mechanism. If you had an infection in the nose washing it wont kill it completely.
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