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Nasal decongestants 

  • Administered as drops or a spray – fast acting, low systemic absorption

  • Sympathomimetics, therefore, act on alpha receptors of smooth muscle and cause vasoconstriction of blood vessels. Reduce oedema of nasal mucosa, more efficient airflow.

  • The main problem is rebound congestion due to secondary vasodilation with an increase in nasal congestion (Rhinitis Medicamentosa), so restricted to 7 days use

  • Can also damage cilia and affect clearance of mucus

  • Some systemic absorption possible – caution when using in patients with heart disease/hypertension/hyperthyroidism/narrow-angle glaucoma

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