Oximetazoline: Composition, Use Mode, Side Effects and Precautions

It is a complete α₁ agonist and a partial α₂ agonist used as a topical decongestant in the form of oxymetazoline hydrochloride.

It is an aerosol medication that temporarily reduces or relieves nasal congestion caused by the common cold, sinusitis, hay fever, and allergies, among other conditions that prevent fluid breathing.

Its use is not recommended in children between the ages of 6 and 12 years unless indicated by a pediatrician and under the supervision of the parents and representatives.

How to use

Oxymetazoline is a liquid solution that must be applied to the nasal passages following the indications on the label, the prescription of the attending physician, or as follows:

  • Verify the expiration date of the medication before use.
  • Keep the head vertically if you use the product in its spray version.
  • Cover one of the holes in the nostrils.
  • Place the tip of the vial in the open hole of the nostrils.
  • Press the bottle while inhaling through the hole.
  • Repeat the procedure in the other nostril.

After applying the oxymetazoline, you should wash the tip of the dispenser with plenty of hot water and check that it does not enter the container. Do not lend your medicine to prevent the spread of infection.

To ensure the effectiveness of the medication, it must be done every 10 or 12 hours in 3 days or at the attending physician’s discretion. If nasal congestion does not improve, you should stop using it to avoid side effects or future complications.

Oxymetazoline is a nasal treatment, so you should avoid contact with the eyes or other mucous membranes. Under no circumstances can it be ingested as a syrup; if it happens, contact your doctor immediately to prevent other complications.


If you use this medication for prolonged periods without medical supervision, it may cause the following injuries:

  • Nasal redness
  • Swelling inside the nose.
  • Increase in nasal secretion.
  • Difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using it and attend a medical appointment to prescribe a new treatment.

Side effects

Oxymetazoline rarely generates side effects in the patient; some unfavorable reactions reported are due to misuse of the drug or its excessive use without the prescription of a medical specialist.

However, you must suspend its application when presenting the following symptoms:

  • Nasal discharge pronounced.
  • Headache after the application of the medicine.
  • Itching on the inner walls of the nose.
  • Redness in the nasal passages.
  • Constant sneezing
  • Accelerated heartbeats
  • Sweating

During the gestation period, risks to the fetus have not been ruled out, so it is recommended to use only in strictly necessary cases and under medical supervision.

Children under 12 should not use this medicine because it can cause depression in the central nervous system.

The oxymetazoline is used for short periods but is progressive; if you miss a dose, apply it immediately not to lose the effectiveness of treatment. If the next dose is close, omit the forgotten and continue with the next.


Taking inhibitors such as linezolid, moclobemide, procarbazine, safinamide, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazide, methylene blue, phenelzine rasagiline, selegiline, in conjunction with oxymetazoline can cause future complications in the body, even fatal.

You must tell your treating doctor to take preventive measures if you have any treatment with the medicines mentioned.


Once the medication is opened, it should be stored in a space that is out of the reach of children and pets, under an ambient temperature, and away from humidity, light, and excessive heat. It is unnecessary to refrigerate or freeze and should be kept in a container.

Oxymetazoline can not be exposed to other liquid or solid components; if the bottle suffers any deterioration that harms the isolation of the product, stop its use and throw it away because the medication can be contaminated by decreasing the effectiveness of the treatment.

When disposing of this or any medication, it should be avoided to throw it down the toilet or in standard containers that are within reach of inappropriate persons, children, or pets that are prone to ingest them.


  • Each millimeter of the solution contains 0.5 mg of Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride.


Afrin, Dristan, Nasivion, Nostrilla, Vicks Sinex, Sudafed OM, Otrivin Oxy, Mucinex Sinus-Max, Drixine, Nasivin, Nezeril, Logicin, Visine L.R., Zicam y SinuFrin.