A nasal decongestant is a type drug that is used to relieve nasal congestion in the upper respiratory tract. The active ingredient in most decongestants is either pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. Nasal decongestants work by reducing the swelling in the blood vessels in the respiratory tract and sinuses which results in reduced inflammation and mucus formation.
The best nasal decongestants are the following:
- SUDAFED® Congestion: Gives relief from sinus pressure and in chest congestion treatment by reducing swollen nasal passages. Also treats nasal congestion due to common cold, hay fever or other allergies. Dosage starts from 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours depending on severity of congestion. It contains pseudoephedrine, and is usually found behind the pharmacy or service counter.Special formula does not cause drowsiness. Should not be used if person is already on prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) which is present in drugs depression, Parkinson’s disease and certain emotional and psychiatric disorders.
- Mucinex Maximum Strength Expectorant: This drug contains the active ingredient Guaifenesin. It helps loosen phlegm and rid the bronchial passageways of excess mucus. This drug is recommended to be taken with a large quantity of water. It helps break up mucus to give long lasting relief from chest congestion for at least 12 hours. A doctor should be consulted before use if patient has persistent or chronic cough such as that which occurs with smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema or cough accompanied by too much phlegm (mucus). Children under 12 years of age should not use this product.
- Dristan Multi-Symptom Nasal Decongestant, Coated Tablets: This product contains the active ingredient Phenylephrine HCl reduces the swelling of nasal membranes and dries mucus to clear airways and ease breathing. It provides temporary relief from headaches, nasal congestion and sore throat too. Also relieves sinus congestion and pressure and reduces swelling of nasal passages. Dosage is around 2 tabletsevery 4 hours but not exceeding 12 tablets in 24 hours. Can cause drowsiness.
- Tylenol® Sinus Congestion and Pain Severe: Provides sinus symptom relief by combining the pure pain relief with two other medicines: a nasal decongestant and an expectorant to treat congestion.Helps loosen mucus and thins bronchial secretions to bring relief from congestion. Also helps relieve minor fever headache and sinus and nasal congestion. Dosage is 2 tablets every 4 hours but no more than 10 tablets in 24 hours. Tablets should only be swallowed whole; not crushed, chewed or dissolve and a doctor should be consulted if children below 12 years of age are to be given this medicine.
- Vicks® Sinex® 12-Hour Decongestant Nasal Spray: It provides fast nasal and sinus congestion relief. It can help reduce sinus pressure and shrink swollen nasal tissues and vessels to ease breathing. The product can be breathed in as fine nasal spray and you can get rid of congestion for up to 12 hours.
Most nasal decongestants are available over the counter but a healthcare professional should be consultedif these medicines are takenwith other medication, while pregnant, while breastfeeding, by young children or when drinking alcohol.