It is possible for a person to become dependent on Neo-Synephrine. If you use the drug for more than three days in a row, it can result in a Neo-Synephrine "addiction." Because the blood vessels of the nose quickly become accustomed to the nasal spray, a higher dosage may be needed to obtain the original effect.
An Overview of Neo-Synephrine AddictionNeo-Synephrine® (phenylephrine or oxymetazoline nasal spray) is a commonly used non-prescription decongestant nasal spray. Although it is not traditionally considered a drug of abuse, it is possible for a person to become dependent on any decongestant nasal spray, including Neo-Synephrine. It should be noted that this is not a problem for other types of nasal sprays, such as steroid or antihistamine nasal sprays.
Why Is Neo-Synephrine Addictive?If you use Neo-Synephrine for longer than the recommended maximum of three days, you could become "addicted" to the medication, although this is not usually an "addiction" in the classic sense of the word. Neo-Synephrine works by shrinking the blood vessels of the nose. However, the blood vessels quickly become accustomed to the medication. A higher dosage (which is not recommended) may be necessary to obtain the original effect. Continued use is necessary to avoid a return of the congestion, even if the original cause (such as a cold) has resolved. This is known as a rebound effect.
Some people may have this problem without even being aware of it. They may assume that the nasal congestion is due to an ongoing problem, such as allergies, when, in fact, it is simply due to overuse of the medication. Other people know exactly what they are doing, but find that Neo-Synephrine use is the only way they can make it through the night (or possibly even the day).