Which medications in the drug class Decongestants are used in the treatment of Allergic Rhinitis in Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery?

Updated: Jul 26, 2021
  • Author: Quoc A Nguyen, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Decongestants are available in oral and topical preparations. These drugs act on alpha-adrenergic receptors in the nasal mucosa, causing vasoconstriction that concomitantly reduces turbinate edema and rhinorrhea.

Oxymetazoline (Afrin)

A representative topical decongestant applied directly to mucous membranes, where it stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors and causes vasoconstriction. Decongestion occurs without drastic changes in BP, vascular redistribution, and cardiac stimulation.

Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)

A representative oral decongestant; stimulates vasoconstriction by directly activating alpha-adrenergic receptors in the respiratory mucosa; also induces bronchial relaxation and increases the heart rate and contractility by stimulating beta-adrenergic receptors.

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