Which medications in the drug class Intranasal decongestants are used in the treatment of Pediatric Allergic Rhinitis?

Updated: Jun 04, 2021
  • Author: Jack M Becker, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Intranasal decongestants

Decongestants are effective for short-term symptom control. They decrease nasal discharge and congestion and are available without a prescription. The 2 medications in this group are oxymetazoline hydrochloride (Afrin) and ipratropium bromide (Atrovent). Oxymetazoline hydrochloride is effective in shrinking nasal membranes and is not recommended for long-term use. Use of oxymetazoline hydrochloride for more than 7-10 days can cause rebound congestion. When used for >4-6 days nasal vasoconstrictive medications, that are used topically, can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, a condition characterized by nasal congestion in the absence of rhinorrhea or sneezing. Ipratropium bromide can be used for a prolonged period of time.

Ipratropium intranasal (Atrovent Nasal Spray)

Anticholinergic used for reducing rhinorrhea in patients with AR or vasomotor rhinitis. An excellent medication for decreasing rhinitis. Does not cause rebound congestion and lasts for 12 hours. Does not shrink the nasal mucosa, but inhibits secretion that causes rhinitis. Used alone or in conjunction with other medications.

Oxymetazoline (Afrin 12 Hour, Afrin Sinus, Mucinex Nasal Spray Full Force, Sinus Nasal Spray, Dristan Spray)

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. Use not recommended for >3 days.

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