Rhinitis medicamentosa, known as chemical or rebound rhinitis, is caused by repetitive use (over a period of days to weeks) of topical vasoconstrictive drugs (over-the-counter decongestants) and is characterized by nasal congestion and red swollen mucosa. This is the most common type of drug-induced rhinitis. The most common offending medication is oxymetazoline, also known as Afrin.
Management involves discontinuing, tapering or substituting the causative drug, and in some cases may warrant a short course of glucocorticoids for severe congestion. Oftentimes, a tapering protocol using nasal saline or dilute dosages of oxymetazoline are used to try to lessen the severity of symptoms during discontinuation.
Related topics: allergic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis
T50.995A – Adverse effect of other drugs, medicaments and biological substances, initial encounter
232345000 – Non-infective non-allergic rhinitis
427897002 – Rhinitis caused by alpha-adrenergic blocking agent
95239003 – Rhinitis medicamentosa
Drug Reaction Data