SynopsisCodesDrug Reaction DataReferences
Drug-induced rhinitis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Drug-induced rhinitis

Contributors: Paul C. Bryson MD, MBA
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Drug-induced rhinitis is nonallergic, recurrent inflammation / congestion of the nasal mucous membranes caused by the use of certain medications. Medications known to cause rhinitis are antihypertensives, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, and psychotropic medications.

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

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated:08/19/2021
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Drug-induced rhinitis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Drug-induced rhinitis : Nasal congestion, Snoring
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