Sansum Clinic
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
PrintEmail
Share

 

FacebookIcon.jpg  TwitterIcon.jpg  YouTubeIcon.jpg  InstagramIcon.jpg

 Follow us for healthy tips & info!

Channel Manager

Sinusitis: Over-the-Counter Medicines

Sinusitis: Over-the-Counter Medicines

Topic Overview

Medicines available without a prescription may help relieve pain and promote sinus drainage. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label . You can:

  • Try a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve facial pain and headache.
  • Use a nasal spray, gel, or drops to help a stuffy nose. There's a decongestant kind (such as Afrin, Dristan, or Neo-Synephrine) and a steroid spray kind (such as Nasacort). Don't use the decongestant kind longer than the label says. Overuse can cause rebound congestion . It makes your mucous membranes swell up more than before you used the spray.
  • Try an oral decongestant for a stuffy nose or head. It provides longer relief than the ones that are used in the nose, but it may cause more side effects.
  • Try using a medicine that thins mucus and improves sinus drainage (mucolytic). Guaifenesin is a commonly used mucolytic. Mucolytics are often combined with other medicines such as cough suppressants .

Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight.

Be careful when taking over-the-counter cold or flu medicines and Tylenol at the same time. Many of these medicines contain acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Read the labels to make sure that you are not taking more than the recommended dose. Too much acetaminophen can be harmful.

Many doctors do not recommend using antihistamines unless your symptoms are related to having allergies. Antihistamines and decongestants may dry out the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses and slow the movement of the cilia (the tiny hairs that line the nose, sinuses, and the air passages inside the lungs and that remove irritants). This can make mucus thicker, adding to drainage problems. But other experts believe antihistamines may help treat sinusitis by reducing the amount of mucus that builds up in the sinus cavities. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Current as of January 24, 2014

Current as of: January 24, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

 
© 2014 Sansum Clinic