How do decongestant nasal sprays work?

Decongestant nasal sprays work by reducing the swelling that causes congestion. Nasal congestion is mainly caused by inflammation of the lining of the nose (mucosa). It’s a common symptom of upper respiratory tract conditions such as rhinitis (allergic and non-allergic), sinusitis and viral infections (e.g. common cold). Congestion can also cause sleep disturbances.

So let’s look at what each of the active ingredients in Otrivin nasal sprays do.

What is xylometazoline?

The active ingredient in most of Otrivin’s medicated nasal spray and drops, xylometazoline quickly reduces swelling of the tissue in the nose, which relieves nasal congestion for up to 10 hours. This active ingredient opens up your nasal passages.


Xylometazoline is fast-acting and, begins to act within 5 minutes.

XYLOMETAZOLINE (zy-low met-a-zoh-leen):  A leading decongestant that quickly reduces swelling, drains sinuses and relieves congestion

Can you use xylometazoline while pregnant?

Pregnancy: Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is ipratropium bromide?

Working in combination with xylometazoline, the active ingredient ipratropium bromide is used in Otrivin Plus to a runny nose by acting on the cells in the nose that are producing excessive mucus.

Are non-medicated nasal sprays effective?

Otrivin has a range of non medicated sprays for you to consider. Otrivin Baby & Kids Nasal Spray and Otrivin Natural Seawater & Eucalyptus Nasal Spray has decongestant properties without medication to help unblock your nose.

The next time you find yourself with a blocked or runny nose, sinus pressure, or sneezes, you can better understand how nasal sprays work.

Otrivin Adult Nasal Spray

A fine mist that clears nasal congestion within 5 minutes and can last up to 10 hours.

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