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I have been using afrin for over 30 years.
My father got me hooked on afrin when I was a child, but he did
not know what he was doing. My father had bad allergies and I had bad allergies.
He used 4way and I started using afrin years later.

My nose ran all the time or was stopped up all the time when I was a kid .
I could never breath thru my nose.
I don't know how my nose worked when I became a adult, because afrin ruled my day.

It got so bad that I would have to have a shot of afrin every 2 to 3 hours.
This went on for about a year, and I finally got to around 6 hours.

I kept a bottle of afrin in my car, besides my bed, at work, in my jacket.
I could not go anywhere without afrin. If I forgot the afrin - I would panic and stop
anywhere and pay any price to get a bottle.
I could not sleep without it, and sometime my chest would hurt trying to breath thru my
clogged nose, so I had to use the afrin to be able to sleep.

I wanted to quit and tried over and over and over.
I developed high blood pressure in my 30's and nose use to bleed all the time, but I could never quit.
I just could not quit - the headaches - the anxiety - the pressure and then the worst - not being
able to breath from your nose.

I even tried to quit - and got choked trying to eat several times.
Its hard to eat and breath at the same time - its impossible.
That was scary - so I used afrin again.

Whenever I tried to quit - my head would feel like it was going to blow up.
I could not breath thru my nose - not one bit. I would get headaches.
And eventually I would have a panic attack and use the afrin again.

In my 40's - I started getting brochitis about every 4 months and finally a doctor said I had asthma.
Wow - what a blow. I felt like all these years of using nose spray had contributed to this and
now I was going to stop no matter if it killed me.

I tried every prescription nose spray available.
All of them - and they all cost over $100 each.
I spent 100's for nose sprays that did not work.
Steriod nose sprays cost alot and there are many to choose from.
They did not work for me.

I then tried rhinostat - which cuts down the use of afrin slowy.
As you use the afrin - you add saline solution to bring the nose spray back up to same level every day.
This dilutes the afrin, so you need use less and need less.

During this process - I got sick again with brochitis and a very bad cold.
The cold cured me!!
My nose ran for 3 days - and during this time - I took off from work.
I did not use nose spray for 3 days while my nose ran from the congestion.
I did not sleep for 24 hours, but I could breath some from a running nose.
I blowed my nose hundreds of times and never used any decongestant, because I noticed
that it felt good for my nose to run. This had been the problem, my nose was always dry
and had not been running for years.

I quit afrin - never used it again.

I have not used nose spray since.
I have not used a asthma inhaler since I quit afrin.

I still cought some, but not like I did when I was using afrin every day.
I can sleep for hours without waking up and can go anywhere without worrying
abou afrin. It feels great to blow my nose, its not dry anymore. It feels great.

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Wow! I felt as if I were reading my own thoughts. I'm in the process of trying to quit my 6 year addiction. Had my use down to one every 24 hours. Then caught a cold a few days ago. Now, I'm using it every 8 hours or so. Not nearly as bad as the 8-10 times daily I had been using up to about 3 weeks ago. Reading your post has given me the drive and motivation to get back on track. Thank You.
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First you have to want to quit. That's a given. Next you must throw the bottle away, and learn to live with a stuffed-up nose. Soon your nose will return to it's normal state and you will not need the afrin again. It's all about will power. It took three days before I could breathe through my nose again.

Good luck to all, and stay strong.
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Don't know if it would work for u but the breathe right strips really halped me gradually get away from it..
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I too have been dependent on nasal spray for the last six years. It started when I had a bad cold, I picked up a bottle of Afrin and used it...it worked great, as a matter of fact to great. After my cold went away I used it a few more times when ever I got a stuffy nose, like magic it worked, the more I used it the less "magic" it had. I had to use more and more each time. I didn't realize that I had virtually created a monster that I let control my daily activities. I read the box's warning but nonchalantly thought "this is just nasal spray, can it really be that bad, after all you don't need a prescription" I should have just stuck to the three day rule and should have known better since I was a Police Officer.
I stopped using it once cold turkey about five years ago, then again...another stuffy nose and when I started to use it, it was like finding an old lost friend. I had a bottle in my cabinet at home, one next to the alarm clock, one in my patrol car and one I carried in my pocket. I won't go anywhere without it, I get panicky if I can't breathe and my face feels stuffy and not to mention you can feel your heart beating in your face too.
It was getting out of hand. I tried to quit again cold turkey, but found it to be much harder than before. I have tried nasal steroids, it didn't work for me, I tried saline solution, that didn't work either I also tried the Ocean Mist Saline wash (you use it like the Netti Pot), that didn't help long, it lasted for about ohh two minutes and then it was even more stuffier.
I also purchased SinusBuster, it has capsicum in it which is like what we carry Oleo Resin Capsicum or O.C. Spray which it is commonly referred to. It did not help, it made my eyes water and my nose burn like crazy.
I find it hard to sleep at night, I wake up every three to four hours with my nose stuffed up and running and my mouth really parched. I will blow my nose with a tissue to open up the nasal passages with one hand and then spray with the other, I find it to work quicker that way. Then I will sleep for a few more hours and same thing again. I have not slept through a entire night in the past six years.
During the day I use it when ever I feel stuffy, usually about every two hours or so. I find it harder to enunciate certain words when you can't breathe. It has gotten to the point where I will go to Wal-Mart and but three to four boxes of the equate nasal4 spray. I put it in a pump mist bottle because the spray burns my throat.
I am trying the "one nostril at a time" right now, I'm on my first day right now. It has been almost eight hours since I used it in my right nostril. My right nostril just keeps running. It's bearable and I think I can beat this addiction. Does anyone know from experience how long it takes to even semi restore normal breathing before going on to the other nostril?
I will try to keep regular posts to hopefully let others know that there is hope.
Until then, live life to the fullest each day as if it were your last.
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It's been a day and a half now since I started the one nostril at a time withdraw method.
It is very stuffy and my nostril is running too. At times my breathing in that nostril will get semi restored for a short period of time, and my left nostril will get stuffy.
I have found that I am NOT sing as much spray as I thought I would in my left nostril. It is still hard, but I'm hanging in there.
Will update later.

Until then
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That is great if you can stop cold turkey, but if you can't, you can try half saline and half real nasal spray, slowly reducing the nasal spray until it's all saline.

My X was an avid user of sinex, which is a medicated nasal spray. After years of abuse, he burned his sinus's so bad that he had to have them blown. To this day he has no sense of smell in one nostril and very little in the other, but he does not use this stuff any more. If you have a cold, 3 days worth of nasal spray is all that you should do as anything after 3 days becomes addicting, as you have discovered.
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Hi!

I have a solution for quitting afrin. When your afrin bottle is 1/2 full fill the other half with saline solution....then when that mixture becomes half full fill with saline spray again. If you continue to do this the afrin will become more and more dilluted but you will get enough in you to keep you breathing. I had to keep using the saline for quite sometime, without the afrin my sinuses were very dry and closed off. This solution works, but is not magic, quitting afrin is hard but is worth the struggle.
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I agree with the person above me. I was a nose spray freak. Couldn't go to sleep without it. Couldn't go ANYWHERE without it. I'd prob get out in a snowstorm in the middle of the night to get some if i had to. Then one day I was almost out so I filled it with water... before I knew it I was weaned off of it. It was SOOOO easy. I felt no discomfort at all. ZERO.
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And I thought I was the only one. Thanks people. After 30 years - started with a bad cold as a teenager - I started getting headaches from my messed up sinuses. Turns out I have to quit. I thought I was the only one who had this addiction and that it was some kind of nut or something, I guess I'm not.

This stuff should be illegal...
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wow... i didn't know other people had this problem too... i have bee using afrin daily for almost 4 years. It started with me needing to take a nap between classes, but couldn't because my nose was stuffed. I just kept using iit cause i NEEDED TO SLEEP. now i use it about twice a day, 5 sprays in each nostril each use. It used to be worse, i would use it every three hours, 4 sprays in each nostril, but i suspect the walls of my nostrils and septum have eroded some, so i am able to use less due to injury, which do not make things better. I want to quit so bad... i have had a recurring sinus, and throat infection... and starting yesterday it has moved into my lungs.. i believe it is bronchitis. I can taste the same bacteria i had when this all started with a terrible throat infection... that taste just reminds me that the bacteria never went away. I will try the methods of quitting i have found from these posts... hopefully one will work. Thanks for the stories, they were enlightening.
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Whooooaah. I most sincerely thank everyone here for saving me from what probably would have been an addiction to Afrin. I realized that I've gone a few weeks of using it and, even though I'm not sick, I never seem to stop needing it. I had no idea it could take over my life like that. I am never using this drug again starting today!
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I was happy to find this message board. For the first 24 years of my life I was never able to breathe out of both nostrils at the same time. Most of the time I was getting partial airflow through one nostril, but sometimes it would be completely plugged. As a child my biggest fear was being kidnapped and having a gag put in my mouth, fearing I would suffocate since I could not breathe through my nose.

In 1998 a college friend introduced me to Afrin and for the first time in my life I was able to breathe like a normal human being. I, like others on this board, was never without the stuff. I had it in both vehicles, by my bed, in the bathroom, by my computer, on the kitchen counter, in my pocket, EVERYWHERE! Now, 13 years later, I'm ready to try something new. I saw an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor a week ago and he says that my septum is "S" shaped and my turbinates are actually developing their own sinuses after so many years of Afrin abuse. (Weird!) He wants to perform surgery to straighten my septum, which he thinks (hopes) will solve my breathing issues. However, he demands that I kick the Afrin habit before he will perform the surgery. He prescribed Allegra (no help), Flonase (no help), steroid pills (no help), and saline spray (no help), to help me kick the habit. I'm on day two without Afrin and my nose is completely plugged! When I shake my head it feels like it's filled to capacity with snot. However, I'm hoping to stay strong and remain Afrin free for three weeks, at which point I will undergo surgery and, God willing, be able to breathe for the first time in my life.

Has anyone here had a similar surgery or know someone that has done so? I'm nervous that it won't work and I will have undergone all this suffering for nothing. The doctor says he can't guarantee success, which puts me on edge. Not only is the surgery extremely unpleasant, it's also expensive!
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I posted here sometime in the summer of last year, i was really sick with pneumonia and bronchitis... since then, i have gotten better, but the best part is, my illness enabled me to quit afrin, for good. i believe i had the same experience one contributor in this forum had where my nose was very moist due to being sick, therefore i did not need the afrin. one day i just didn't use it, and it turns out i never needed it again. I had no withdrawl, or rebound congestion, it just went away. It is now 6 months later, and i am still off of the afrin.. thank god. Im so grateful to be free of that stuff. it was embarrassing and odd. I do get a stuffy nose ever now and then, but its what i would consider a normal congestion which is infrequent and short in duration. I don't know what i can recommend because i think i just got really lucky in my case. There were a lot of circumstances that seemed to work together in allowing me to quit. I know it is very hard for most people, because they have to deal with 3 weeks of rebound congestion before they can breathe again, but i didnt have to go through any of that. I am so grateful... Everyone keep trying!
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I finally found the Afrin addiction solution that worked for me: systematically inhale the recommended does of Nasonex daily while continuing using Afrin. Gradually decrease the Afrin from the number of sprays you use daily down to one - and then none. IT REALLY WORKS without the phobia of giving up the Afrin. It takes about 2 weeks.
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