Safe Nasal Decongestant: What nasal... - AF Association

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Safe Nasal Decongestant


What nasal decongestants are safe to use for someone who has had AF? I am currently not taking anything except warfarin and prophylaxis with magnesium citrate, so interactions with AF meds are not the problem. I need to clear out my sinuses. I do not think they are infected. I have tried isotonic saline many times. The stuff in the pressurised tins hurts my nose! I have even tried 2% salt, and wonder if distilled water would have a better effect. I can breath through both nostrils, but things are clogged up, and sometimes I feel dizzy for a few seconds when I lie down or when I sit up.

I am not in the UK, so do not necessarily trust local doctors. Hence the question here.

12 Replies

I use beconaise with no ill effects. I am on apixaban and flecanide. X

Try breathe right nasal strips. They work very well.Also some camphor or mentho l on a cotton ball to sniff will bring relief. That's what I use to relieve congestion as I was told not to use any regular decongestant.

Try steam inhalation,advised by my doctor.


I use Sterimar nasal wash. It's only purified sea water but it really clears your nasal passages.


Hidden in reply to NiceNana


Hi, I use Sterimar and a low dose of Nasonex without any problems (am on Apixaban and currently coming off Dronedarone). I used to find that apple cider vinegar (spoonful in water) seemed to have a clearing effect, but have got a bit lazy, must try it again.

Pharmacist advised me there is nothing better than steam inhalation.

I have beconaise for allergy's and that's ok, I take lots of medication including Warfarin and have AF. I've been told not to take any decongestants because amongest other they contain effadrine which is spectacularly bad for AF sufferers. I prefer to use ordinary steam if my sinuses get blocked and that always works for me 😊

Thanks for the comments. I am not going to try steam, because it is known to make things worse. I have been trying isotonic saline. This is sterile 0.9% salt. I wonder if there is a rebound effect again and it does little. My problem is that my normal breathing is clear, on both sides. It is something stuck further inside. I rarely even get an irritation at the back of the throat, as I used to do quite frequently when I had a cold, and this was a sign of drainage.

I have also tried the pressurised isotonic saline, the kind that comes in a compressed can. This is supposed to give more mechanical effect, and help to wash out the sinuses. But, I found that it hurt me. The cold touched some sensitive spots.

I wonder if technique of salt squirting matters. I have been lying down and squirting it, and leaving it. Maybe I should adopt the preferred method of pressurised squirting, where you put your face over a sink and squirt in, and let it all fall out. I even wonder if chewing onions will stimulate less sticky secretions.

'Something stuck further inside' - Is this a polyp? See the doctor as they can be removed. Meanwhile cutting back on dairy products is supposed to help, or try eating raw horseradish!!!

OK. There are several ways of looking at this.

1. We need a list of "NO NO" medicines for AF. This is pure AF, without considering drug interactions, other effects such as raising the blood pressure, and without considering anticoagulants. I will start a separate thread for that if I after checking past posts this is needed.

So far I have seen that the nasal decongestants containing phenyephidrine or pseudoephidrine and oxymetazoline

2. Given these restrictions, what is safe to try?

Antihistamines are supposedly safe.

I googled late into the night. Tried leaving some menthol crystals near my bedside. Tried isotonic saline. + tried sinus massages, as seen demonstrated. The trouble is there that some of the other massages demonstrated are probably not safe (carotid massage!! It is a tricky world). I started massaging the nostrils, and provoked some runny fluid. Great. The first time I have ever rejoiced in a runny nose! I will now try an antihistamine.

I suspect thick mucus left over from a cured dose of bronchitis in September. A sinuses scan might pick that up.

I will probably go to see an ENT specialist next week, at least to cover the bases etc. My problem is that doctors here (Tunis) are not usually good on drug interactions etc so I usually do the checks for that myself. I need to know these things before seeing a doctor, then I can disagree with suggestions on the spot rather than later.

Try consulting a reputable Alternative Practitioner with knowledge of chinese medicine. I believe we should stop looking for the magic quick bullet often with side effects and just get the body back in shape.

My understanding is the wrong diet and digestion issues (indicated by tongue furriness) produces too much moisture hence the stuffed up nose, no doubt like me you blow it several times a day and you don't have a cold. The chinese explanation is the belly has a fire pot burning and if it is not burning well and dry you get these issues. While I am very slowly sorting this out, I am using the Breathright nasal strips.

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