Thyroid UK
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Decongestant help please

I have hyperthyroidism, taking Carbimazole and, touch wood, think it's getting under control. The New Year has brought me a stinking cold, my nose is completely blocked and I bought some decongestant spray but reading the instructions, it says don't take if you have an over active thyroid/blood pressure/diabetes/pregnant and other warnings. Does anyone know of a decongestant spray which is safe for someone with thyroid problems?

9 Replies

Hi - I tend to use Olbas Oil - not a nasal spray but you can inhale it. I find it works best if you put a few drops in a bowl of boiling water and then put your head over it with a towel on top and just breathe it in :) xx


Have you tried a Neti pot? Brilliant with a saline solution for irrigation & can be used many times a day if needed.

Hope you feel better soon :)


thank you both :) I've got an Albas oil stick inhaler. My mum has recommended a product called Sterimar which is a spray containing sea water only, so can't be dangerous surely, she says it works on her sinusitis.


The British National Formulary says this:

12.2.2 Topical nasal decongestants

The nasal mucosa is sensitive to changes in atmospheric temperature and humidity and these alone may cause slight nasal congestion. The nose and nasal sinuses produce a litre of mucus in 24 hours and much of this finds its way silently into the stomach via the nasopharynx. Slight changes in the nasal airway, accompanied by an awareness of mucus passing along the nasopharynx causes some patients to be inaccurately diagnosed as suffering from chronic sinusitis. These symptoms are particularly noticeable in the later stages of the common cold. Sodium chloride 0.9% given as nasal drops or spray may relieve nasal congestion by helping to liquefy mucous secretions.

Inhalation of warm moist air is useful in the treatment of symptoms of acute infective conditions. The addition of volatile substances such as menthol and eucalyptus may encourage the use of warm moist air (section 3.8).

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And yes, they do also say that ephedrine products require caution in those who are hyperthyroid.



Thanks very much, that's really good information. On reflection it does appear that decongestant sprays can cause more problems than they help. I dug out my Albas oil last night and put a few drops on a hanky. Having a cold is miserable and l think I just need more patience!


I had a cold before Christmas and it was not fun. But got away without being badly congested.

I do rate steaming - at least while you are doing it!


I had a terrible bubbly chest over Christmas and someone gave me some menthol crystals to put in warm water and then worked like magic! The old ways are sometimes the best!


Eucalyptus oil as a steam inhalant in hot water (I use a facial sauna) works well for me. I agree with Ellarose, old tried and trusted ways are usually the best.


I had a bad cold over Xmas, and used night nurse! Your probably not meant to, but it stopped it from turning into a raw cough which it was starting to do...And it knocked me out at night so I could get some sleep...


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