Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Rebound Congestion
Rebound congestion is a constant nasal stuffiness (congestion) that
develops from the overuse of nasal sprays (or drops or gels) that contain a decongestant medicine. This type of
congestion occurs even when a person is not experiencing allergies or other
Some examples of nasal spray decongestants are oxymetazoline (such as Afrin or Zicam Extreme Congestion Relief) and phenylephrine (such as Neo-Synephrine).
Rebound congestion can develop from using a nasal decongestant more times in one day or more days than the label says. As the medicine wears off, sinus membranes
swell, causing congestion, and a person may respond by using a higher dose of
decongestant. If the cycle continues, a person builds up a tolerance by using
larger and larger doses until congestion occurs whenever the person does not
take the medication.
Rebound congestion can lead to addiction to decongestant nasal
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.