Many over-the-counter decongestants are available to treat snoring. The following are a few examples:
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Some decongestants are sprayed into the nose. Others are taken in pill form.
In some provinces, medicines containing pseudoephedrine (such as Sudafed) are kept behind the pharmacist's counter or require a prescription. You may need to ask the pharmacist for it or have a prescription from your doctor to buy the medicine. The amount of decongestant you can buy at one time also may be limited.
Decongestants are used for nasal congestion. Nasal congestion may contribute to snoring, so using decongestants may help reduce snoring.
Nasal spray decongestants work within about 10 minutes and may relieve nasal congestion for up to 12 hours. Oral decongestants work within 30 minutes and may relieve nasal congestion for up to 6 hours. If you can reduce the amount of nasal congestion, you may be able to reduce your snoring.
Purchased or homemade saltwater (saline) nasal sprays may also help clear up a stuffy nose. See information on cleaning your nasal passages with salt water.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
If too much nasal decongestant spray is used or if it is used for too long a time, rebound congestion may occur between uses or after use is stopped.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Decongestant nasal sprays should be used only for short periods of time (not more than 3 days in a row).
Many non-prescription preparations for other health problems, such as some diet pills, contain decongestants. To avoid a possible overdose, do not take two medicines that contain decongestants at the same time.
Before you give decongestant medicines to a child, check the label. These medicines are not recommended for children younger than age 6. If your child's doctor tells you to give a medicine, be sure to follow what he or she tells you to do.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Last Revised: June 1, 2012
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