What are some over-the-counter sinus infection treatments?


Quick Answer

Over-the-counter decongestants such as Privine, Afrin, Sinex, Lusonal or Sudafed and pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or Aleve can relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection. Antihistamines found in allergy medicines can also effectively treat nasal congestion and sinus pressure, reports WebMD.

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Full Answer

The decongestants reduce swelling in the nasal passages, which relieves congestion and nasal pressure. Privine, Afrin and Sinex, as well as the similar products Dristan, Duramist, Neo-Synephrine and Rhinall, are all nasal sprays containing the active ingredients naphazoline, oxymetazoline or phenylephrine. These products are recommended to be used for a maximum of three consecutive days, otherwise congestion may increase. Lusonal and Sudafed, and other brand-names with active ingredients phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, are pills. Neither group of medicines should be given to children under 4 years old, states WebMD.

Any over-the-counter pain relievers containing the active ingredients acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) provide further relief from nasal pressure, although they don't have any effect on congestion, says Web MD.

It can be difficult to determine if nasal congestion and sinus pressure are caused by an allergy or a sinus infection. If these symptoms don't respond to decongestants alone, antihistamines such as fexofenadine or loratidine, found in the allergy medicines Allegra and Claritin respectively, can be effective. Regardless of the cause, nasal congestion and sinus pressure that lasts for more than seven days should be treated by a doctor, according to WebMD.

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