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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Xylometazoline belongs to a group of medications called nasal decongestants. It is used in a nasal spray and drops for the relief of symptoms of nasal congestion caused by allergies, sinus inflammation (sinusitis), and colds. It is also used to make rhinoscopy (an examination of the inside of the nose) easier.
Xylometazoline starts working in 5 to 10 minutes. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the lining of the nose. This helps to clear the symptoms of congestion.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Balminil Decongest Nasal Solution and Nasal Decongestant Spray are no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under xylometazoline. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
Before using this medication, blow your nose gently. Do not use this medication for more than 3 to 5 days in a row.
Nasal spray: The usual recommended dose for adults is one to three sprays in each nostril every 8 to 10 hours. Tilt your head forward slightly while using the spray. Breathe deeply. Blow your nose after 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse the tip of the spray bottle with hot water before replacing the cap.
Nasal drops: The usual recommended dose for adults is 1 to 3 drops in each nostril every 8 to 10 hours. Tilt your head back while using the drops. Avoid touching the nostril with the dropper. Rinse the dropper with hot water before replacing it in the bottle.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
If symptoms continue for longer than 5 days, stop using this medication and contact your doctor. Excessive use may cause congestion to become worse.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Accidental ingestion of even small amounts of this medication by a child can cause serious harm.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to xylometazoline or any ingredients of this medication
- are currently taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, moclobemide, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- are sensitive (i.e., experience trouble sleeping, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, tremor, or abnormal heart rhythms) to other related medications (e.g., epinephrine, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine)
- have narrow-angle glaucoma
- have recently had a nasal or sinus procedure where the dura mater (the outermost covering of the brain and spinal cord) may have been entered
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- burning and stinging of the nose
- dryness of the nose
- rebound congestion (worsening congestion as a result of overusing the medication)
- trouble sleeping
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- high blood pressure
- palpitations (heartbeat that is fast, irregular, or pounding)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of face or throat
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Prolonged or excessive use: If symptoms continue for more than 3 to 5 days, stop using this medication and contact your doctor. Excessive or prolonged use of this medication may make congestion worse.
Medical conditions: If you have difficulty urinating because of an enlarged prostate, heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, overactive thyroid, advanced hardening of the arteries, or diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Multiple users: Use of this nasal spray by more than one person may cause spread of infection.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if xylometazoline passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 12 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors should use this medication with caution, as you may be more likely to experience side effects.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between xylometazoline and any of the following:
- alpha-blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
- beta-2 agonists (e.g., salbutamol, terbutaline, formoterol, salmeterol)
- cannabis-containing medications (e.g., cannabis, nabilone)
- decongestant cold medications (e.g., phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine)
- decongestant eye drops and nose sprays (e.g., naphazoline, oxymetazoline, xylometazoline)
- ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine, dihydroergotamine)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtriphylline, theophylline)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Balminil-Decongest