Nasal spray during pregnancy | Dependence on nasal spray

Nasal spray during pregnancy

There have not been enough scientific studies to date on whether the use of nasal spray with xylometazoline is safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It is possible that an overdose has a negative effect on the baby’s blood supply or inhibits the production of breast milk during breastfeeding. Only in cases of absolute necessity and on the decision of the treating physician should the use of the drug follow after an exact benefit-risk assessment. The mother must ensure that only the recommended doses are taken and that the maximum period of time is not exceeded.


Excessive use of nasal spray in the context of an addiction leads to changes in the nasal mucosa. It becomes dry and cracked – crusts are formed, which then often lead to nosebleeds due to the nasal spray. Effective blood circulation is no longer ensured due to the constant constriction of the mucous membrane vessels, and thus the mucous membrane is no longer optimally supplied.

This weakens the immune function and increases the susceptibility to infections. In addition to chronic respiratory tract infections of the upper respiratory tract, the mucosa can also be severely degraded. This so-called nasal mucosal atrophy involves the regression of the inner wall of the nose including its vessels and mucous glands.

As a result, on the one hand, the air we breathe is no longer sufficiently moistened before it reaches the deeper airways and the lungs. This can lead to an increased susceptibility to inflammation of the lower respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia). On the other hand, it creates a larger cavity in the nose, which in rare cases can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

An example of this is the bacterial strain Klebsiella ozaenae, which emits a sweetish, putrid odor. This odour is often not noticed by the patient’s olfactory nerve damage, but by partners, friends or relatives. This disease is also called stinky nose.

Side effects

The side effects of common nasal sprays are very similar due to the xylometazoline they usually contain. Some people react very sensitively to the active substance, which is manifested in a burning sensation in the nose and dryness of the mucous membrane. Long-term use can lead to the formation of crusts (rhinitis sicca) on the nasal mucosa and to a rhinitis sicca.

Since the active ingredient stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn activates the body, there may occasionally be corresponding side effects on the cardiovascular system. Patients report tachycardia and clearly noticeable heartbeats after using the nasal spray. Increased blood pressure can also result from the application.

Side effects affecting the nervous system are headaches, as well as the opposite symptoms of tiredness and insomnia. These occur rarely.