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Can I Really Become Addicted to My Allergy Nasal Spray?

Q. I use my allergy nasal spray before I bike around the park every weekend. Can I really become addicted to it?

A. Not if you use the right one. "Choose a prescription nasal steroid spray, which decreases inflammation and swelling in the nose," says Beth Corn, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "You can also try over-the-counter saline sprays, to soothe." What to avoid: overdoing it with an OTC version that contains the active ingredient oxymetazoline hydrochloride. "When used for more than three consecutive days, it can have a rebound effect, causing the walls inside your nose to become more swollen, leading your symptoms to be worse," Dr. Corn explains. Thus your desire for even more spray.

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