Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Otrivin


Last updated on 19/10/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Xylometazoline


DRUG CLASS: Sympathomimetics

SUB CLASS: Alpha agonists

USED FOR: Nasal congestion

– 0.05%, 0.1% (nasal spray)
– 0.05%, 0.1% (nasal drops)

What is Otrivin for?

Otrivin is a brand product that contains Xylometazoline, which is a class of medication called sympathomimetics. It works by constricting blood vessels, particularly in the nose, to open up the nostrils. It is therefore used to treat nasal congestion. Otrivin works very quickly due to its formulation and can last for up to 10 hours.

How to use it?

Otrivin is available as nasal sprays and nasal drops. Otrivin 0.1% is indicated for adults/children above 6 years of age, while Otrivin 0.05% is indicated for children between 2-6 years of age. 

For adults and children above 6 years of age
Nasal spray 0.1%: spray 1 puff to each nostril 3-4 times a day.
Nasal drops 0.1%: apply 2-3 drops to each nostril 3-4 times a day.

For children between 2-6 years of age
Nasal spray 0.05%: spray 1 puff to each nostril 1-2 times a day. Do not exceed three times a day.
Nasal drops 0.05%: apply 1-2 drops to each nostril 1-2 times a day. Do not exceed three times a day.

What are the side effects of Otrivin?

Common side effects of Otrivin include dry nose and nasal discomfort.

Who should not take Otrivin?

– People who are allergic to Xylometazoline or any component of the formulation.
– Patients with narrow-angle glaucoma
– Patients with rhinitis sicca

Pharmacist Tips:

– Do not use more than 1 week without medical supervision, as it may cause rebound congestion.
– Clear nostrils before use by blowing your nose.
– Prime the nasal spray when used for the first time, by spraying the content into the air.

Common dosing schedule:
For nasal spray, spray 1 puff to each nostril 3-4 times a day. For nasal drops, apply 2-3 drops to each nostril 3-4 times a day. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Otrivin may interact with:
– Alpha-1 antagonists, ie. Doxazosin, Terazosin
– Sympathomimetics, ie Amphetamines, Pseudoephedrine
– Tricyclic antidepressants, i.e Imipramine, Nortriptyline

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Otrivin in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Otrivin is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Otrivin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.