Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Oxymetazoline


Last updated on 15/07/2021.

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

GENERIC NAME: Oxymetazoline


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Afrin 鼻褔靈, Synus, Nasal Relief Spray-Wilson

DRUG CLASS: Sympathomimetics

SUB CLASS: Alpha-2 agonists

USED FOR: Nasal congestion

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 0.05% (nasal spray)

What is Oxymetazoline for?

Oxymetazoline belongs to a class of medication called sympathomimetics in a subclass of alpha-2 agonists. It is indicated for treating nasal congestion.

How to use it?

Oxymetazoline can be taken through the nasal route. Currently, only 0.05% w/v nasal spray is available in Hong Kong.

To treat nasal congestion,1 to 2 sprays are administered to each nostril twice daily for not more than a week. Note that the spray should not be used in children under 6 years of age. For children above or equal to 6, the dose is the same as that of the adults except that spray should not be used more than 4 times daily.

What are the side effects of Oxymetazoline?

Common side effects are mainly the respiratory ones, including dry nose, rebound nasal congestion upon chronic use, sneezing and temporary nasal mucosa irritation.

Who should not take Oxymetazoline?

– People who are allergic to Oxymetazoline or any component of the formulation
– Children who are aged below 6
– Women in the first trimester of pregnancy

Pharmacist Tips:

– Do not use the spray continuously for more than a week
– Shake thoroughly before use
– Spray once into the air before first use to ensure a fine mist is produced
– Keep head upright upon use
– The spray should not be used by more than one person
– Keep out of reach of children

Common dosing schedule:
1 to 2 sprays of oxymetazoline should be taken once or twice daily. Consider to schedule the twice daily doses 12 hours apart, for example administering at 8 am and 8 pm.

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

Some common medications Oxymetazoline may interact with:
– Alpha-1 antagonists, e.g. Doxazosin, Terazosin
– Ergot derivatives, e.g. Ergotamine, Ergometrine
– Sympathomimetics, e.g. Amphetamines, Pseudoephedrine
– Tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. Imipramine, Nortriptyline

Oxymetazoline may interact with many other medications. Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Oxymetazoline in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Oxymetazoline 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 Oxymetazoline 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.