Otrivin (xylometazoline nasal) Side Effects and Information

Xylometazoline nasal is a decongestant. It works by constricting (shrinking) blood vessels (veins and arteries) in the body. The nasal formulation acts directly on the blood vessels in the nasal tissues. Constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and sinuses leads to a decrease in congestion.

Xylometazoline nasal is used to treat congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold.

Do not use xylometazoline nasal if you have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. This could cause a dangerous drug interaction with serious side effects.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • high blood pressure;
  • heart disease, hardening of the arteries, or irregular heart beats;
  • thyroid problems;
  • diabetes;
  • glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye;
  • an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

You may not be able to use xylometazoline nasal, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether xylometazoline nasal will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use xylometazoline nasal without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether xylometazoline nasal could be harmful to a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from this medication, stop using xylometazoline nasal and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • seizures;
  • unusual behavior or hallucinations; or
  • an irregular or fast heartbeat.

More commonly, you may experience some sneezing or nasal burning, stinging, dryness, or irritation. These side effects are usually mild and temporary.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.