To get the best results from decongestants and use them safely:
- Don't take them if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, enlarged prostate, or an overactive thyroid.
- Use nasal sprays or drops when you need instant congestion relief.
- Don't use decongestant nasal sprays or drops for more than 3 or 4 days.
- Use oral decongestants when you need symptom relief for more than a few days.
- Avoid taking decongestants before bed.
- Avoid other stimulants such as caffeinated coffee, teas, colas, diet pills, or "pep" pills while you're taking decongestants.
- If you're taking beta-blockers, a blood pressure medication, talk with your doctor before using decongestants.
- Talk with your doctor before taking any medications if you're pregnant, nursing, or plan to become pregnant.