Sinuses are small air spaces located within the bones surrounding the nasal cavity. They serve as a drainage system for mucous produced by the nose. This mucous helps protect the lungs against inhaled bacteria and viruses. If sinuses become blocked, however, they may cause symptoms such as headache, facial pain, fever and fatigue. Over the counter sinus medicines work by opening the sinuses so that mucous drains freely through the nose.
Over the counter sinus medications include decongestants, antihistamines and antibiotics. Decongestants reduce swelling while antihistamines relieve allergy related symptoms. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Some sinus medications contain steroids to decrease inflammation. Read our buyers guide to learn more about sinus medication and how to select the best product for you!
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You should use OTC sinus medicine when you have symptoms of a cold, including stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, headache, fever, or pain around the eyes.
No, OTC sinus medicines will not cure a sinus infection. They simply reduce the amount of mucous secreted by your body. If you continue to experience symptoms after taking OTC sinus medicine, talk to your doctor about seeing a specialist.
Most pharmacies sell OTC sinus medicines. Look for the words “sinus” or “nasal” on the label.
Yes, but make sure you follow the directions on the bottle carefully. Taking too much medication could result in side effects.
If you know you are sensitive to certain ingredients in OTC sinus medicine, ask your pharmacist what alternative options he has.
Some people feel sleepy after they take OTC sinus medicine. But this effect is temporary. Most people don't notice any difference in their ability to stay awake.
If you accidentally swallow over the counter sinus medicine, call 911 right away. Do not attempt to induce vomiting yourself. Instead, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Make sure you read all instructions on the package. Over the counter sinus medicines contain active ingredients that can irritate your stomach or intestines. Talk to your doctor first if you think you are having trouble swallowing.