Afrin With Robitussin DM

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the use of Afrin nasal spray with Robitussin DM.

Question

Can you take Afrin nasal spray and Robitussin DM cough syrup together?

Asked by Jeanette On Apr 07, 2019

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Apr 08, 2019
Afrin With Robitussin DM

Overview

Yes, it is safe to use Afrin nasal spray (oxymetazoline) and Robitussin DM (guaifenesin; dextromethorphan) cough syrup together. There is no known interaction between them.[1]

Afrin And Drug Interactions?

It is important to point out that even though Afrin is used intranasally to relieve congestion and not intended for systemic absorption (like oral drugs are), some of the drug is absorbed into the circulatory system through the nose, with is highly vascularized and rich in blood flow.[2]

It isn't thought to be absorbed to a significant extent, but, since it is at least partially absorbed, it has been linked to several potential side effects, including:[3][4]

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Increased heart rate

The risk of these side effects is thought to be minimal, but could certainly happen in susceptible individuals.

Additionally, it potentially could interact with other drugs that affect blood pressure so it is important to consider all the medication you are taking before using Afrin.[5]

As mentioned earlier, however, Afrin is not known to have any interaction with Robitussin DM (which also should have no effect on blood pressure) so they should be safe together.

Summary

Since Afrin (oxymetazoline) is absorbed, at least slightly, after nasal administration, it does have potential drug interactions. It is not known to interact with Robitussin DM (guaifenesin; dextromethorphan) however.

References
  1. ^ Elsevier ClinicalKey: Oxymetazoline Monograph. ClinicalKey (Subscription Required)
  2. ^ Systemic side effects of locally used oxymetazoline. PubMed
  3. ^ Bradycardia, hypotension, and near-syncope associated with Afrin (oxymetazoline) nasal spray. PubMed
  4. ^ Are nasal decongestants safer than rhinitis? A case of oxymetazoline-induced syncope. PubMed
  5. ^ Non-prescription sympathomimetic agents and hypertension. PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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