A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose and makes it easier to breath. Decongestants can be taken orally or by nasal spray. Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than five days without the doctor's advice, and if so, usually only when accompanied by a nasal steroid. Many decongestant nasal sprays often cause a rebound effect if taken too long. A rebound effect is the worsening of symptoms when a drug is discontinued. This is a result of a tissue dependence on the medication. Decongestants should not be used by patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) unless under doctor’s supervision.
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1. SYN: decongestive. 2. An agent that possesses this action.

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de·con·ges·tant .dē-kən-'jes-tənt n an agent that relieves congestion (as of mucous membranes)
decongestant adj relieving or tending to relieve congestion <nasal \decongestant action>

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an agent that reduces or relieves nasal congestion. Most nasal decongestants are sympathomimetic drugs, applied either locally, in the form of nasal sprays or drops, or taken by mouth.

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de·con·ges·tant (de″kən-jesґtənt)1. tending to reduce congestion or swelling, such as of the nasal mucosa; called also decongestive. 2. an agent that reduces congestion or swelling.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • decongestant — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of a medicine) used to relieve nasal congestion. ► NOUN ▪ a decongestant medicine …   English terms dictionary

  • decongestant — 1950, from DE (Cf. de ) + congestant (see CONGEST (Cf. congest)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • decongestant — [dē΄kənjes′tənt] n. a medication or treatment that relieves congestion, as in the nasal passages …   English World dictionary

  • Decongestant — A decongestant or nasal decongestant is a type of drug that is used to relieve nasal congestion. Contents 1 Pharmacology 2 List 3 See also 4 References …   Wikipedia

  • decongestant — /dee keuhn jes teuhnt/, Pharm. adj. 1. of or pertaining to a substance that relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract. n. 2. any such substance. [1945 50; DE + CONGEST + ANT] * * * ▪ drug       any drug used to relieve swelling of… …   Universalium

  • decongestant — UK [ˌdiːkənˈdʒestənt] / US [ˌdɪkənˈdʒestənt] noun [countable] Word forms decongestant : singular decongestant plural decongestants medical a drug that helps you breathe more easily when you have a cold …   English dictionary

  • decongestant — noun Date: 1947 an agent that relieves congestion (as of mucous membranes) • decongestant adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • decongestant — [[t]di͟ːkənʤe̱stənt[/t]] decongestants N MASS A decongestant is a medicine which helps someone who has a cold to breathe more easily …   English dictionary

  • decongestant — adjective (chiefly of a medicine) used to relieve nasal congestion. noun a decongestant medicine …   English new terms dictionary

  • decongestant — de•con•ges•tant [[t]ˌdi kənˈdʒɛs tənt[/t]] adj. 1) pha relieving mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract 2) pha a decongestant agent • Etymology: 1945–50 …   From formal English to slang

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