SAN DIEGO ― The active ingredient in an over-the-counter nasal decongestant appears to be re-emerging as a “new” drug of abuse, addiction experts warn.

Propylhexedrine (multiple brands) is indicated for relief of nasal congestion from colds, allergic rhinitis, and sinusitis. Previously considered to have low potential for abuse, new research suggests the opposite may be true.

“Propylhexedrine carries significant abuse potential and health risks, and its use may be on the rise as part of a bigger, growing problem of methamphetamine abuse,” said study investigator Nikhil Teja, MD, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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