- With Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.James Li, M.D.
"People with allergy or asthma can lead full and healthy lives." — Dr. James Li
Dr. James Li is chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist. He hopes his expertise and the information on the site educates health care consumers in an area of rapid change both in medications and diagnoses.
"There are a lot of misperceptions about allergy and asthma," says Dr. Li, a New York City native who has been with Mayo since 1985 and works with a group of subspecialists in allergy, asthma and immunology. "I believe it's important to provide truthful, accurate information about allergy and asthma to the public. The more people know, the better they can take care of these conditions."
Dr. Li is a professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He's a past director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He's a fellow in the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology with its Special Recognition Award.
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Nasal spray addiction: Is it real?
Lifestyle and home remedies (3)
- Neti pot solution: Can I make my own?
- Neti pot: Can it clear your nose?
- Can you use honey for allergies?
Nasal spray addiction: Is it real?
I use an over-the-counter nasal spray for congestion associated with allergies. Should I be concerned about nasal spray addiction?
from James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.
What you may be referring to is a rebound effect that can occur if you use over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays regularly. After a few days of using this type of nasal spray, your nose may become less responsive to the effects of the medication.
As a result, you may need to use more and more of the medication to control congestion or your congestion may worsen if you stop using the medication. Some people may mistake this rebound effect for "addiction," but it isn't.
True addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance known to be physically, psychologically or socially harmful. Over-the-counter nasal sprays don't cause the physiological cravings that mark an addiction.
To prevent rebound congestion, use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays for no more than five days in a row, with as few doses as possible each day. Prescription nasal sprays containing steroids don't cause this rebound effect, so they can be used on a daily basis for years.Next question
Neti pot solution: Can I make my own?
- Fletcher RH. An overview of rhinitis. http://uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2011.
- Orban NT, et al. Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. In: Adkinson NF, et al. Middleton's Allergy Principles and Practice. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/167892717-3/909560603/1806/59.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05659-5..00055-3--s0140_1848. Accessed Dec. 9, 2011.
- Understanding drug abuse and addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/understand.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2011.
- Li JT (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 14, 2011.