What To Expect When Taking Benzedrex for the Short of Long-Term

Medically Reviewed

Congested noses are hard to deal with. Whether they occur because of a sinus infection, allergy, regular cold, or other reason, it is good to know you have methods available to seek relief from this mostly harmless, but annoying situation.

Benzedrex is a nonprescription nasal decongestant available in a variety of pharmacies and stores all over the country.

U.S. Pharmacist explains that it is not required to have obligatory warnings that let patients know about possible complications Benzedrex could cause.

However, this nasal decongestant is linked to heart and blood pressure issues.

Its overuse can also worsen the symptoms it is trying to cure, which means your decongestion may actually become worse once your body adjusts to its regular use.

What is Benzedrex?

According to Poison Control, Benzedrex is an inhaler that does not require a prescription. Its main active ingredient is propylhexedrine. It was invented over 60 years ago as a safer substitute for its former active ingredient, amphetamine.

The change came after several patients died when using Benzedrex via its old formula. Poison Control adds that the new active ingredient, propylhexedrine, is a modification of amphetamine. This is a bit safer than amphetamine, but it has still been linked to several unfavorable side effects.

Like any medication, Benzedrex can be misused. The National Institutes of Health’s documentation of Benzedrex says that many over-the-counter medications are not checked by the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Benzedrex’s directions say you should not use it for more than three consecutive days. Children between six and 12 years old should only use it if an adult supervises them.

Overdose is possible. Pregnant women should discuss any possible use with a doctor.

Short-Term Effects

In the short term, Benzedrex is meant to soothe a person’s nasal cavity when it is congested.

It should only be used every two hours at a maximum, and it should not be inhaled more than two times per use.

Users report feeling an increase in energy, heart rate, and even anxiety levels.

Some people may grow to enjoy these feelings and decide to misuse the drug because it is cheap and readily available.

Some people have experienced toxicity even after using this inhaler just one time, according to Poison Control.

Long-Term Effects

Benzedrex is an effective decongestant because it is known to constrict the mucous membrane, also known as mucosa. This causes a person to feel temporary relief.

If you use Benzedrex in higher doses or for a longer time than required, its active ingredients could cause a feeling of pleasure that is sometimes referred to as a “legal high.” This is the same as a regular high, but the nickname denotes the legality of the drug used to produce this feeling.

Health experts mention a few other long-term effects you should be concerned with. These include:

Rebound Congestion

People can start to depend on decongestants within three days. That is why most products, including Benzedrex, warn you not to use it for longer than this time period. Allergies, colds, and other health conditions that cause mucus also cause the nasal passages to swell up, which makes you feel worse.

Decongestants reduce swelling in your nose and make you feel more comfortable, but they do not take care of the underlying issue. Using nasal decongestants thus starts a cycle that forces you to keep using your inhaler because blood flow is reduced to your nose. Your body will respond by causing swelling again, which will increase the congestion you are trying to cure. A common symptom of this side effect is feeling congested but not producing mucus.

Rise In Temperature

Poison Control adds that consistent use of Benzedrex disturbs the nose’s natural cooling methods. Though mucus production can get in your way, it is an important natural response. As such, the rapid constriction of blood vessels that temporarily aids your discomfort puts you at risk of overheating.


This is a frequent self-reported symptom on forums such as Reddit. Poison Control also mentions that this is an issue thought to be caused by blood constriction.

High Blood Pressure

U.S. Pharmacist cautions that you should not use Benzedrex at all if you have previous heart or blood pressure issues because the chemicals it contains could be quickly absorbed when they reach your bloodstream.

Instead, pharmacists are encouraged to provide other alternatives to patients who have these health issues.

Additional Side Effects

A 2018 paper published on Dovepress mentions that Benzedrex use could land a person in the emergency room. The medication is legal and can be misused, but some serious side effects can occur in some people even if they use Benzedrex as directed.

This is because of how similar it is to methamphetamine and amphetamine. It is true that people who require emergency medical assistance use the drug longer than intended, but there is enough concern in the medical community to note that Benzedrex should at least issue warnings about how its makeup influences people with previous health issues.

In serious cases, Benzedrex can cause toxicity and has led to death, according to Poison Control. One way to prevent any health complications is to use the decongestant only as directed.

Talk to a doctor if your symptoms do not improve after three days.

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