Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Congestion in Adults

Home treatment measures for congestion in adults with an Epstein-Barr infection include general measures and medications. Medications include oral decongestants, decongestant nasal sprays and antihistamines.

General Measures

  • Blow your nose gently. Forceful blowing can cause pain and bleeding.
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the nostrils if the skin becomes dry.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.
  • Use saline (saltwater) nose spray, such as Ocean Nasal Mist: saline helps to keep the lining of nasal passages moist. Saline may be used to flush the nasal passages:
    • Lie on your back and tilt your head back.
    • Apply 2- 4 drops of saline in one on nostril, then wait 1 minute.
    • Blow your nose.
    • Repeat in the other nostril.

Oral Decongestants
Oral decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), help to thin the mucus responsible for the congestion. Decongestants are safe for adults and adolescents.

Precautions include:

Decongestant Sprays
Decongestant nasal sprays, such as pseudoephedrine (Afrin) can relieve congestion faster than oral medications.

Examples include:
  • Afrin Nasal Spray
  • Duration Nasal Spray
  • Four-Way Fast Nasal Spray
  • Neo-Synephrine Nasal Spray
  • Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray

Precautions include:
  • Do not use decongestant nasal sprays for longer than 3 days. After three days, the nasal tissues become dependent on the medication. When the medication is stopped, the nasal tissue swells and congestion worsens.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine, dry nasal tissue.

Examples include:

Precautions include:

Continue to Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Congestion in Children

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Epstein-Barr Virus Infection References
  1. Comito MA, Sun Q, Lucas KG. Immunotherapy for Epstein-Barr virus-associated tumors. Leuk Lymphoma. 2004 Oct;45(10):1981-7. [15370241]
  2. Mayer HB, Wanke CA, Williams M, Crosson AW, Federman M, Hammer SM. Epstein-Barr virus-induced infectious mononucleosis complicated by acute renal failure: case report and review. Clin Infect Dis. 1996 Jun;22(6):1009-18. [878370]
  3. Sevilla J, del Carmen Escudero M, Jimenez R, Gonzalez-Vicent M, Manzanares J, Garcia-Novo D, Madero L. Severe systemic autoimmune disease associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2004 Dec;26(12):831-3. [15591906]
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