Do menthol products cause rhinitis medicamentosa?
I know that prolonged use of nasal decongestant sprays carries the risk of rhinitis medicamentosa, but do volatile/vapor compounds (e.g., menthol products) present similar risk?
—KYLE BUSS, PA-C, MMS, Denver
Rhinitis medicamentosa is caused by sympathomimetic amines (ephedrine and phenylephrine) and imidazoles (oxymetazoline and xylometazoline) and should not be caused by menthol products that do not contain decongestants. Menthol nasal preparations are thought to give some relief to the rhinitis patient through a cooling effect or soothing odor.
—Jo Ann Deasy, PA-C, MPH (126-4)