drugs that shrink the swollen membranes in the nose and make it easier to breath. Decongestants can be taken orally or by nasal spray. Decongestant nasal spray should not be used for more than five days without the doctor s advice, and if so, usually only when accompanied by a nasal steroid. Many decongestant nasal sprays often cause a rebound effect if taken too long. A rebound effect is the worsening of symptoms when a drug is discontinued. This is a result of a tissue dependence on the medication. Decongestants should not be used by patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) unless under doctors supervision.