I have dealt with chronic Non-allergic Rhinitis for almost 40 years. I recently found a surprisingly reliable and effective (for me) method of significantly reducing or eliminating the symptoms. Because of the analgesics needed, this approach may not be for everyone. Also, of course, everything below is completely anecdotal as it all applies only to my very limited experience and experimentation.
My rhinitis is now an almost daily occurrence starting as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning. Symptoms are almost always accompanied by a very intense point source of irritation high in a nostril at seemingly the top of the septum. The symptoms are frequently sufficiently severe (serial sneezing / congestion / copious continuous mucous production) to consequentially interfere with my daily activities. Over the years I consistently tested negative for all allergies and auto-immune markers. As expected, various nasal sprays, antihistamines, steroids, etc. have proven mostly ineffective.
A couple of months ago, I had a particularly severe all day non-remitting episode. Through the morning and early afternoon, I used various nasal sprays and a second 10 mg dose of Montelukast, all to no avail. At mid-afternoon, 40 mg oral prednisone provided zero relief. It appeared to me the symptom’s focus was the intense point source of irritation in my upper right nostril. Therefore, I hypothesized an analgesic might reduce the symptoms if it dulled the irritation that seemingly drove my symptoms. I took a single 5/325 mg hydrocodone/acetaminophen. Within 15 minutes almost all symptoms were gone. I had complete relief for 4.5 hours which is exactly the duration of effective pain relief I had when using hydrocodone in the past for post-surgery pain.
I started experimenting with various analgesics (both OTC and prescription). The following summarizes what I now perceive appears to help me.
• 1000 mg Tylenol, 600 Mg Ibuprofen, or 240 mg Naproxen all appear to reduce symptoms somewhat but, alone, are not magic bullets. I do not begin to have enough experience to say which is most effective. However, when I only take an NSAID, the level of relief is consistently sufficient to at least prevent the symptoms from interfering with my activities, albeit still annoying.
• 50 mg Tramadol, concurrent with an NSAID dose as in the bullet above, is very effective and comes close to very consistently providing complete remission within 25 minutes.
• The Tramadol/NSAID combination appears to be more durable than a single hydrocodone in that the relief of symptoms can last for 6 or more hours. However, I have only tried hydrocodone on a single occasion.
• I have not tried 5/325 mg hydrocodone/acetaminophen again and do not intend to do so unless I have a particularly sever all-day episode and nothing else works. I am thinking the Tramadol and/or NSAID approach might be short-stopping an all-day severe episode as one has not occurred since I have been experimenting with Tramadol/NSAIDS.
As an example, this morning, immediately upon arising from bed, I experienced the onset of distracting symptoms. I took a single 50 mg Tramadol and 600 mg Ibuprofen. As expected, 25 minutes later, I had almost complete relief. Today, the relief lasted all day. As appears to be typical with this combination of drugs, the mostly complete elimination of symptoms is periodically broken with “break throughs” of inconsequential intensity and very short duration.
In summary, although I have a very limited amount of data, the single experience with 5/325 hydrocodone/acetaminophen proved most dramatic with a very rapid onset of total relief for 4.5 hours. The tramadol/NSAID combination continues to prove very consistently and significantly effective. It does not provide the total unremitting relief of hydrocodone but it is very close and more durable by many hours. NSAIDs by themselves do provide sufficient partial relief to be useful when Tramadol is not appropriate to use (e.g., driving, etc.).
Although analgesics provide significant relief, they were never suggested by any of the many physicians/allergists/ENTs/etc. I have seen over the years. Also, I have never seen anything written to suggest analgesics as a possible treatment for non-allergic rhinitis symptoms. Therefore, I am hoping this might open the door for some relief for some of those that suffer from chronic non-allergic rhinitis. Also, I recognize hydrocodone and Tramadol are opiates and must have a prescription. Opiates, especially hydrocodone, can have significant abuse potential but I perceive Tramadol is much friendlier in this regard and, at least for me, provides consistent and significant relief from a problem that is sometimes too distracting to allow normal daily activities.
I hope this proves useful.