This text discusses the risks associated with using vasoconstrictor medications and essential oils for common ailments such as the common cold and nasal congestion. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines advises against the oral use of vasoconstrictor medications due to the very low risks of heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, a study by UFC-Que Choisir, reported by BFMTV, suggests that essential oils, commonly used by many in France, may also pose allergic risks. Products such as sprays, sticks, and inhalation preparations containing plant-based essential oils like thyme, eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol, are available at pharmacies, but they contain terpenes which can potentially trigger allergies and convulsions.
UFC-Que Choisir advises against using these products for individuals with asthma, epilepsy, pregnant women, and children under six years old, and questions their efficacy, stating that the congestion relief is only temporary. Instead, they recommend using saline solution or thermal water sprays, staying hydrated, sleeping with an elevated head, maintaining a cool environment, and regularly ventilating living spaces for better comfort. In October 2023, the ANSM warned against the oral use of vasoconstrictor medications such as Dolirhume and Actifed Rhume due to the very low risk of heart attacks and strokes associated with these drugs.