Complications of intranasal prescription narcotic abuse

Jason Yewell, Richard Haydon, Sanford Archer, Jose M. Manaligod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The abuse of drugs via an intranasal route is an increasingly prevalent pattern of behavior. In the past year, a number of patients received care at our institution for complications resulting from the previously unreported phenomenon of intranasal prescription narcotic abuse. This report describes the clinical manifestations of this form of drug abuse in 5 patients. Their symptoms consisted of nasal and/or facial pain, nasal obstruction, and chronic foul-smelling drainage. Common physical findings were nasal septal perforation; erosion of the lateral nasal walls, nasopharynx, and soft palate; and mucopurulent exudate on affected nasal surfaces. In addition, 2 of the 5 patients had invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, which appears to be a complication unique to intranasal narcotic abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-177
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Codeine
  • Drug abuse
  • Fungus
  • Hydrocodone
  • Nose
  • Oxycodone
  • Sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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