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  • Published In : Nov 2023
  • Code : CMI5805
  • Pages :170
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Pharmaceutical

The global decongestant market size is expected to reach US$ 24.67 billion by 2030, from US$ 15.73 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period.

The decongestant market is expected to experience steady growth in the coming years, driven by the increasing prevalence of colds, sinusitis, and allergies worldwide. North America currently dominates the market owing to high healthcare spending and growing awareness about cold relief products in the region. However, Asia Pacific is likely to emerge as the fastest-growing market with an expanding patient population and rapid economic development in countries like India and China

 The decongestant market is segmented by product type, type of decongestant, mode of action, application, distribution channel, and region. By product type, the market is segmented into tablets, capsules, nasal sprays, and others. Oral decongestants are available both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription. The most common OTC oral decongestants contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine as the active ingredient.

Global Decongestant Market Regional Insights:

  • North America is the largest market for decongestants, accounting for a share of over 35.3% in 2022, The North American region, including the U.S. and Canada, has a significant decongestant market. The high prevalence of respiratory conditions and allergies, coupled with a well-established healthcare infrastructure, contributes to the demand for decongestant products in this region. In North America, both OTC and prescription decongestants are widely available.
  • Europe is the second-largest market for decongestants, accounting for a share of over 29.3% in 2022 and Europe also has a substantial decongestant market. Countries like Germany, France, and the U.K. have a significant consumer base for decongestant products. In Europe, regulations may vary regarding the availability and sale of certain decongestant ingredients. Some countries may require a prescription for stronger formulations, while others allow certain decongestants to be sold over the counter.
  • Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing market for decongestants, accounting for a share of over 21.1% in 2022 and The Asia Pacific region, including countries like China, Japan, India, and Australia, represents a growing market for decongestant products. The rising population, increasing awareness of respiratory conditions, and improving healthcare infrastructure contribute to the market's growth in this region. The availability of OTC decongestants varies across countries, and regulations may differ regarding the sale of certain ingredients.

Figure 1. Global Decongestant Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Global Decongestant Market Drivers:

  • Prevalence of Respiratory Conditions: The high prevalence of respiratory conditions such as the common cold, allergies, sinusitis, and rhinitis is a significant driver for the decongestant market. These conditions affect individuals of all ages and demographics, creating a consistent demand for products that provide relief from nasal congestion. For instance, according to an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information in March 2022, Rhinitis prevalence ranged from 1% to 63% in 2021. The overall median prevalences of unspecified rhinitis, allergic rhinitis (AR), and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) were 29.4%, 18.1%, and 12.0%, and they varied according to the geographical location in 2021. Rhinitis prevalence tended to increase over time.
  • Changing lifestyles and Work Habits: Changes in modern lifestyles and work culture have also positively impacted the decongestant market. With fast-paced lives, long working hours, and work-from-home routines during the pandemic, people are more susceptible to indoor allergies, less physical activity, and disrupted sleep patterns.
  • Technological Advancements in Formulations: Advances in pharmaceutical technology have led to the development of innovative decongestant formulations. For example, nasal sprays with longer-lasting effects or combination products that target multiple symptoms are introduced to the market. These advancements improve efficacy and provide more convenient options for consumers.
  • Over-the-Counter Availability: The availability of over-the-counter decongestants without the need for a prescription makes them easily accessible to consumers. This convenience contributes to market's growth, as individuals can purchase these products directly and address their nasal congestion symptoms without visiting a healthcare provider.

Global Decongestant Market Opportunities

  • Expansion of Product Range: There is an opportunity to expand the range of decongestant products available in the market. Manufacturers can explore the development of innovative formulations, such as extended-release tablets, nasal gels, or novel delivery systems, to provide consumers with more options for managing nasal congestion.
  • Adoption of combination drug formulations: The decongestant market has traditionally operated with drugs that targeted single symptoms of cold, cough, and flu. However, these illnesses often present with symptoms across multiple systems in the body. Patients therefore, end up taking multiple drugs to get total relief. This leads to poor compliance and abandonment of treatment midway. A combination drug formulation that addresses the major symptoms together could provide better compliance and deliver enhanced efficacy. This would meet an unmet need in the market.
  • Pediatric Decongestants: There is a need for safe and effective decongestant options specifically formulated for children. Developing pediatric decongestants that are appropriate for different age groups and have child-friendly formulations can address this unmet need in the market.
  • Allergy-specific Decongestants: Allergic rhinitis is a common condition that causes nasal congestion. Developing decongestant products specifically targeting allergic congestion, including formulations that combine antihistamines and decongestants, can provide comprehensive relief for allergy sufferers.

Decongestant Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 15.73 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2022 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 6.6% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 24.67 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East: GCC, Israel, and Rest of Middle East
  • Africa: South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Tablets, Capsules, Nasal Sprays and Others
  • By Type of Decongestant: Oral Decongestants ( Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine and Others),    Nasal Decongestants ( Oxymetazoline, Xylometazoline, Phenylephrine, Naphazoline and Others)
  • By Mode of Action: Alpha-Adrenergic Agonists, Vasoconstrictors, and Others
  • By Application: Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, Perennial Allergic Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Nasal Congestion, Cold and Flu and Others 
  • By Distribution Channel: Hospital Pharmacies, Retail Pharmacies, Online Pharmacies and Hyper Market/Super Market
Companies covered:

Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novartis AG, Sanofi S.A., Bayer AG, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Perrigo Company plc, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Mylan N.V. Marinomed Biotech AG, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.

Growth Drivers:
  • Prevalence of Respiratory Conditions
  • Changing lifestyles and Work Habits
  • Technological Advancements in Formulations
  • Over-the-Counter Availability
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Side Effects of Decongestants
  • Regulatory Frameworks
  • Availability of Alternative Treatment Options
  • Product Removal

Global Decongestant Market Trends:

  • Rising demand for herbal decongestants: The growing preference for natural and herbal remedies over conventional medications is positively impacting the herbal decongestant segment within the broader global decongestant market. People are increasingly looking for natural solutions to manage symptoms like nasal congestion instead of prescription drugs due to perceived safety concerns about prolonged use of pharmaceutical decongestants. This change in consumer behavior has driven many major decongestant brands to launch herbal formulations in recent years. Moreover, the increasing development of herbal decongestants is also expected to drive market growth. For instance, in April 2020, the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) created a formulation that helps clear the windpipe and congestion by removing the mucus or cough, leading to ease of breathing.
  • Emphasis on Pediatric Decongestants: There is a growing focus on developing decongestant products specifically designed for children. Pediatric decongestants address the unique needs and dosage requirements of young patients. Efforts are being made to ensure child-friendly formulations, accurate dosing mechanisms, and appealing flavors to make administration easier for parents and increase compliance.
  • Growing preference for long-acting decongestants: The preference for long-acting decongestants among consumers has been steadily rising in recent years and is having a noticeable impact on the decongestant market. Many users find that traditional short-acting decongestants only provide temporary relief and do not last for a full day. The symptoms often return within a few hours, requiring repeat dosing throughout the day. This leads to inconvenience and can disrupt daily activities if the decongestant wears off at an inopportune time. Long-acting formulations that provide extended relief for 8-12 hours with a single dose have gained popularity as they are more consistent and allow freedom of movement without being tied to a dosing schedule.

Global Decongestant Market Restraints:

  • Side Effects of Decongestants: One of the major factors restraining the growth of the decongestant market is the side effects associated with the use of these medications. Decongestants work by constricting the blood vessels in the nasal passages to reduce swelling and congestion. However, this constriction can also occur in other parts of the body, such as the heart and blood vessels. Common side effects reported include increased blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, and insomnia. In some cases, excessive use of decongestants containing pseudoephedrine has even been linked to strokes, heart attacks, and seizures.
  • Regulatory Frameworks: Regulatory frameworks and restrictions on certain decongestant ingredients can pose challenges for manufacturers and limit the availability of certain products. Some regions may require prescription-only access to stronger decongestants, reducing the options available to consumers without a doctor's prescription. Moreover, in September 2023, an outside panel of experts to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refused to back the effectiveness of oral over-the-counter (OTC) medicines made with phenylephrine, an ingredient widely used in cough and cold syrups. The panel unanimously voted against the effectiveness of orally administered phenylephrine as a nasal decongestant, adding that no more trials were required to prove otherwise

Counterbalance: e: Manufacturers must prioritize compliance with regulatory standards and ensure their products meet all safety and quality requirements. This involves rigorous testing, documentation, and adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and other industry standards

  • Availability of Alternative Treatment Options: The availability of alternative treatment options is one of the major factors acting as a hurdle for the growth of the decongestant market. There are several safe and effective alternative treatment methods available for relieving nasal congestion symptoms without the use of decongestant medications. For instance, nasal irrigation or rinse using a neti pot, saline drops, or spray is proven to be effective in flushing out mucus, allergens, pollutants, and irritants from nasal cavities. This simple method helps in relieving congestion, pressure and associated headaches. Steam inhalation is another natural alternative that provides instant relief from nasal blockage. The warm, moist air from steam helps loosen thick mucus and facilitates its removal. Placing a warm compress over sinuses also helps in the dilation of blood vessels. This draws more blood to the area and reduces swelling and stuffiness. Other alternative options that help alleviate symptoms include saline sprays, humidifiers, vasodilator supplements like ginger, peppermint oil, etc.
  • Product Removal: key players are focusing on the removal of common decongestants from shelver, which is expected to hinder market growth. For instance, in October 2023, CVS Health, a U.S.-based leading health solutions company, is planning to remove one type of common decongestant from shelves after an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was ineffective earlier this year. The products contain the oral formulation of phenylephrine (PE), which is found in several over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Figure 2. Global Decongestant Market Share (%), By Product Type, 2023


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Recent Developments:

Research and Development:

  • In March 2023, Marinomed Biotech AG, an Austrian science-based biotech company with a growing development pipeline and globally marketed therapeutics, announced positive results from its clinical study on the decongestant effect of the sorbitol-containing carragelose nasal spray. Based on the current clinical results, Marinomed plans to expand both the applications and target markets for the decongestant nasal spray.

Product launch/Approval:

  • In July 2022, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Hyderabad, India, announced the first-to-market launch of over-the-counter (OTC) Fexofenadine HCl 180 mg and Pseudoephedrine HCl 240 mg Extended Release Tablets, USP, the store-brand equivalent of Allegra-D® 24 HR in the U.S. market, as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Dr. Reddy’s OTC Fexofenadine HCl 180 mg and Pseudoephedrine HCl 240 mg Extended Release Tablets, USP is an over-the-counter oral antihistamine and nasal decongestant for the temporary relief of nasal and sinus congestion due to colds or allergies.

Top companies in Global Decongestant Market:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline plc
  • Novartis AG
  • Sanofi S.A.
  • Bayer AG
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
  • Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc.
  • Procter & Gamble Co.
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Perrigo Company plc
  • Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
  • Mylan N.V.
  • Marinomed Biotech AG
  • Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd

Definition: Decongestants are medications used to relieve nasal congestion, which is often caused by conditions like the common cold, allergies, or sinusitis. They work by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages, which reduces swelling and congestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Side effects of decongestants, regulatory frameworks, availability of alternative treatment options, and product removal are some of the major factors hampering the growth of the global decongestant market.

The prevalence of respiratory conditions, changing lifestyles and work habits, technological advancements in formulations, and over-the-counter availability are the key factors driving the growth of the market.

The tablet segment leads the market due to the increased prevalence of cancer and the increasing prevalence of aortic valve stenosis disorder.

Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novartis AG, Sanofi S.A., Bayer AG, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Prestige Consumer Healthcare Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Perrigo Company plc, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Mylan N.V. Marinomed Biotech AG, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, are some of the major companies in the market.

North America is expected to continue leading the market during the forecast period.

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