Patient information on how to use a Nasal Spray
Who is this information for?
This information is for patients, families and carers who are required to use a nasal spray.
What are nasal sprays?
Nasal sprays are solutions or suspensions of a medicine that are sprayed into the nostril, to produce a direct effect inside the nose.
Some nasal sprays are used to administer medicine that acts on other parts of the body. In these cases the medicine is absorbed into the blood stream from the lining of the nose, which is rich in blood vessels.
N.B MEG has no affiliations with any brand or Nasal Irrigation Product
How do I use a nasal spray?
- Blow your nose so that your nostrils are clear prior to use
- Wash your hands
- Shake the bottle
- Take the lid off the bottle
- Tilt your head slightly forward
- Close one nostril by gently pressing against the side of your nose with a finger
- Using the opposite hand to the side of the nose you are treating, insert the tip of the bottle into the other nostril and start to breathe slowly through your nose
- While you are still l breathing in, squirt one spray into the nostril, keeping the bottle upright
- Remove the bottle from the nostril and breathe out through your mouth
- Tilt your head backwards and allow the spray to drain to the back of the nose
- Repeat on the other side of the nose, and repeat again on each side if more than one spray has been prescribed
- Replace the lid on the bottle
Also read information about Nasal Irrigation
How do I avoid common errors when using a nasal spray?
- Ensure that you prime the inhaler spray device before using it for the first time or if you haven’t used it for a while
- Use it as directed and do not skip doses
- Ensure that you hold your head in the correct position – tilted forward not back
- Do not push the nozzle too hard or far into your nose
- Do not blow your nose after spraying as the medicine may be lost
- Do not sniff hard after spraying as the medicine can end up in your throat, instead of your nose
- Saline sprays or irrigation are best used 30-60 minutes before using a nasal spray
What else should I know about nasal sprays?
- Some nasal sprays give an unpleasant taste as they drain into the back of the throat. A drink of water or other liquid can help to take this taste away.
- Do not share nasal sprays with other people
- Do not use decongestant nasal sprays (e.g. Otrivin®, Drixine®, Sudafed Nasal®) for more than one week as this can permanently damage the lining of the nose and make nasal congestion worse
- Always use the nasal spray according to the printed label or as directed by your health practitioner
- Never use the nasal spray after the expiry date as it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria
- If you miss a dose of nasal spray, take the dose as soon as you remember, and then go on as before
- Nasal sprays are intended to be used in the nose and must not be taken by mouth. Read information about Post Nasal Surgery
Concerns or questions?
You can contact your ENT Specialist at the Melbourne ENT Group (MEG):
Your GP is also the best contact for ongoing care and concerns.