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How To Use: Nasal Spray

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Most nasal sprays are formulated as a spray bottle that releases a medicated mist. You inhale the mist into the nasal passages.

What kinds of medicines are available as nasal sprays?

Several different types of medicines are available as nasal sprays, including:

Anti-histamines

Steroids

Mast Cell stabilizers

Anti-cholinergic agents

Decongestants

How do I use a nasal spray?

Steps for using a pump bottle:

Gently blow your nose to clear it of mucus before using the medication. Or sometimes, people will spray nasal saline in their nose to rinse it out.

Remove the cap and shake the bottle. The first time you use the pump spray, you may have to "prime" it by squirting a few times into the air until a fine mist comes out.

Tilt your head down slightly (30 degrees). Breathe out slowly.

Hold the pump bottle with your thumb at the bottom and your index and middle fingers on top. You may want to place a finger to close the nostril on the side not receiving the medication.

Squeeze the pump as you begin to breathe in slowly through your nose. Repeat these steps for the other nostril. If you are using more than one spray in each nostril, follow all these steps again after a few minutes.

Try not to sneeze or blow your nose just after using the spray.

Helpful hints:

Remember, it may take up to 2 weeks of using a nasal steroid spray before you notice the full effects

Be sure you can sniff air through each nostril before spraying; otherwise the medicine will be wasted, since it will not go deep into your nose

Aim the pump toward the ear of the same side of the nostril you are spraying

If the pump spray is used correctly, the spray should not drip from your nose or down the back of your throat

If your nose hurts, if you begin to have nosebleeds or if the inside of your nose stings, stop using the spray for 1 to 2 days. Sometimes it helps to use a saline nose spray such as SalineX, Ocean Nasal Mist or NaSal just before you use your regular medicine

Use your medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Most nasal sprays work best when used regularly and consistently

Keep your medicine away from sunlight.