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Home » Medicine Usage Guides » Nasal Sprays

Nasal Sprays

What Are Nasal Sprays?

Nasal sprays are a solution or suspension of medicine. They are sprayed into the nostrils, usually to produce a local effect directly 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 bloodstream from the lining of the nose, which is rich in blood vessels.

How to Use a Nasal Spray

  1. Shake the bottle.
  2. Blow your nose so that your nostrils are clear.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Take the lid off the bottle.
  5. Tilt your head slightly forward.
  6. Close one nostril by gently pressing against the side of your nose with your finger.
  7. Insert the tip of the nasal spray into the other nostril and start to breathe in slowly through your nose. While you are still breathing in squirt one spray into the nostril keeping the bottle upright.
  8. Remove the spray from the nostril and breathe out through your mouth.
  9. Tilt your head backwards to allow the spray to drain into the back of the nose.
  10. Repeat step 7 if a second dose is required in the same nostril.
  11. Repeat this procedure for the other nostril if you have been advised to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
  12. Replace the lid on the bottle.

Instructional Video

Other Useful Advice

  • Some nasal sprays give an unpleasant taste as they drain into the back of the throat. A drink of water or other liquid will help to take this taste away.
  • Do not share nasal sprays with other people.
  • Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for longer than a week, as this can cause the nasal congestion to come back (rebound congestion).
  • EXPIRY never use your nasal spray after the expiry date as it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Follow the printed instructions given with your spray. Write the date you open your nasal spray on the bottle so you know when to throw it away.
  • Always use the nasal spray according to the printed label or as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Your nasal spray should be cleaned at least once a week, or more frequently if it becomes blocked. Follow the printed instructions supplied with the spray.
  • If you miss a dose of your nasal spray, take the dose as soon as you remember, and then go on as before.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you accidentally take more than you were supposed to.
  • Nasal sprays are only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
  • Once you have finished the treatment course, carefully dispose of any leftover nasal spray, or return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
  • Always keep medicines out of the reach of children.


  • Follow directions carefully
  • Do not miss doses
  • Store medications out of reach of children

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