What You Should Know About Medicines/Nasal Spray

Nasal sprays are medications that are absorbed through the mucous membranes in the nose. Some examples of medications that come in a nasal spray include naloxone[1] as well as many allergy medications[2]. In these medications, this route is preferred due to it's ease of administration by a layperson, ability for medication to be applied directly to areas that have symptoms, and how they are easier to give to children and infants compared to oral medications.

An example of a pump bottle style nasal spray being used

How to UseEdit

There are three main types of nasal spray devices, this guide will cover all of them.

Pressurized CanistersEdit

This style is most similar to an inhaler, such as for asthma, but for your nose.

  1. Blow your nose, ensuring that you can breath through the nostril(s)
  2. Shake the medicine canister to ensure the medicine is mixed
  3. Hold your head upright as you breath out
  4. Insert the tip of the canister a few centimetres into the nose, pressing the other nostril shut
  5. Press the canister down to dispense the medicine while you breathe in through your nose [3]

Pump BottlesEdit

This is the most common style for over the counter medications, see the picture in this article for an example of one.

  1. Blow your nose, ensuring you can breath through the nostril(s)
  2. Shake the bottle, then prime it, by depressing the pump a few times, until medicine sprays out, just like you have to do the first time you use a bottle of hand soap
  3. Lean forwards, covering the other nostril
  4. Insert the tip of the bottle into the nostril, holding two fingers on the wings of the product
  5. Squeeze the wings and the bottom of the bottle together to release the medication while you breath in

Plunger DevicesEdit

The quintessential medication used by this style is narcan, for opioid overdoses. These are made so it is easy to give to someone else.

  1. Hold the device with two fingers on either side of the nozzle, and one finger on the plunger.
  2. Insert the device into the victims nostril, and forcibly push the plunger in to dispense the medication.[4]
  1. Naloxone SAMSHA
  2. Nasal Sprays The American Academy of Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology.
  3. How to use Nasal Medications, American Association of Family Physicians
  4. Naloxone usage instructions, USA VA