Nasal Spray How-To

It’s important to aim the nasal spray away from the center of your nose, to avoid damaging the septum. Follow these easy steps:

Using a Nasal Spray

  • Read and follow the package insert instructions for patients before using the first time, as there are slight variations among brands, especially between water-based and aerosol sprays.

  • Prime the spray as directed before the first use or if you haven’t used it in a while. (See patient instructions for details.)

  • Blow your nose gently before using the spray to allow medicine to get up into the passages.

  • Gently insert the tip of the nasal spray ¼-1/2 inch into your nose (it’s designed not to go too far, don’t try to push it in) and point it away from the center of your nose, toward your ear. Too much medicine on your septum (the tissue separating the two nasal passages) can be damaging, which is why you point it away from the center of the nose. Try holding the spray with your left hand when applying to the right nostril, then switch for the other side.

  • Lean forward slightly, hold one nostril closed and inhale gently and deeply through the other as you release the spray. Exhale through your mouth. Do not blow your nose after using the spray; just wipe away any liquid that drips.  NOTE: If using Qnasl®, do not inhale; just let the spray settle where it lands. If using Zetonna®, lean head slightly back, rather than forward.

  • Wipe the spray tip clean after every use and replace the cap. If it becomes clogged, check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, but do not use a pin or other instrument to enlarge the hole.

  • Keep track of the doses used and replace your nasal spray after you have used the recommended number, even if you haven’t reached the expiration date. (Include priming sprays.) There may be liquid left in the container after all the doses have been used, but the medication mix is not likely to be accurate.


Layout 1 Nasal Spray Poster
Side-by-side guide (22″ x 17″)’to antihistamine, anticholinergic and corticosteroid nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, including new non-aqueous aerosols. Available starting at $5, click here to order your copy