Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays

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Woman using a nasal spray

Corticosteroid nasal sprays (such as Flonase, Nasacort, and Nasonex) are used to help allergy symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose. They help reduce inflammation in the nose. They start working quickly, but it may be several weeks before you get the full effect. Here are some tips for using these sprays:

  1. You may need to prime the sprayer before you use it. This means spraying it into the air a few times to make sure you get the right amount of medicine. Follow the directions on the label.
  2. Blow your nose before you spray. This will help clear out your nostrils.
  3. Gently sniff the medicine into your nose as you spray. Don't snort, or the medicine will go all the way into your throat where it won't do much good.
  4. Aim the nozzle straight toward the back of your nose. This will help keep the medicine from irritating the inside walls of your nostril, especially your septum (the wall that separates your left and right nostrils).
  5. Don't blow your nose for 10 minutes or so after you spray. And try not to sneeze.
  6. Clean your sprayer once a week. The label will tell you how.

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

Current as ofMay 19, 2015

Current as of: May 19, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology