How to use a corticosteroid nasal spray
Evidence & Practice    

How to use a corticosteroid nasal spray

Janette Bartle Allergy Nurse Specialist (ENT), Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Ipswich, Suffolk, England

Rationale and key points

This article outlines the appropriate and effective technique for using a corticosteroid nasal spray. If these sprays are used inappropriately, they will be ineffective and might reduce the patient’s adherence to the treatment. Nurses can use the information in this article to advise patients on the appropriate technique for using a corticosteroid nasal spray.

Topical corticosteroid nasal sprays are commonly used to treat seasonal and persistent allergic rhinitis, which cause inflammation inside the nose and can lead to nasal blockage. Where inflammation inside the nose is the predominant symptom of nonallergic rhinitis, corticosteroid nasal sprays can also be used as a treatment modality.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays do not reduce inflammation immediately and can take up to two weeks before the patient experiences the benefits of using the spray. Patients should be made aware that a corticosteroid nasal spray does not work immediately and requires daily use to become effective.

Preparing the nose through cleansing, for example by performing nasal douching, is recommended as an adjunctive treatment.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How you think this article will change your practice.

How you could use this information to educate your patients and colleagues on the appropriate technique for using a corticosteroid nasal spray.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10684


Peer review

This article is subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 09 September 2016

Accepted: 31 May 2017

Published online: 14 August 2017

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