The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory
Intranasal Preparations

How to Use Intranasal Drops

  1. Blow your nose gently to clear the nostrils.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  3. Lie down on a bed with your head tilted back and the neck supported (allow the head to hang over the edge of the bed or place a small pillow under your shoulders). Tilt your head back so that it is hanging lower than your shoulders. Note: If putting drops into the nose of a child, lie the child on his or her back over your lap. The head should be tilted back.
  4. Draw up a small amount of medication into the medicine dropper.
  5. Breathe through your mouth.
  6. Place the tip of the medicine dropper just inside your nostril (about 1/3 inch). Avoid touching the dropper against the nostril or anything else.
  7. Place the directed number of drops into your nostril.
  8. Repeat steps 3 - 7 for the other nostril if directed to do so.
  9. Remain lying down for about 5 minutes, so the medication has a chance to spread throughout your nasal passages.
  10. Replace the medicine dropper to its container and tightly close the bottle.
  11. Wash your hands.


  • Some of the solution may drain down into your mouth. If the taste is unpleasant, you may cough out the excess solution into a tissue.
  • It may be much easier to have someone help you instill your nose drops.


How to Use Intranasal Sprays or Pumps

  1. Blow your nose gently to clear the nostrils.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  3. Hold your head in an upright position.
  4. Close one nostril with one finger.
  5. With the mouth closed, insert the tip of the spray or pump into the open nostril. Sniff in through the nostril while quickly and firmly squeezing the spray container or activating the pump.
  6. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then breathe out through your mouth.
  7. Repeat this procedure for the other nostril only if directed to do so.
  8. Rinse the spray or pump tip with hot water and replace the cap tightly on the container.
  9. Wash your hands.