Three Kinds Of Medicated Nasal Sprays And What They Treat

Posted on: 29 February 2016

Nasal and sinus problems are a constant factor during cold and flu season, but they also affect people with upper respiratory problems and people with allergies. If you do not like the idea of taking a pill that affects your entire body, and you only want to treat your nose so you can breathe easier, then you might want to use a nasal spray. There are also medications that are delivered through a nasal spray or nasal mist. Here are three examples of medicated nasal sprays and what they treat.

Live Attenuated Intranasal Influenza Spray

Although this type of annual flu vaccine is often reserved for the very young or for people with compromised immune systems, you can make a special request to receive your flu "shot" this way if you are deathly afraid of needles. The vaccine is absorbed through the lining of the nasal passages and into the bloodstream. Most doctors' offices and urgent care clinics receive a limited number of flu vaccine every year, and the intranasal spray is often more limited. However, it does protect against the same strains of flu as the shot and is considered a medicated nasal spray.

Nasal Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids in nasal spray form are used to treat sudden attacks of asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). (An example of this type of medicated spray includes fluticasone nasal spray such as Dymista.) Usually the person affected by these conditions will receive a prescription from their doctors and then carry the sprays with them at all times. In school settings, the spray may be labeled and stored in the school nurse's office for emergencies away from home (and to prevent overuse by unauthorized individuals). This medicated spray is delivered the same way any other nasal spray is--through the mucus membranes and sinus passages of the person using the spray.

Nasal Decongestants

An over-the-counter (OTC) variant of medicated nasal spray is the nasal decongestant. Its effects are generally short-term, but quick acting, clearing and shrinking swollen nasal passages that prevent you from breathing through your nose. A quick couple of squirts into each nostril while trying to inhale through your nose, and the medicine immediately goes to work. Even though it is an OTC medication, and you generally do not need a prescription for this type of nasal spray, you cannot use it past the recommended number of days. If you are still having some major congestion issues, ask your doctor about a prescribed decongestant.