Does Nasal Spray Expire?

Allergies can manifest in numerous ways. A sneezy, sniffly, and runny nose, on the other hand, can be one of the most disturbing symptoms for many people.

Nasal allergies can be treated with special sprays that deal with nasal allergies directly.

These sprays can relieve congestion and other symptoms associated with seasonal allergies or the common cold. They function by spraying a fine mist of medication into your nostrils.

Furthermore, because the lining of your nose is densely packed with vessels that easily absorb medications into your bloodstream, nasal sprays may end up delivering medications to other parts of your body.

The sprays are available over the counter. The majority of products are packaged in a hand-operated pump bottle or squeeze bottle.

It is critical to understand how to use a nasal spray correctly, which also begs the question, does nasal spray expire? In this article, we’ll be looking at everything you need to know about nasal sprays so read on to find out more.

Types of Nasal Sprays

While all nasal sprays are used in the same way, the medications contained within each type can serve different functions.

Selecting those that address your specific symptoms can help you find relief.

Below are some of the most common types of nasal sprays:

Steroid Spray

Nasal steroid sprays work by decreasing inflammation.

Symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes can be relieved with this.

Nasal steroids are usually the first-line treatment for allergies. Examples like triamcinolone acetonide, Nasacort, and fluticasone propionate Flonase are available OTC.

Doctors can also prescribe nasal sprays like beclomethasone Beconase, ciclesonide Zetonna, and mometasone Nasonex.

Nasal steroid sprays should be applied consistently over the course of several weeks, typically at least once or twice a day. People who use these sprays may occasionally develop a bloody nose.

Antihistamines Nasal Sprays

Antihistamine sprays block the effects of histamine, a chemical substance that causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and runny nose.

Doctors can prescribe antihistamine sprays such as azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) or olopatadine (Patanase).

Note: Use Antihistamines with caution. Some people find that antihistamine nasal sprays cause drowsiness.

If you frequently experience drowsiness after using these sprays, you should take them later in the evening.

Decongestant Nasal Sprays

Decongestant sprays work by constricting the swollen, inflamed blood vessels that line your nose. These can cause congestion, itchiness, and sneezing due to irritation.

Most nasal decongestant sprays, for example, are available over the counter. Oxymetazoline hydrochloride (Afrin, Sinex) and phenylephrine hydrochloride are two examples (Neo-Synephrine).

Note that these are only temporary solutions to your nasal allergy symptoms.

You should not use them for more than three days because they will begin to work less effectively and will likely worsen the situation.

They’re also not suitable for people who have glaucoma or high blood pressure because they can exacerbate these conditions.

Anticholinergic Nasal Sprays

Anticholinergic nasal sprays work by acting on specific receptors in the nose to help dry up excess mucus. They treat a runny nose caused by seasonal allergies or another condition.

Ipratropium bromide is currently the only anticholinergic nasal spray available (Atrovent). It is important to note that, it is only available with a prescription.

Note: These medications are not intended for long-term use. When your nasal allergy symptoms are at their worst, you can usually use them for about three weeks.

Mast Cell Inhibitor Sprays

Cromolyn sodium sprays, which are a type of mast cell inhibitor spray, work by stabilizing mast cells. Histamine, the substance responsible for allergy symptoms, is released by these cells.

Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays, such as NasalCrom, are available without a prescription.

Note: Most cromolyn sodium sprays should be used once or twice daily. Because they inhibit histamine release, you should start using them about 1 or 2 weeks before allergy season in your area begins.

Are Nasal Sprays Really Effective?

It is important to take into account that according to the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, nasal steroid sprays are the most effective in treating nasal allergy symptoms.

This is due to the fact that they treat the majority of the major symptoms of nasal allergies, such as inflammation, congestion, runny nose, and sneezing.

A study published in 2016 compared the nasal steroid mometasone furoate to other steroids on the market. Mometasone furoate outperformed other steroid nasal sprays in terms of symptom control, according to the researchers.

Beclometasone, triamcinolone acetonide,  budesonide, and fluticasone propionate were a few examples of the medications that were compared.

How to Use a Nasal Spray

The instructions for using a nasal spray vary depending on the type of spray. If you don’t understand the product’s instructions, ask your pharmacist to explain them to you.

Before using a nasal spray, make the following preparations:

Ascertain that you can breathe through each nostril. If your nostril is blocked, the medication will not reach deep enough into the nasal passage to be effective.

Be aware that some nasal sprays must be primed before use. Squirt your nasal spray several times into the air to create a fine mist. Keep it away from your eyes and the eyes of others.

Keep your nasal spray in its original container. Avoid exposing the bottle to direct sunlight.

Don’t give your nasal spray to anyone else. Keep nasal sprays out of reach of children.

When you’re ready to use a nasal spray, take a deep breath and gently sniff, as if you’re smelling your favorite food or a flower.

The spray should not be snorted. As a result, the medication may bypass your nasal passage and enter your throat directly.

Step by Step Guide on Using a Nasal Spray

  • Gently blow your nose to clear mucus from your nasal passages.
  • Ensure your hands are washed with soap and water.
  • Remove the cap from the nasal spray bottle and gently shake it before using the dispenser.
  • Tilt your head forward slightly.
  • Close one nostril by gently pressing your finger against the side of your nose.
  • Insert the nasal spray tip into the opposite nostril.
  • Point the tip of your nose toward the back and outer side. Make sure the spray is directed straight back, not up into the tip of your nose.
  • Squeeze the nasal spray bottle while breathing in slowly through your nose.
  • Remove the nasal spray tip from your nostril and exhale through your mouth.
  • Repeat the procedure for the other nostril. Follow the directions and only take the prescribed amount of medication.
  • Replace the cap after wiping the nasal spray tip with a tissue or alcohol pad.
  • Avoid sneezing or blowing your nose right after using the nasal spray.

The medication should not drip down your nose or back of your throat if you use the nasal spray correctly. Some nasal sprays, however, may leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. A glass of water or juice should help to alleviate the aftertaste.

Side Effects of Nasal Spray

Nasal sprays can have negative side effects. Nasal sprays commonly cause the following side effects:

  • Burning
  • Bleeding
  • Sting sensation
  • Increased sneezing
  • Dry nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

If mild side effects persist or worsen, or if you experience any of the following serious side effects, please contact your provider:

  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Vision shifts
  • Weakness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Heartbeat irregularity or rapidity

Does Nasal Spray Expire?

Allergy medicines have expiration dates, but some of them may still be effective for up to two or more years after that date.

Liquid allergy medications like nasal sprays have shorter shelf lives than antihistamine tablets and they lose effectiveness faster upon expiration.

It is important that you store your Nasal spray at room temperature. Storing your drugs in a room that is too warm, under direct sunlight, or in a cold environment like a refrigerator would make them go bad faster and lose their efficacy.

Conclusion

Nasal sprays can help with congestion and other allergy and cold symptoms and they are available without a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC).

Some nasal spray medications, such as vaccines, must be administered by a healthcare provider.

Even though using a nasal spray to treat congestion or other symptoms may be acceptable in the short term, if you use them too frequently or for too long, they may stop working.

Excessive use of nasal sprays can also result in rebound congestion.

If you’ve been using a nasal spray for three days and your symptoms haven’t improved, are worsening, or you’re experiencing serious side effects such as blurred vision or dizziness, discontinue use and contact your provider.

If your nasal spray is expired, kindly purchase a new one instead of using an expired product.

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