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ENT Conditions and Procedures
How to use nasal drops Download as PDF

How to use nasal drops

A step-by-step guide

  1. Wash your hands and gently blow your nose
  2. Gently shake the nasal drops. Twist the cap anti-clockwise to remove it. If using a nasule, twist off the top part to open it.
  3. Lie on your back, with your head just off the bed. Tilt your head backwards, so that your chin is pointing upward (Figure 1).
  4. Breathe normally through your mouth while putting the prescribed number of drops into each nostril.
  5. Lie in this position for two minutes after inserting the drops.
  6. After inserting the drops into both nostrils, clean the nozzle and replace the cap.

Below are Figures 1, 2, and 3 that illustrate three proper positions for applying nasal drops. You can choose any of these that you feel comfortable with. Avoid tilting your head back when standing (as shown in Figure 4) or sitting while putting the drops in your nose.

Figure 1: Correct position to apply nasal drops

Figure 1: Correct position


Figure 2: Correct position to apply nasal drops

Figure 2: Correct position


Figure 3: Correct position to apply nasal drops

Figure 3: Correct position


Figure 4: Wrong Position to apply nasal drops

Figure 4: Wrong position 

Extra tips for nasal medications

  • If you have an unpleasant taste after using nasal medications, drinking water or a flavoured drink may help.
  • If you develop soreness or bleeding, you may be using the medications incorrectly. Re-check the instructions and make sure you are not pressing the container against the septum (middle part inside the nose). If this does not settle, speak to a medical professional.
  • Don’t use decongestant nasal sprays for more than five days in a row. This can actually make the congestion worse by causing the lining of the nose to swell every time it is stopped.


Disclaimer: This publication is designed for the information of patients. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the information contained may not be comprehensive and patients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice.


Date Published: 22/09/2022 Review Date: 22/09/2025

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