24. February 2020
Incorrect use of nasal sprays for asthma treatment

Nine in ten asthma patients are unable to use corticosteroid nasal sprays correctly. A Dutch working group is therefore calling for improvements to be made to user instructions and for patients to be provided with better guidance.

Corine Rollema and her colleagues at the Medical Center Leeuwarden observed how 64 asthma patients used their corticosteroid spray.


Nearly all participants shook the spray correctly before use. In addition, nearly all of them inhaled the spray correctly upon release.


But less than half the patients blew their nose before the readministering the spray or pointed the end of the nozzle at a slight angle toward the outer nostril, away from the nasal septum, which is the correct way to use it. Although it is recommended with certain sprays to tilt the head slightly forward, only 13 percent of users did so.


Rollema and her team gave additional instructions for correct usage:


  • Hold the opposite nostril by closed with a finger
  • Exhale from the mouth after administering the spray
  • Wipe off the end of the nozzle with a cloth to prevent contamination


Different sprays function with different techniques, so the instructions for correct usage are not always the same. Furthermore, Rollema and her team noted that most usage instructions are insufficient. Only one out of the 31 reviewed information leaflets contained all the information necessary for the correct use of the sprays.


People who are unable to correctly administer an asthma spray or whose condition does not improve with treatment should consult their doctor.


Text: ch/ktg



Rollema C et al. Inadequate quality of administration of intranasal corticosteroid sprays. J Asthma Allergy. 2019;12:91-4.




Tags: Asthma