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What are some common side effects of steroid nasal sprays?

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Quick Answer

Some common side effects of steroid nasal sprays include dryness in the nasal passageway, sneezing, throat irritation, headaches and nosebleeds, according to MedlinePlus. Patients using steroid nasal sprays also have an increased risk for nasal infections. In rare situations, a crack or hole may develop in the nasal passageway.

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Full Answer

Nasal sprays only work on the nasal passageway in the area they are administered, so side effects are limited to those areas, maintains MedlinePlus. Keeping the nasal passageways moist helps reduce side effects of dryness, burning and stinging. Showering or breathing the air over a steamy sink directly before using the spray minimizes the risk of dryness. Perforations of the nasal passageway are most common when the spray is applied directly toward the middle of the nose. Aiming the spray toward the outside of the nostril minimizes the risk of cracks or holes developing.

The proper administration procedure for steroid nasal sprays starts with washing the hands and gently blowing the nose, notes MedlinePlus. The patient shakes the spray to mix it and breathes out fully. After closing one nostril, the patient inserts the tip of the bottle into the other nostil, aims it towards the outer wall of the nose and inhales slowly while pressing the spray button. The patient repeats the process to deliver the recommended number of sprays to each nostril.

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