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Drug Profile

The information on this site is intended to supplement and enhance, not replace, the advice of a physician who is familiar with your medical history. Decisions about your health should always be made ONLY after detailed conversation with your doctor.

Generic drug name: saline nasal spray/mist/wash (SAY leen)
Brand name(s): AYR, BREATHE RIGHT, ENTSOL, LITTLE NOSES, OCEAN, SEA MIST, SIMPLY SALINE
GENERIC: available FAMILY: Decongestants
Find the drug label by searching at DailyMed.

Facts About This Drug [top]

Saline nasal sprays/mists/washes are a safe, simple combination of salt and water that can be extremely helpful in relieving nasal stuffiness, congestion, and dryness. Normal (isotonic) saline has the same concentration of salt that is normally found in the body and is therefore very gentle.

There are several commercial preparations of saline. These solutions often contain preservatives which can be irritating, so making your own saline at home may be both medically and economically...

Saline nasal sprays/mists/washes are a safe, simple combination of salt and water that can be extremely helpful in relieving nasal stuffiness, congestion, and dryness. Normal (isotonic) saline has the same concentration of salt that is normally found in the body and is therefore very gentle.

There are several commercial preparations of saline. These solutions often contain preservatives which can be irritating, so making your own saline at home may be both medically and economically preferable.

Saline can be made at home: mix one-half teaspoon uniodized salt (the iodine can be irritating) with eight ounces (one cup) of water that has been boiled and is still warm. You may add one small pinch of baking soda to decrease stinging. Allow the mixture to cool to body temperature before using. You can use an ear-bulb syringe to squirt the saline up your nostrils.Keep homemade saline in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and then throw it out and make a new batch if needed. Store commercial saline at room temperature with the lid tightly on.

There is no limit to how often you can use normal saline to irrigate your nose. A minimum of four times per day until symptoms resolve is generally recommended. Saline can be used for more than just allergy sufferers; it can relieve nasal congestion caused by the common cold, and can be helpful for babies, whose small noses become congested easily.[1]

 

Before You Use This Drug [top]

Tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • allergies to drugs
  • pregnancy or are breast-feeding

Tell your doctor about any other drugs you take, including aspirin, herbs, vitamins, and other nonprescription products.

When You Use This Drug [top]

There is no limit to how often you can use normal saline to irrigate your nose. A minimum of four times per day until symptoms resolve is generally recommended.

Commercial saline products may contain preservatives that can be irritating. If you experience irritation, you may want to switch to homemade saline.

How to Use This Drug [top]

  • Store commercial saline at room temperature with lid on tightly. Keep homemade saline in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and then throw it out and make a new batch if needed. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not expose to heat, moisture, or strong light. Keep out of reach of children.
  • Wipe the tip of the applicator with a clean, damp tissue and replace the cap right after use.
  • Do not share your saline with others.

Interactions with Other Drugs [top]

Since saline does not contain any medication, it is unlikely to cause any drug interactions.

Adverse Effects [top]

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • severe stinging or burning in your nose

last reviewed February 28, 2021