How to give intra-nasal medications

Read below about how to give intra-nasal medications. Always remember to follow the directions of your physician/pharmacist of how much medication to give.


  • Vial or ampoule of medication
  • Needle
  • Syringe
  • Alcohol swab
  • Nasal Mucosal Atomizer Device (MAD) Procedure

Prepare the syringe

  1. Select medication.
    Depending on what type of container the medication is in, follow the correct instructions below:
    If medication is in an AMPOULE:
    If medication is in an VIAL:

    1. Attach a FILTERED needle to the syringe. For your safety, leave the cover on the needle while you do this
    2. Break the AMPOULE
    3. Remove cover and insert needle into ampoule
    4. Attach the needle to the syringe. For your safety, leave the cover on the needle while you do this.
    5. Remove cover and pull back prescribed amount of air (this will match the dose)
    6. Take the cap off the medication vial, if there is one
    7. Wipe the top of the vial with the alcohol swab
    8. Insert the needle in to the vial and push the air into the vial.
    9. Turn the vial and needle upside down
  2. Withdraw medication. Approximately 0.1 ml of extra medication than the prescribed dose should be withdrawn (to account for the dead space in the device).
  3. Check that there are no bubbles in the syringe.
  4. Recap the needle and remove it from the syringe.
  5. Dispose of needle in appropriate container
  6. Attach the atomizer device to the syringe, and twist it on.
  7. Push syringe plunger until it is lined up at the correct dose (some medication may be expelled).

Give the dose

  1. Check to see that your child’s nostril is clear. Clear the nose if necessary
  2. Use your free hand to hold the top of your child’s head stable.
  3. Place the tip of the atomizer device snugly against the nostril, aiming slightly up and outwards, towards the top of the ear on the same side.
  4. Briskly compress the syringe plunger to deliver approximately half of the medication into the nostril. Move the device over to the opposite nostril and briskly administer the remaining half of the medication into the nostril (maximum 1 ml per nostril). For volumes less than 0.5ml, do not divide the dose between nostrils.
  5. Dispose of the syringe and atomizer device in the garbage. If re-using the MAD, rinse with clean, running water, allow to dry between uses. Replace the atomizer device as directed by your nurse.

If the symptom does not get better follow the instructions from your doctor or nurse about how often to repeat.

If you have any questions, or the medication is not helping the symptom please call Canuck Place: 604-742-3475

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Routes of medication administration for your child pdf 133.49 kb