Ipratropium nose spray (Rinatec)

Ipratropium nose spray is used to help stop a runny nose.

Use two sprays into each nostril, two or three times a day.

The most common side-effects are dryness and irritation of the nose or throat, mild nosebleeds, and headache.

Type of medicineAn antimuscarinic
Used forRhinorrhoea (runny nose)
Also calledRinatec®
Available asNose (nasal) spray

Ipratropium nose spray is given to help stop a rhinorrhoea. Rhinorrhoea is a thin watery discharge of mucus from the nose. It is often described as a 'runny nose'. It may be caused by an allergy, or because of other reasons such as changes in atmosphere.

Ipratropium blocks the action of mucous-making glands in your nose, and this reduces the amount of discharge produced.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using ipratropium spray it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have problems with your kidneys or prostate, or if you have any difficulty passing urine.
  • If you have glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye).
  • If you have cystic fibrosis.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If it is intended for a child under 12 years of age. The spray is suitable for adults and for children over 12 years of age only.

Use two sprays into each nostril, two or three times each day. Before you use the spray for the first time, you will need to 'prime' the bottle by pumping the spray into the air until you see a fine mist. Make sure it is pointed away from your eyes as you do this.

  1. Blow your nose gently if needed.
  2. Remove the protective cap from the spray.
  3. Close one nostril by placing a finger against it
  4. Put a finger on each side of the spray and then insert the nozzle into your other nostril. Tilt your head slightly forward and try to keep the bottle upright.
  5. Press down on the spray, breathe in (sniff) through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this process to use the spray for a second time.
  6. Use the spray in your other nostril by repeating the steps above.
  7. After you have finished, tilt your head backwards for a short while. This will allow the medicine to come into contact with the back of your nose.
  8. Wipe the nozzle of the spray with a tissue, and then put the cap back on.
  • Before you start using the spray, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you a step-by-step guide of how to use the spray and will also give you a full list of the side-effects which you may experience.
  • To avoid spreading infection from one person to another, nose sprays should only be used by one person. Do not share the spray with other people.
  • Take care to avoid spraying ipratropium near to your eyes. If any of the spray accidentally gets into your eyes, wash it out with warm water for a few minutes.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with ipratropium nose spray. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common ipratropium nose spray side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)
What can I do if I experience this?
Mild nosebleeds, dry or irritated nose or throatIf any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor
HeadacheAsk your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to ipratropium spray, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never use more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have had an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Did you find this information useful?

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Helen Allen
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
3677 (v23)
Last Checked:
25 March 2014
Next Review:
24 March 2017
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The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.