Skip to main content

Ipratropium nasal spray


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.

Continue reading below

About ipratropium nasal spray

Type of medicine

An antimuscarinic

Used for

Rhinorrhoea (runny nose)

Also called

Rinaspray® (ipratropium);
Combination brands: Otrivine® Extra Dual Relief (ipratropium with xylometazoline)

Available as

Nasal spray

Ipratropium nasal spray is given to help stop 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 or temperature.

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

Ipratropium is also available as an inhaler or as nebules for the treatment of breathing problems. A separate leaflet called Ipratropium - a bronchodilator has more information about this.

Before using ipratropium nasal spray

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

  • If you have problems with your kidneys or prostate gland, or if you have any difficulty passing urine.

  • If you have increased pressure in your eye (glaucoma).

  • 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, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Continue reading below

How to use ipratropium nasal spray

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about how to use ipratropium nasal spray and will provide a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from using it.

  • Use ipratropium nasal spray exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is 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.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • 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, nasal 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.

Continue reading below

Can ipratropium nasal spray cause problems?

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 nasal 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.


ipratropium nasal spray side-effects (these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people)

What can I do if I experience this?

Mild nosebleeds, dry or irritated nose or throat

If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor


Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know

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

How to store ipratropium nasal spray

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

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.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

symptom checker

Feeling unwell?

Assess your symptoms online for free