Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can I still use my nasal spray?"

ZocdocAnswersCan I still use my nasal spray?


I have some nasal spray that was prescribed to me about a year and a half ago. Can I still use it? I've had some sinus congestion and I know that it worked before when I took it. Is it bad to take nasal spray if it is old?


All medications have an expiration date which should be followed. Most medications begin to lose their effectiveness over time. This is the main reason that the expiration date exists. You should look at the expiration date of your nasal spray and throw it away if it is expired. The second issue is whether or not the nasal spray is the right medicine for you during this time. There are many different types of nasal sprays and not all of them should be used in sinus congestion. If you have a bacterial sinus infection, a steroid nasal spray should probably not be used. Other types of nasal sprays such as decongestant nasal sprays may be appropriate, but only your doctor can tell for sure. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your symptoms and perform a thorough exam of your head and sinuses. If your symptoms require a nasal spray, then perhaps you can use the one that you already have saving yourself a trip to the pharmacy and some money. If your nasal spray is expired, you can get a new prescription for one. If a different medication is more appropriate for your current condition, your doctor can give you a scrip for that instead.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.