man with nasal drops

There weren’t a whole lot of positives during the Covid years but one of the perks was a virtual disappearance of the cold and flu during that period. During 2021 the Doherty Institute compiled findings that suggested that one of the four main kinds of influenza viruses that cause seasonal flu epidemics may even have gone extinct. The lack of social mixing, alongside mask wearing and increased hand sanitation was so effective at lowering infection rates that not just Australia but around the world enjoyed a pleasant pause in regards to influenza. To really put it in perspective, in the 2020 influenza season there were just 21,266 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases. Compare this to the year before, where there were 313,033 influenza cases and 953 deaths, you can really see just how significant the drop in cases has been. 

Sadly, it was only a pleasant pause. Understandably, nobody wants to continue not meeting with their friends and extended families, nobody wants to continue wearing masks and we all want to be able to travel again. As a result, the cold and flu has come back with a vengeance and has taken advantage of the fact that our systems haven’t been exposed to these viruses for some time. So, with the likelihood of picking up some strain of the pesky cold and flu this season, it’s beneficial to know of your treatment options for when nasal congestion strikes. 

We typically take our breathing for granted. Our respiratory system is really good at ensuring that we don’t need to give our breathing much thought, most of the time. However, it doesn’t take long for us to become conscious of just how important that breathing process is once it becomes interrupted. When we get a blocked nose, we typically tend to think of this as being a build-up of excess mucus. Just like when too much traffic is trying to merge from two lanes into one. What’s actually happening though is that the nasal lining is swelling, resulting in the congestion. More like the cars’ one lane that they are driving on is narrowed into a bike path, rather than there being more traffic added to the existing road. We’ve all had a blocked nose, so I don’t need to tell you just how unpleasant and debilitating this can be, both to your daily activities and to your ability to sleep. Otrivin Nasal Spray reduces congestion by reducing the swelling that causes the congestion. When your nose gets congested it’s typically what is known as the mucosa, or lining of the nose that becomes inflamed. Otrivin Nasal Spray has an active ingredient known as xylometazoline. You don’t need to remember the fancy name, you just need to know that xylometazoline is the active ingredient that quickly reduces the swelling of the nasal passage and is so effective that it can relieve nasal congestion for up to 10 hours, which is a huge plus if you need to work through the flu, not to mention can allow for you to get the decent rest you need to heal up. As well as being long lasting, xylometazoline is also quick acting, meaning that you will begin to experience the benefits of the nasal spray within 5 minutes of use. 

Now we have mostly been discussing how Otrivin Nasal Spray can relieve congestion but the dual action formula present within Otrivin Plus Nasal Spray also has the added benefit of relieving a runny nose too. Much like the fast acting nature of the spray with congestion symptoms, Otrivin Nasal Spray reduces runniness in your nose within 15 minutes, which, if you have a runny nose, you know cannot come fast enough. 

So, I’ve got a cold. How do I use Otrivin Nasal Spray?

If you’re an adult, 18 years or over, 1 spray in each nostril, 3 times a day, will help to give you the best results. The only time you should use it more than 3 times a day or more regularly than every 6 hours is if your doctor or pharmacist has advised you to do so. If you are finding that your congestion is lasting more than 3 days then it is highly advised that you see a doctor for further assistance. A hot tip is to prime the pump by pumping it 4 times. This will help it to be ready to go for at least a day’s worth of delivery. Follow the steps below to ensure that you use the product correctly and get the desired relief. 


  1. Whatever you do, do not cut the nozzle. This is important to ensure that the correct metered dose is administered. 
  2. Give your nose a good clear beforehand to allow the spray the best possible access to your nasal passage so that it can begin bringing down the inflammation.
  3. Remove the protective cap. This will become pretty obvious if you miss this step.
  4. When placing the bottle into the nostril, hold the bottle upright, with your thumb under the base and the nozzle between two other fingers. If at this point it fails to spray then you may need to reprime the bottle by pumping it 4 times. Make sure that you don’t point it towards your eyes and mouth at this time. 
  5. When you spray, breathe in gently through the nose at the same time. This will help the medication to reach the inflamed areas of your nostril.
  6. For the best results, repeat the same process in the other nostril. 
  7. You’re not quite done. Make sure that you clean and dry the nozzle before replacing it back under the cap. This will help to improve the hygiene of the bottle and minimise spreading any virus between each nostril.

For rather obvious reasons, it is really important that you don’t share your Otrivin Nasal Spray bottle with anyone else, as you don’t want to also share your virus. 

So, this flu season, don’t suffer through nasty nasal congestion or a runny nose. Make sure that you visit a pharmacy, whether in person or online and pick up a bottle of Otrivin Nasal Spray, for almost instant and long lasting relief. 


Image Sourced by freepik
Image Author: @andranik.h90


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