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Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center
St. Vincent 's Health and Wellness
7191 Cahaba Valley Road,
Suite 301
Birmingham, Al 35242
Phone: (205) 980-2091

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Nasal Irrigation Instructions

Nasal irrigations are a significant adjunct therapy for patients with sinusitis.  We recommend the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit for sinus irrigations.  These kits are available over-the-counter at most pharmacies.  However, there are other similar types of rinse kits which will work just as well and may be used as you prefer.  We recommend using distilled water for your saline solution or boiling tap water, then allowing it to cool before mixing and using for rinse.  The rinse bottle should be cleaned daily to prevent seeding infection into your sinuses.  This can be done by simply washing with warm soapy water and allowing to air dry completely. 

The nozzle of the rinse bottle should be placed gently into the nostril as you hold your head over the sink.  Gently apply pressure to the bottle to send the rinse into the nasal passages.  Generally, you will rinse each side of the nose twice a day.  Your doctor may recommend more or less irrigations, depending on your particular needs.  Complete instructions on use of the rinse kit are included with the rinse bottle and salt packets.
One of the advantages of the saline rinse is that it serves as a good vehicle to deliver medication directly to the sinus and nasal tissues.  The following are common additives to saline solution for nasal irrigation.

1.   Budesonide (Pulmicort) nasal irrigation:  Follow the instructions for mixing the saline solution, using lukewarm water.  After filling the rinse bottle to the top line (240 mL), add the salt packet along with one respule of budesonide (which is the prescription medicine you should have received from the pharmacy).  Shake the solution well, making sure the medication dissolves in the bottle.  Rinse 60 ml (about ¼ of the bottle) into each side of the nose.  This will use ½ of a bottle in the morning.  The remaining ½ will be used in the evening.
2.   Bactroban nasal irrigation:  Follow the rinse kit instructions for mixing saline solution, but use hot water instead of warm water.  At the step where you mix in the salt packet, add, in addition, one teaspoon Bactroban (mupirocin) cream and shake well.  Make sure that the cream dissolves completely.  Using hot water will ensure that the cream dissolves more readily.  CAUTION:  Please allow the solution to cool down before using in the nose.
3.   Gentamicin nasal irrigation:  Add ¼ vial of gentamicin (80mg/4ml) into the rinse bottle with the salt solution.  Irrigate with 60 ml in each nostril twice a day, or as directed by your physician.
4.    Baby shampoo nasal irrigation:  Add about ½ teaspoon of Johnson’s baby shampoo to the 240 ml saline solution.  Irrigate as directed by your physician.

If you have any questions, please call the office @ 205-980-2091.