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Development of Nasal Spray Medications

Consistency of Delivery is Key in Nasal Spray Treatments

Correct droplet size—a critical parameter in nasal sprays— ensures that patients’ bodies absorb active ingredients as intended.


Droplet size impacts how an active ingredient is deposited in the nasal cavity and therefore how well it is absorbed by the body.

From the drug maker’s perspective, nasal sprays are an excellent choice for delivering locally acting drugs to relieve such conditions as sinus congestion and allergic rhinitis. They are also a valuable alternative to oral and injection delivery for vaccines, peptides and proteins. Absorption in the highly vascular nasal cavity is rapid. This route also avoids passage through the gastrointestinal tract and the risk of enzymatic degradation.

From the patient perspective, nasal sprays are a winner again: they are easy to use and readily accepted compared with several other delivery methods. A critical parameter of nasal spray medications is the size of spray droplets. Droplet size impacts how an active ingredient is deposited in the nasal cavity and therefore how well it is absorbed by the body. The simple acts of storing a medication and shaking it before use can cause viscosity changes, which in turn can affect droplet size. The success of a nasal spray product therefore depends on achieving an optimal match between the drug formulation and the delivery device.

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