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Antibiotic Nasal Irrigation



Antibiotic nasal irrigation is used for nasal bacterial infections often accompanied with chronic rhinosinusitis when oral antibiotics are not working. In general, patients may use this method for 7 to 21 days although the duration could be longer.


Nasal irrigation is a process by which the sinuses are rinsed out to get rid of any dirt, allergens or mucus that the body didn’t dispose of naturally. Several devices are used to do this such as the NeilMed® Rinse, NasoNeb®, or Complete Rinse system. If bacteria start an infection in the sinuses, an antibiotic will be needed to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics can be added to these rinse systems to deliver the antibiotics directly to the sinuses to clear the infection.  


The NeilMed® Rinse kit is essentially a squeeze bottle. Distilled water or boiled water (that has been cooled down) will be added to the bottle. Then a saline packet plus the antibiotics will be added to the bottle. Hold your hand over the hole in the cap of the bottle and give it a shake to mix the medications. Stand over the sink by bending at the waist and tilt your head at about a 30 degree angle. Place the cap inside one nostril snugly and squeeze until the solution comes out of the other nostril. Use half of the solution for one nostril then switch to the other nostril and use the rest. The Complete Rinse system is similar to the NeilMed® Rinse kit except instead of squeezing, you will blow into a tube that will push the solution through your nostril and out the other side.  

The NasoNeb® is a nasal nebulizer. You will mix the solution in a separate mixing container by adding 10 mL of saline plus the antibiotic and mix. Once mixed, half of the solution will be added to the cup of the NasoNeb®. The cup will be inserted into the nostril and turned on. Once the solution is used up, the other half will be added to the cup and used in the other nostril.


Does it hurt?  

No. It can be uncomfortable at first and requires some coordination, but it is easy to get used to.  

Which nasal irrigation system works better? 

All nasal irrigation systems work about the same. The NasoNeb® is able to deliver medications further into the sinuses, therefore it may be better for those whom the rinse systems don’t work.  

Which product is the cheapest? 

The NeilMed® Rinse kit is only $15 while the complete rinse kit is $34.99 and the NasoNeb® is $79.99.  


  1. Hamilos, DL, Holbrook, EH. Chronic Rhinosinusitis: Management. UpToDate. UpToDate, Inc.; 2021. Updated September 13, 2021. Accessed September 14, 2021. Chronic rhinosinusitis: Management – UpToDate ( 

Article by Spencer Overstreet, Pharmacy Student from Belmont University 

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