“ Brand: Boots / Type: Decongestants / Allergy Relief / Dosage Form: Spray „
Year on year as I get older, my hayfever, along with my travel sickness, seems to be getting worse. When I was a child, I generally only used a nasal spray for my hayfever. Then in my teens I switched to tablets. Only a couple of times in my teens and twenties did I need to get prescription tablets when I found that over-the-counter medication just wasn't doing the trick. This year however is the second year running that I've needed prescription medication, and I've got a feeling it might be standard now. In contrast to last year though, the tablets alone aren't quite enough on a very high pollen day, and so having checked with the pharmacist what I could take along with my prescription, I purchased a Boots Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray. Now on those days when the BBC Weather app shows me a scary red dot under the pollen count, I make sure the nasal spray is in my bag.
Hayfever is the bane of my summer. Some people are only susceptible to particular types of pollen, but everything seems to get me, although I think tree pollen is a bit worse than the rest. Without medication, I sneeze constantly and uncontrollably, sniffle continuously, get an achey throat, have a runny nose and wish I could get through life with my hands tied so I can't rub my itchy eyes. To top all that off, last year it started to set off my asthma quite seriously, and now I'm back on a preventer inhaler after 10 years without one in order to combat the rather scary night wheezes I've been getting.
Anyway...back to the point. I don't like nasal sprays, never have, but I was desperate, and so I bought the Boots one - chosen because it was the cheapest they had at £6.89. It is easy to use - stick up a nostril, squirt and sniff. I always start sniffing a fraction of a second before I squirt, as otherwise there's the risk you won't start sniffing in time and some will come back out. I also think it gives a better balance of spray - I find that when I start sniffing just before I squirt, I get less of a nasty taste, whereas the taste is amplified if I sniff once I've squirted.
As for that taste, well it's pretty unpleasant. I don't know how to describe it other than it tastes like hayfever spray. It's not nasty, it won't make you want to throw up, but you are very aware that you've got nasal medicine down your throat. I find a glass of water solves things nicely, and helps to hydrate - sometimes if I take the spray before bed and don't have a drink, I feel a little dry.
The worst of my symptoms are managed by my prescription medication, so I can't comment on any recent experience in using only a nasal spray to treat hayfever. From memory however, I found it was sufficient as a child, when my hayfever was considerably milder and mainly affected my nose.
I use the nasal spray to treat any symptoms which sneak past my medication, that is when the underlying hayfever is too much even for it to treat and it starts to surface again. Generally this seems to be sneezing fits, or a runny nose. Occasionally I'll get itchy eyes too. As a "top-up" treatment, the Boots nasal spray seems to be just fine. I'm fairly certain it wouldn't even scrape the surface of my full-on, unmedicated hayfever, but it does a good job of stopping uncontrollable sneezing which has snuck past the strong stuff. It doesn't seem to help with itchy eyes as well, but I'm not sure I would really expect it to, I generally think of nasal sprays for treating nose/breathing symptoms.
Some hayfever medications warn that they may cause drowsiness, but the Boots Hayfever Nasal Spray specifically states that it is non-drowsy. However, since I started using it, I have definitely been somewhat drowsy, and dopey - this isn't my usual exhaustion, this feels different and that is why I think it is probably caused by the combination of my prescription medication and the nasal spray. I have checked with the pharmacist, who knows all the various medications I'm on, and they said there is nothing to worry about. I'm only taking the nasal spray when needed, so any effects should clear after a day or two of not using it. Today for example, it's been a few days since I used the nasal spray as the pollen count has dropped to high instead of very high, and I'm feeling quite lively.
The Boots Hayfever Nasal Spray is a sufficient top-up medication for me, and I would say it is probably a good stand-alone medication for the average hayfever sufferer, particularly those who have more nasal symptoms such as sneezing and sniffling. I don't like taking it, I don't like sticking it up my nose and I don't like the taste, but it has been relieving me of turning into a jibbering heap on the floor by stopping my marathon sneezing sessions, and for that I am grateful.
If you're taking other hayfever medication, always check with the pharmacist that you can take this as well, and beware of drowsiness if combined with other medications.
Over the years, I have tried many different solutions to the problem that is hayfever but when I found this one I stopped searching and settled. This is the only thing I have found that truely works for me. No tablets seem to work. One sniff of this a day and I have no trace of a sneeze or a runny nose.
Hayfever Relief Nasal Spray is made by Boots and sold only in Boots, but being packaged by them means it is cheaper than any similar nasal spray made by the big pharmaceutical companies. It costs £6.32. Its active ingredient is Beclometasone Dipropionate.
The nasal spray comes in a brown glass bottle with a blue instruction label around it and can be bought from the pharmacy counter without a prescription. The white plastic nozel which goes into your nose has a lid to keep it clean whilst not in use. Inserting it into your nose is easy and comfortable. To spray you simply hold one nostril closed, push down on the finger holds at the bottom of the nozel and breathe in deeply at the same time. The liquid squirts up into your nostril. It does have a peculiar scent to it, which you can smell for about a minute after use. Strangely, for a product designed to prevent hayfever, to me it smell like flowers. And I have to warn you that if you sniff too hard, the spray can go back down your throat, and doesn't taste all that nice. Find the balance between not sniffing enough and sniffing too hard. You should use two sprays in each nostril.
The bottle advises use twice a day, morning and evening. I use only in the morning and find this enough, but for people who suffer more than me, they should perhaps follow the instructions more accurately. The label also warns, don't use more than eight sprays per 24 hours, but doesn't say if this is 8 sprays in total or 8 sprays per nostril. This bottle holds 200 sprays and will keep for 3 months before needing to be thrown away, which I think is quite good as other hayfever products usually only last for 1 month.
This spray does not make me drowsy and one the initial smell has worn off I feel no different than when I do in the winter when I don't need to use it. It does need to be used continuously though, as if I forget for a few days I do start to notice the sneezes and sniffles coming back. It is only to be used if you are over 18.
For me this product is a life saver. I can sit out in my garden all summer and not suffer at all. I cannot recommend this highly enough.