ethyl alcohol

Medically Reviewed on 10/18/2022

Generic Name: ethyl alcohol intranasal

Brand Name: Nozin Nasal Sanitizer

Drug Class: Antiseptics, Topical

What is ethyl alcohol intranasal, and what is it used for?

Ethyl alcohol intranasal is an antiseptic solution swabbed in the nostrils to kill Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria that colonize the nasal passage.

Intranasal swabbing of ethyl alcohol reduces the risk of worsening the infection with inhalation of the pathogens, as well as transmission of the organisms to others. Ethyl alcohol intranasal is used as part of the infection control measures in the hospital, and to prevent further transmission from patients or caregivers to others, post discharge.

Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is a clear, colorless, water-soluble alcohol used to make drinking spirits, in hand sanitizers, and for certain therapeutic purposes. Ethyl alcohol kills bacteria by altering the structure of the proteins, a process known as denaturation, but it does not kill bacterial spores.

Ethyl alcohol intranasal contains 62% alcohol and is effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Ethyl alcohol is more effective as a mixture of water and alcohol because proteins are denatured more quickly in the presence of water. Ethyl alcohol, however, rapidly evaporates and does not have a residual effect for a prolonged period. Bacterial regrowth can occur slowly after use, hence it must be repeatedly used, up to 4 times a day.


  • Do not use if you are hypersensitive to ethyl alcohol intranasal or any of its components.
  • Do not use ethyl alcohol intranasal:
    • In the eyes
    • On mucous membranes
    • As nasal spray
    • If you have a history of nasal bleeding or irritation
  • Do not use ethyl alcohol intranasal in children below 2 years of age without checking with your doctor. Children under 12 years should be supervised.

What are the side effects of ethyl alcohol intranasal?

Common side effects of ethyl alcohol intranasal include:

  • Redness (erythema)
  • Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


MRSA describes a specific type of bacteria that are resistant to certain antibiotics. See Answer

What are the dosages of ethyl alcohol intranasal?

Nasal Swab

  • 62% (0.5 mL prefilled ampule [POP swab])
  • Inactive ingredients: jojoba, orange oil, coconut oil, lauric acid, benzalkonium chloride, and vitamin E

Adult and Pediatric:

Nasal Bacterial Decolonization

  • Used for nasal decolonization as part of infection control measures to reduce nasal carriage bacteria (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus) to lower the risk of nasal pathogen transmission
  • Swab nose as directed; not to exceed 4 times/day

Dosing Considerations

Use in healthcare providers

  • Hospital healthcare providers who tested positive for S. aureus nasal carriage were treated with 3 applications at 4-hr intervals during the workday
  • Antiseptic use reduced colony-forming units from baseline by 99% (median) and 82% (mean) (P less than 0.001) compared with placebo
  • Total bacterial colony-forming units were reduced by 91% (median) and 71% (mean) (P less than 0.001) compared with the placebo

Use in other populations

  • Part of postoperative/discharge care in patients and caregivers who are carriers
  • Use in S. aureus nasal carriers, instead of isolation


  • There is no likelihood of overdose resulting from ethyl alcohol intranasal. If orally ingested, ethyl alcohol intoxication can depress the central nervous system, leading to slurred speech, gait abnormalities, stupor, and loss of consciousness. Ethyl alcohol overdose may be treated with supportive therapy.

What drugs interact with ethyl alcohol intranasal?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Ethyl alcohol intranasal has no listed severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • There are no studies on the safety of ethyl alcohol intranasal during pregnancy. Use with caution in pregnant women only if benefits outweigh potential risks to the fetus.
  • It is not known if intranasal application of ethyl alcohol can result in excretion in breast milk. Use with caution in nursing mothers.
  • Check with your health care provider before using ethyl alcohol intranasal if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What else should I know about ethyl alcohol intranasal?

  • Ethyl alcohol intranasal is for external use only.
  • Use ethyl alcohol intranasal swab around the nostrils exactly as directed. Do not extend the swab into the nose beyond the swab tip (about 1 cm or 3/8 inch). Apply to the skin only, swab stem should never enter the nose. Discard after a single use.
  • Stop use and consult with your doctor if irritation and redness develop and persist for more than 72 hours.
  • Ethyl alcohol intranasal is inflammable, keep away from flame and fire.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.


Ethyl alcohol intranasal is an antiseptic solution swabbed in the nostrils to kill Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria that colonize the nasal passage. Common side effects of ethyl alcohol intranasal include redness (erythema), irritation, swelling, and pain. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use ethyl alcohol intranasal in the eyes, on mucous membranes, as nasal spray, or if you have a history of nasal bleeding or irritation.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/18/2022