Local Apothecary Develops "Tasty" Nasal Spray

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JEFFERSON CITY - Most consumers think nasal sprays are not user-friendly. They are uncomfortable to use and, even worse, leave an awful taste in the user's mouth.

But Jefferson City Apothecary developed a solution: a marshmallow-flavored nasal spray.

"A doctor had actually called and notified our pharmacist of the fact that he was having a lot of complaints with the flavor of when the patients were using it. It would run and drip down the back of their throat when they used it which is a common occurrence with nasal sprays, that it was very bitter and disgusting and they had a very high gag reflex reaction," technician Matt Gunnell said.

Gunnell and his colleagues started with a standard decongestant component and then added the sugary marshmallow flavor. They can also add another substance to the mix to turn the nasal spray into a numbing agent for sinus cavity surgeries.

Gunnell assured patients that the nasal spray is FDA-approved. And if patients approve it, he said they might need to develop other flavors.

"Each patient is different, even with taste it's different. So we have to try to tailor all of our medications to each specific patient," Gunnell said.

Gunnel and his colleagues expect to hear back from the doctor any day on his patients' reactions to the new nasal spray. But even if it becomes a hit, head pharmacist Uldis Pironis said he will not patent it.

"My job is not about the money," Pironis said. "What I enjoy about compounding pharmacy is fixing a problem that the patient has and working with the doctor to get it fixed."

And not just anyone can purchase this nasal spray.

"Everything we make here is a prescription drug so they would have to go through their doctors," Pironis said.