Taking the first spray1
Before taking their first spray, your patients should spend a little time getting used to the vials’ spray pump.
They should find out how firmly they need to press the nozzle to release a spray.
Before they use Sativex for the first time, they should practise by spraying Sativex onto a tissue (see 'prime' the vial).
To take a spray, follow these steps:
- Point the nozzle into the mouth – either under the tongue or at the inside of the cheek
- Press down firmly on the nozzle
- Regularly change the place in the mouth where Sativex is sprayed. Don’t always spray Sativex in the same place in the mouth. With each spray, direct the nozzle at a different area of the mouth. This will help reduce the risk of irritation.
- Remember: Your patient should always assume that they have had a full spray, even if they’re not sure that they’ve pressed the nozzle down fully
NOTE: Sativex spray is not intended for inhalation. You shouldn't breathe it in when taking the dose.
Priming the vial1
New vials of Sativex must be ‘primed’ – this means making them ready to use. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Take a vial of Sativex out of the fridge
- Write the date that it was opened on the sticker provided in the box, then stick the sticker on the vial, so it can be checked how long it has been open
- Gently shake the vial
- Remove its protective cap
- Hold the vial upright between the thumb and second finger
- To prime a vial, simply point its nozzle at a piece of tissue and press it a few times until it releases a fine spray. Once this has been done, it will pump out the same amount of Sativex every time the nozzel is pressed
- This only needs to be done the first time a new vial is used
Storing the medicine1
Store unopened Sativex vials upright in a fridge. Once opened, Sativex vials can be stored outside a fridge for up to 42 days. However, don’t store it in a warm place such as in direct sunlight or near a radiator.
Always replace the protective cap after use.
If possible, return any empty or unfinished vials to a pharmacy for safe disposal.