Intranasal medication administration in the emergency care of children has been reported for at least 20 years and is gaining popularity because of ease of administration, rapid onset of action, and relatively little pain to the patient. The ability to avoid a needle stick is often attractive to practitioners, in addition to children and their parents. In time-critical situations for which emergent administration of medication is needed, the intranasal route may be associated with more rapid medication administration. This article reviews the use of intranasal medications in the emergency care of children. Particular attention will be paid to anatomy and its impact on drug delivery, pharmacodynamics, medications currently administered by this route, delivery devices available, tips for use, and future directions.
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