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Hypertonic Saline (HTS) Nebulization

What is hypertonic saline (HTS) nebulization?

Hypertonic saline belongs to a class of drugs called mucolytics. It is a salty solution that helps to hydrate the airways and thin the mucus in the lungs. Hydrating the airways helps the respiratory tract move the mucus from the lungs. This may help keep your lungs healthy and decrease the number of respiratory infections.

NOTE: Hypertonic saline is known to irritate the airways. A bronchodilator may be given either before or with the hypertonic saline therapy.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Unpleasant taste

What is the order in which medication should be given?

  1. Bronchodilator (albuterol neb)
  2. Mucolytics (HTS neb)
  3. Antibiotic neb (TOBI)

What else do I need to know?

Vest treatments may be done at the same time as the hypertonic saline.


If you have any questions, please call your doctor.

Reviewed 4/2020

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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