What is Fluticasone Propionate Nasal Spray?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Fluticasone propionate nasal spray, which is also sold under the brand name Flonase®, is a useful corticosteroid medication that, as the name implies, comes in the form of a nasal spray. Most often, this medication is prescribed for daily use in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. In other words, it tends to be used for treating nasal allergies.

Pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using fluticasone propionate nasal spray.
Pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using fluticasone propionate nasal spray.

Medications like fluticasone propionate nasal spray tend to work best when used as directed. This means squirting medicine once or twice a day into each nostril. The corticosteroids used in Flonase&reg: aren’t fast acting decongestants. Instead, they work on the nasal passages by reducing inflammation.

Side effects of fluticasone propionate nasal spray commonly include headache.
Side effects of fluticasone propionate nasal spray commonly include headache.

Reduction of inflamed tissue creates the benefit of protecting the nose when it comes into contact with allergens, and often can fully prevent nasal allergies if use is consistent. This medication won’t work well when used once or twice with the hope that it will stop an allergy attack or a bout of sneezing, and for quickly ending allergies, antihistamines are usually recommended. With drugs like Flonase® long-term use creates a cumulative protective effect that may help prevent some allergy symptoms.

Bloody nose may be a side effect of fluticasone propionate nasal spray.
Bloody nose may be a side effect of fluticasone propionate nasal spray.

Using a drug like this kind of nasal spray is preferable to some people because it is not taken systemically. Rather, it mostly affects the nasal passages and is thus site specific. Some people prefer this method of addressing allergies to taking antihistamines or other medications orally that may cause drowsiness or a variety of unpleasant side effects. On the other hand, Flonase® might not be fully effective in reducing allergies if there are other non-nasal symptoms. Nasal spray may not help dry, red or itchy eyes, for example, and a drug that treats these symptoms plus nasal symptoms could be more appropriate.

A propionate nasal spray.
A propionate nasal spray.

As with all drugs, there are both risks and benefits of using nasal spray. It can interact with very common medications prescribed as antibiotics, including erythromycin and medications given orally to treat fungal infections. It also may adversely affect many protease inhibitors, which are drugs that are often part of the HIV/AIDS cocktail. Having HIV, fungal infections, recent injury to the nose, or herpes sores in the nose ought to be discussed with doctors first, and similarly pregnant and lactating women should also discuss with physicians risk versus benefits of fluticasone propionate nasal spray use.

Side effects of Flonase® range. By far the most common side effect, which occurs in over 15% of people, is a headache. Others note a scratchy or sore throat, and five percent of people report nosebleeds. A few people also vomit when they use the medication or they may have a burning sensation in the nose. With the exception of headache, most potential side effects occur in less than 10% of users, and may go away with use. If they persist, people may wish to switch to a different medication.

Flonase® is just one of several nasal spray options available in prescription form. These should be distinguished from many over-the-counter nasal spray decongestants that are not safe for long-term use, and that are sometimes abused. There is far less likelihood of this abuse with nasal corticosteroids, though clearly people need to adhere to directions for careful administration of this medicine. The bottles are created so that the same amount of spray is released each time, provided the pumping mechanism is clean, which ensures equal dosing amounts.

Fluticasone proplonate nasal spray is typically used to treat nasal allergies.
Fluticasone proplonate nasal spray is typically used to treat nasal allergies.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I am very interested about the remedy suggested by TunaLine and I really would like to know how she administer the spoonful of horseradish or wasabi.


I just stopped using flonase abruptly, which is not recommended. Now I have lost my sense of smell, (I hope, temporarily). I read that flonase can make infections worse and I work with children. I seem to be getting virus on top of virus. It did help everything and was a godsend to me in so many ways, for so many years, but now I think I need to find another solution.

I have used it since my sinus operation years ago. I also rinse with saline, and am hoping this will see me through the hard times. Coming down off this stuff is not cool. Perhaps while being sick, it wasn't the best timing to stop taking this med, but what can I say? I am starting to feel better, and hope future infections don't find me so often.


Is fluticasone recommended for a sore throat? My daughter was prescribed this.


I have been using Flonase on a regular basis for several months. I have been experiencing discoloration of my skin, loss of pigment on spots on my hands, and legs, and now on my head. Could these be side effects? The skin doctor said I have Vitiligo, which seems odd, because nobody in family has had that, as far as I know. And I am 47 years old, and I have never had it before.


This is works great for me. Whenever I feel that I have symptoms of a cough, I take this spray and my cough is relieved.


Nasal spray works for me but it makes my eyes so uncomfortable. It dries them out.


I used it for nearly four months with no noticeable side effects. However, fluticasone propionate must be taken regularly. It will not work if you stop taking it.


Excellent for me. I have suffered for months and after a week, no more nasal congestion.


This spray is like a miracle drug for me. I went for months and months not being able to breath and my sense of smell was totally gone due to nasal polyps. Just one application and I could smell again! Keeps the polyps shrunk and my breathing clear and open. No side affects and I can use every other day and still be great!


As with any type of corticosteroid, make sure you follow the directions carefully. It has been said the you may be subject to fungal infections if you don't.

As a naturalist I believe that almost everything that happens is based on fungal infections. Sinus,

especially. Take colloidal silver available online but make sure you get high quality stuff from a good source. This fights fungal infections.


I have been taking this for about one week and i have head a constant headache the entire time.


I think it is great and I have been using it for a few months now with no side affects that I know of. I was always stuffed up like the onset of a cold but since I use this, I don't have that stuffiness. And it doesn't seem to force you into using it daily either like some nose sprays do, such as Afrin, which is quite dangerous.


I Just got Fluticasone from my Doctor and for the first time in a month, woke up with no headache. I think that

is a blessing.


Has anyone used that 4 way nasal spray? Is is a fluticasone-propionate nasal spray? I couldn't really tell from looking at the packaging.

Has anybody used this before, does it work?

Thank you!


Although there is definitely a time and place for nasal sprays, if you are looking for a good natural nasal spray for allergies you can make one at home pretty easily.

The easiest one to make is a natural saline spray. You just take a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and mix it with a fourth of a cup of water. Boil it for about ten minutes, then let it cool completely and put it in a syringe or nasal spray bottle. A few drops at a time will clear you right out.

Another good home remedy for nasal congestion besides the spray is to heat a spoonful of horseradish or wasabi -- that will completely clean your sinuses, if you can stand the spiciness!


I get terrible congestion and nasal issues, so I always have to keep my nose spray on hand. I've tried a lot of nasal allergy sprays, but the corticosteroid nasal sprays ones do end up working the best for me.

Now if only they made a nasal spray to prevent allergies altogether....

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