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.
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®: aren’t fast acting decongestants. Instead, they work on the nasal passages by reducing inflammation.
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.
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.
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.