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In studies on Flonase and pregnancy, fluticasone propionate (the active ingredient in Flonase) increased the risk of birth defects and other complications when it was injected in pregnant animals. Since Flonase is sprayed into the nose and not injected, however, it is not known whether it would cause similar problems. If you are taking Flonase and pregnancy occurs, let your healthcare provider know immediately.

Flonase and Pregnancy: An Overview

Flonase® (fluticasone propionate nasal spray) is a prescription medication approved to treat nasal allergies and non-allergic nasal symptoms. Flonase is part of a group of medications known as corticosteroids. Animal studies have shown that taking fluticasone propionate (the active ingredient in Flonase) during pregnancy can increase the risk of problems, including birth defects.

Flonase and Pregnancy Category C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant rats, mice, and rats, fluticasone propionate increased the risk of birth defects (such as cleft palate), low fetal weight, and slow bone development. In these studies, fluticasone propionate was given as an injection just under the skin. It is not known if Flonase (which is sprayed into the nose, not injected) will also cause similar problems.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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