Flonase is a nasal spray that can be used to treat allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. By decreasing inflammation, the medicine can help reduce nasal itching, sneezing, and runny or stuffy nose. Flonase is available by prescription and is generally used once or twice a day. While most people tolerate it well, potential side effects include nosebleed, headache, sore throat, and nasal burning or irritation.
What Is Flonase?
Flonase® (fluticasone propionate nasal spray) is a prescription medication approved to treat sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and nasal itching (known medically as rhinitis). It is approved to treat these symptoms due to either allergies (known as allergic rhinitis) or other causes (known as non-allergic rhinitis).
Allergies occur when the body's immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance -- one that does not bother most people. These immune system reactions are known as inflammation, and they involve several different types of cells and several different chemicals in the body.
Flonase is a corticosteroid, or simply "steroid" for short. Steroids can have many different effects in the body, including anti-inflammatory effects. Steroids decrease inflammation by limiting the body's ability to produce an immune system reaction. They can be very effective for treating conditions such as allergies. However, long-term use of steroids can cause bothersome and sometimes serious side effects, and this limits the usefulness of many steroids. Because Flonase is a nasal spray, its effects are generally limited to the nose. This helps prevent many of the long-term side effects of steroids.
It is not know exactly how the medication works for non-allergic rhinitis.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Flonase [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2004 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 31, 2007.
Red Book: Pharmacy's Fundamental Reference. 2007 ed. Montvale (NJ): Thomson Healthcare; 2007.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed July 31, 2007.
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