flunisolide nasal spray, Nasalide (Discontinued), Aerobid, Aerobid HFA

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GENERIC NAME: flunisolide nasal or oral spray

BRAND NAME: Nasalide (Discontinued), Aerobid, Aerobid HFA

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Flunisolide is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid. It is administered either as an oral metered-dose inhaler for the treatment of asthma (Aerobid) or as a nasal spray for treating allergic rhinitis. Corticosteroids are naturally- occurring hormones that prevent or suppress inflammation and immune responses. When given as an intranasal spray, flunisolide reduces watery nasal discharge (rhinorrhea), nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, and itching at the back of the throat that are common allergic symptoms. Eye symptoms such as itching and tearing that may be associated with allergy sometimes also are relieved. A beneficial response usually is noted within a few days but can take as long as 4 weeks. In asthmatic patients, the suppression of inflammation within the airways reduces the swelling caused by inflammation that narrows the airways. At the same time, mucus is reduced. Approximately 50% of flunisolide is absorbed into the blood. Flunisolide was FDA approved in September 1981.



PREPARATIONS: Nasal spray: 0.025 mg or 0.029 mg/spray. Oral Inhaler: 0.25 mg or 0.078 mg/puff.

STORAGE: Flnisolide should be stored at room temperature between 15-30 C (59-86 F) and should be protected from heat, and direct light.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Flunisolide nasal spray is used for relieving symptoms associated with seasonal or perennial rhinitis due to allergies. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the soft, wet tissue lining the inside of the nose. The oral inhaler is used for treating asthma.

DOSING: The canister should be shaken before each use.

  • For adults, the usual starting dose is two sprays in each nostril twice daily. The dose may be increased to 3 or 4 times per day.
  • In children ages 6-14 years, the usual starting dose is one spray in each nostril three times per day or two sprays in each nostril twice daily.
  • The adult dose for treating asthma is 2 inhalations twice daily not to exceed 8 inhalations per day.
  • The children's dose for treating asthma is 2 inhalations twice daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No drug interactions have been described with nasal flunisolide

PREGNANCY: Well-controlled studies on the use of flunisolide during pregnancy have not been done. Studies in animals have shown flunisolide to have damaging effects on the fetus. During pregnancy flunisolide should be avoided unless the physician feels that the potential therapeutic benefit justifies the added risk to the fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is unknown whether flunisolide accumulates in breast milk; however, it is known that other corticosteroids are excreted in breast milk. The effects on the child, if any, are unknown.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of flunisolide are nasal irritation and itching, cough, nausea or vomiting, sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, flu like symptoms, nasal burning, diarrhea, unpleasant taste, bloody nasal discharge, and nasal dryness. Other adverse effects include headache, dizziness, watery eyes, and upset stomach. Heart palpitations, fungal infections, and growth suppression may also occur.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 3/12/2012

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