fluticasone (nasal inhaler-spray, Flonase, Veramyst)

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GENERIC NAME: fluticasone

BRAND NAME: Flonase, Veramyst

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Fluticasone is a synthetic steroid of the glucocorticoid family of drugs that is used for treating allergic conditions involving the nose. Fluticasone mimics the naturally-occurring hormone produced by the adrenal glands, cortisol or hydrocortisone. The exact mechanism of action of fluticasone is unknown. Fluticasone has potent anti-inflammatory actions. It is believed that fluticasone exerts its beneficial effects by inhibiting several types of cells and chemicals involved in allergic, immune and inflammatory responses. When used as a nasal inhaler or spray, the medication goes directly to the lining within the nose, and very little is absorbed into the rest of the body. The FDA approved fluticasone in October 1994.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Intranasal spray: 50 or 27.5 mcg per actuation

STORAGE: Fluticasone should be stored at 4 C and 30 C (39 F and 86 F) and shaken well before each use.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Fluticasone is used for the control of symptoms of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis (hay fever), a condition in which the lining of the nose swells and releases fluid that results in a stuffy and runny nose.

DOSING: Fluticasone usually is administered as two sprays in each nostril once daily, or one spray in each nostril twice daily. After a few days of continuous use, one spray in each nostril once daily may be sufficient if using Flonase. The dose for children is 1 to 2 sprays in each nostril once daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Ritonavir (Norvir) and ketoconazole (Nizoral) may increase the blood concentrations of fluticasone and potentially increase its side effects. Drugs that reduce the action of liver enzymes that breakdown fluticasone should not be combined with fluticasone.

PREGNANCY: Fluticasone has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Fluticasone should be used during pregnancy when it is absolutely necessary.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if fluticasone is secreted in breast milk. Other medications in the same class as fluticasone are secreted into breast milk. Fluticasone should be used only while breastfeeding if it is absolutely necessary. 

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with fluticasone are headache, throat infection, nasal irritation, sneezing, cough, nausea, vomiting. Hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rash, itching, facial swelling, and anaphylaxis may occur. Some children may experience growth suppression when using fluticasone. A bloody nasal discharge (nosebleed) and septum perforation may occur. Fungal infection of the nose and throat, glaucoma, and cataracts are also associated with intranasal fluticasone.

High doses, and rarely normal doses, may suppress the adrenal glands and impair their ability to make natural cortisone. People with such suppression (which can be identified by testing) need increased amounts of cortisone orally or by the intravenous route during periods of high physical stress since higher amounts of cortisone are naturally needed by the body to fight physical stress.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2014



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