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What are the differences between Flonase vs. Nasacort?
- Flonase (fluticasone) and Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide) are synthetic steroids of the glucocorticoid class prescribed for the control of symptoms of sneezing, itching, and runny nose caused by seasonal allergies or hay fever.
- Both Flonase and Nasacort are available over-the-counter (OTC).
- Side effects of Flonase and Nasacort that are similar include headache, sore throat, sneezing after use of the medicine, cough, nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, and stinging or burning in your nose.
- Side effects of Flonase that are different from Nasacort include back pain, menstrual problems, loss of interest in sex, sinus pain, and sores or white patches inside mouth or around your nose.
- Side effects of Nasacort that are different from Flonase include stuffy nose, watery eyes, and unpleasant taste/smell.
- Drug interactions for Flonase and Nasacort are different. Flonase may interact with conivaptan, imatinib, isoniazid, nefazodone, antibiotics, antifungal medications, heart or blood pressure medications, and HIV/AIDS medicines. Nasacort may interact with cancer medicine (chemotherapy), cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, basiliximab, efalizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, leflunomide, etanercept, or other steroids.
What are Flonase and Nasacort?
Flonase (fluticasone) is a man-made corticosteroid. The exact mechanism of action of Flonase is not known; however, it stimulates glucocorticoid receptors in humans that produces a potent anti-inflammatory response. Flonase also works on multiple cells and mediators that are responsible for the inflammatory symptoms of allergic rhinitis (sneezing, runny nose, etc.).
Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide) is a man-made corticosteroid. It is administered as a nasal spray for relieving symptoms of rhinitis. Corticosteroids are naturally occurring hormones produced by the adrenal glands that prevent or suppress inflammation and immune responses. Nasacort provides relief from allergy-induced runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, and itching of the back of the throat which are symptoms associated with allergy. A beneficial response usually is noted within a few days but can take as long as 4 weeks.
What are the side effects for Flonase vs. Nasacort?
Side effects of fluticasone include:
- sore throat,
- nasal burning or nasal irritation,
- asthma symptoms, or
Some children may experience growth suppression from use of inhaled steroids.
The most common side effects following nasal inhalation of triamcinolone acetonide are:
- nasal irritation and itching,
- increased cough,
- nausea or vomiting,
- sore throat,
- nasal congestion,
- nasal burning,
- bloody nasal discharge, and
- nasal dryness.
Other adverse effects reported with intranasal triamcinolone acetonide include:
All of these are either mild or uncommon.
What is the dosage for Flonase vs. Nasacort?
- Adults: The recommended dosing is 2 sprays per nostril daily. The maximum dose is 200 mcg/day (4 sprays). Maintenance therapy is 1 spray in each nostril daily.
- Adolescents and children 4 years of age and older: the recommended dosing is 1 spray per nostril daily (total dose 100 mcg.) Patients that do not respond adequately may increase to two sprays in each nostril once a day. The maximum dose is 200 mcg/day.
The recommended dose is one or two sprays in each nostril once daily. Before use of the nasal spray, the nose should be blown gently, and the inhaler or spray should be shaken. The head should be tilted backwards, with the nozzle inserted into one nostril, the opening of the nozzle toward the swollen area. The other nostril should be closed. and the spray or inhaler activated while breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. The inhaler or spray should be cleaned daily. The canister should be removed from the inhaler, rinsing the cap, nosepiece, and the inhaler with warm water and then drying them thoroughly.
What drugs interact with Flonase and Nasacort?
No drug interactions have been described with nasal triamcinolone.
Are Flonase and Nasacort safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of fluticasone to determine its safety and effectiveness in pregnant women.
Serious complications (including cleft palate and still births) have been reported when oral corticosteroids were administered during pregnancy. It is not known if the small amounts of corticosteroids that appear in the blood following intranasal use carry the same risk. Triamcinolone acetonide use during pregnancy should be avoided unless the physician feels that the potential therapeutic benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
It is unknown whether triamcinolone acetonide 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.
Flonase (fluticasone) and Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide) are synthetic steroids for the control sneezing, itching, and runny nose caused by seasonal allergies or hay fever. The nasal inhalers are both available over the counter. Learn dosage, side effects, and pregnancy safety information.
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Related Disease Conditions
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
Drug Allergy (Medication Allergy)
Drug or medication allergies are caused when the immune system mistakenly creates an immune response to a medication. Symptoms of a drug allergic reaction include hives, rash, itchy skin or eyes, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, fainting, and anxiety. The most common drugs that people are allergic to include penicillins and penicillin type drugs, sulfa drugs, insulin, and iodine. Treatment may involve antihistamines or corticosteroids. An EpiPen may be used for life-threatening anaphylactic symptoms.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.