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Nasacort and Flonase are two name-brand allergy medications. They’re corticosteroid drugs that can reduce inflammation caused by allergies. With so many allergy medications on the market, it can be hard to tell your options apart. Here’s what you need to know about how Nasacort and Flonase are similar and different.
Both Nasacort and Flonase are used to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which is often simply called allergies. This condition causes inflammation of the lining of the nose. You may recognize it by the sneezing and stuffy, runny, or itchy nose it causes. These symptoms can be seasonal (occurring during certain seasons, such as spring) or perennial (occurring throughout the year).
Flonase can also treat eye symptoms related to allergies. These can include itchy, watery eyes.
The table below compares other key features of Nasacort and Flonase.
|Key features||Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour||Flonase Allergy Relief|
|Is it prescription or OTC*?||OTC||OTC|
|Is a generic version available?||yes||yes|
|What is the generic drug name?||triamcinolone acetonide||fluticasone propionate|
|What other versions are available?||triamcinolone acetonide (OTC)||Flonase Children’s Allergy Relief, Clarispray Nasal Allergy Spray, fluticasone propionate (prescription and OTC)|
|What does it treat?||symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies||symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies, including eye symptoms|
|What form does it come in?||nasal spray||nasal spray|
|What strengths does it come in?||55 mcg per spray||50 mcg per spray|
|Who can use it?||adults, and children aged 2 years and older||adults, and children aged 4 years and older|
|What is the typical length of treatment?||short-term**||Up to six months for adults, up to two months for children|
|How do I store it?||at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)||at a temperature between 39°F and 86°F (4°C and 30°C)|
** Talk to your doctor if symptoms last more than one week while taking Nasacort.
Nasacort and Flonase are available on the shelves of most pharmacies. You can find them in generic and brand-name versions. The generic versions of Nasacort and Flonase are likely to cost less than their brand-name versions.
Typically, Nasacort and Flonase Allergy Relief are not covered by prescription drug insurance plans because they’re over-the-counter drugs. However, the generic of Flonase is also available as a prescription drug. Prescription generics are often covered by insurance plans.
The side effects of Nasacort and Flonase are very similar. The charts below compare examples of their possible side effects. Serious side effects of Nasacort and Flonase are rare as long as you follow the directions carefully.
|Common side effects||Nasacort||Flonase|
|burning, irritation, or inflammation in the nose||X||X|
|Serious side effects||Nasacort||Flonase|
|nose bleeds and sores in nose||X||X|
|puncture of the nasal septum (flesh between the nostrils)||X||X|
|decreased wound healing||X||X|
|severe allergic reaction||X||X|
|worsening of infections*||X||X|
|slowed growth rate in children and adolescents||X||X|
|wheezing or trouble breathing||X|
|“pins and needles” feeling, especially in your hands or feet**||X|
* such as tuberculosis, herpes simplex in the eyes, chicken pox, measles, and fungal, bacterial, or parasitic infections
** may be a sign of nerve damage
An interaction is when a substance, such as another drug, changes the way a drug works. This can occur if you take two drugs together. An interaction can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
Little information is available on drug interactions with Nasacort. Flonase, though, may interact with HIV drugs such as ritonavir, atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, and lopinavir. Also, talk to your doctor before taking Nasacort or Flonase if you’re already taking another form of steroid, such as medications for asthma, allergies, or skin rash.
In general, before starting Nasacort or Flonase, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. This information can help your doctor prevent any possible interactions.
Nasacort and Flonase can both cause problems for people with certain medical conditions. If you have any of the conditions marked in the table below, talk to your doctor about whether taking Nasacort or Flonase is safe for you.
|Medical conditions to discuss with your doctor||Nasacort||Flonase|
|nose sores, injury, or surgery||X||X|
|eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma||X||X|
|weakened immune system||X||X|
|any untreated viral, bacterial, or fungal infection||X||X|
|eye infections caused by herpes||X||X|
|recent exposure to chickenpox or measles||X||X|
Nasacort and Flonase are similar allergy medications. However, they do have some differences. The key differences may be:
- What they treat. They both treat symptoms from allergic rhinitis. However, Flonase can also treat eye symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes.
- Who can use them. Nasacort can be used in children as young as 2 years old. Flonase can be used in children aged 4 years and older.
- Their possible drug interactions. Flonase has a slightly higher risk of drug interactions than Nasacort.
Your doctor can help you decide if one of these drugs is a good match for you. You can show your doctor this article and ask them any questions you have. Together, you can decide if Flonase or Nasacort, or another medication, is a good choice to help relieve your allergy symptoms.
What allergens can cause allergic rhinitis?
There are many allergens, also called triggers, that can cause allergy symptoms. Some of the more common ones include grass, dust, animal dander (flaked skin), and mold. For more information, read about the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of allergic rhinitis.Healthline Medical TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.