Flonase for Allergies

Is Flonase a Good Medicine for Allergies?

Flonase is an over-the-counter nasal steroid spray. © Daniel More, MD

Is Flonase a Good Medicine for Allergies?

Flonase, also available as an over-the-counter (OTC) version and generic prescription fluticasone propionate, is a nasal steroid spray indicated for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, perennial allergic rhinitis, and non-allergic rhinitis in adults and children four years of age and older. Flonase is delivered as 50 micrograms of the active medication per spray, and the correct dosage is one or two sprays in each nostril once daily.

Occasionally, people will use Flonase twice a day, as directed by their physician, for additional control of allergy symptoms, treatment of chronic sinusitis, for the treatment of nasal polyps.

Read more about the use of nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Advantages of Flonase

Flonase has very similar efficacy compared to other nasal steroid sprays available by prescription only. Flonase has an advantage over some of these other nasal steroids since it is available OTC as well as a generic prescription version, fluticasone propionate, and therefore costs less than brand name nasal steroids. It also carries approval by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis –- although other nasal steroids, as well as Astelin, are likely to also treat this condition.

Read more about the differences between brands of nasal steroids.

Disadvantages of Flonase

Disadvantages of Flonase include its flowery smell, although some people actually like this aspect of the medication and consider it an advantage.

Flonase contains phenylethyl alcohol, in order to make the steroid in a soluble (liquid) form, as well as benzalkonium chloride as a preservative. Both of these chemicals may cause nasal irritation. However, all other nasal steroids contain benzalkonium chloride, with the exception of Omnaris, which uses potassium sorbate as a preservative.

The most common side effects of Flonase are similar to other nasal steroids, and include headache, nasal irritation, sore throat, and bloody nose.

Read more about the side effects of nasal steroids.


Flonase. Website Accessed January 31, 2016.

Wallace D, Dykewicz M, editors. The Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: An Updated Practice Parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;122:S1-84.

Omnaris package insert. Sepracor Corporation. Website accessed January 30, 2011.

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