Is Nasacort an Effective Treatment for Nasal Allergies?

Should I Use Nasacort to Treat My Seasonal Allergy Symptoms?

Nasacort is an effective medicine for the treatment of nasal allergies.

How Do I Know That I Have Nasal Allergies?

Nasal allergies, or allergic rhinitis, is a common condition affecting up to 1 in 3 people. Symptoms include sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, stuffy nose, runny nose, and post nasal drip. These symptoms may be year-round or seasonal. A person may realize that they have seasonal allergies when they experience allergy symptoms during the same time each year. 

Is Nasacort an Effective Treatment for Nasal Allergies?

Most definitely. Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide) is very effective for the treatment of nasal allergies. Nasacort is currently available over-the-counter without a prescription in the form of Nasacort 24 Hour Allergy as well as in a generic version available by prescript (triamcinolone acetone nasal spray). Nasacort is a prescription nasal steroid spray indicated for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis and perennial allergic rhinitis in adults and children two years of age and older. The correct dosage of Nasacort is one spray in each nostril once a day for children two to 11 years of age, and two sprays per nostril once a day for adults and children 12 years and older.

Nasacort probably works about as well as the other brands of nasal steroids that are available, although various studies show that people prefer the odor, taste and moist spray of Nasacort over the others. The manufacturer claims that this may lead to the increased usage of Nasacort when compared to other nasal steroid brands, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the medication –- especially since nasal steroids need to be used routinely for best effect, and don’t work as well when used on an "as-needed" basis.

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

How Does Nasacort Work to Treat Allergies?

Nasacort is a topical corticosteroid nasal spray, which acts to decrease inflammation within the lining of the nasal passages. A decrease in the inflammation within the lining of the nasal passages makes the nose less reactive to allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

The end result in a decrease in nasal allergy symptoms as well as less eye allergy symptoms. The benefits of Nasacort probably take at least a day or so to occur -- for this reason Nasacort doesn't work well on an as-needed basis.

What are the Side Effects of Nasacort?

While the word "steroid" may sound alarming, don't worry: Nasal steroids are different from those used in bodybuilding. However, it is important for anyone taking these medications to be aware of them. Nasal steroids may have a small affect on a child’s vertical growth, although studies seem to show mixed results on this subject. If nasal steroids do in fact affect a child’s growth, it is likely that this effect is very small and only transient, meaning that the child would still likely attain their original expected adult height.

There does seem to be some increased risk for cataracts and glaucoma in people who are using nasal steroids, particularly in those people with a family history of these diseases, or who are otherwise prone to these diseases.

It is recommended that these people undergo routine annual eye exams by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist.

The majority of side effects from nasal corticosteroids occur within the nose at the site of local application. These side effects commonly include nasal irritation and nose bleeds. Should these symptoms occur, a person should stop using the nasal steroid for a few days, and then re-start the medication using the appropriate technique. If bleeding and irritation continue to occur, the nasal steroid should not be used any longer. A person who continues to use a nasal steroid despite these local side effects is at risk for septal perforation.

Sources:

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

Nasacort package insert. Sanofi Aventis Corporation. Website accessed February, 2011.

Stokes M, Amorosi SL, Thompson D, Dupclay L, Garcia J, Georges G. Evaluation of Patients' Preferences for Triamcinolone Acetonide Aqueous, Fluticasone Propionate, and Mometasone Furoate Nasal Sprays in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Sep;131(3):225-31.

Lumry W, Hampel F, LaForce C, Kiechel F, el-Akkad T, Murray JJ. A Comparison of Once-Daily Triamcinolone Acetonide Aqueous and Twice-Daily Beclomethasone Dipropionate Aqueous Nasal Sprays in the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2003 May-Jun;24(3):203-10..

Bachert C, El-Akkad T. Patient Preferences and Sensory Comparisons of Three Intranasal Corticosteroids for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002 Sep;89(3):292-7.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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