Nasonex Nasal Spray to Treat Allergies and Snoring

Prescription Medication May Alleviate Congestion, Improve Snoring

Nasonex is a steroid spray that is used to treat allergies and may help snoring
Nasonex is a steroid spray that is used to treat allergies and may help snoring. Brandon Peters, MD

Nasonex, a prescription nasal spray sold under the generic name mometasone nasal, is used to treat allergies and nasal polyps. It is a topical steroid spray that relieves nasal congestion and may also help to reduce snoring. For this reason, it's sometimes used as an adjunctive treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. What are the potential side effects to using Nasonex? Learn how it works, who should not use it, and the common and potentially serious side effects.

Uses of Nasonex for Allergies and Snoring

Nasonex is used to treat allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, conditions that contribute to nasal congestion, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing through the nose. When breathing is disrupted in sleep, snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea may result. As a result, Nasonex may be helpful in opening up the nose and improving sleep-disordered breathing that occurs with these conditions. Nasonex is also used to decrease the size of enlarged tissues in the nose called nasal polyps.

How Does Nasonex Work?

Nasonex, a corticosteroid that decreases inflammation in the tissues that line the nose, is applied as a squirt into each nostril. The exact mechanism of how Nasonex works is unknown, but similar to other steroids, it reduces chemicals called cytokines in the body. These chemicals are important to the immune system, and may be present and cause inflammation after exposure to an allergen.

Who Should Not Use Nasonex?

Nasonex should not be used if you have an open sore, wound, or ulcer within your nose, as it may impede the ability of this wound to heal naturally. It should also not be used if you have an active infection, including tuberculosis or the herpes simplex virus (HSV), or if you've been recently exposed to measles or varicella (chickenpox).

There are other conditions in which Nasonex should be used with caution or not at all: do not use Nasonex with other corticosteroid medications, and if you have recurrent nosebleeds (called epistaxis) or eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, or vision changes, you may want to avoid its use altogether. As it may affect growth in children and adolescents, your pediatrician should follow this with long-term use. If you take other medications, ensure that your prescribing physician is aware of these to avoid potential interactions.

What Are Common Side Effects of Nasonex?

All drugs have the potential for harmful side effects. Most people will not experience side effects, but some of the common ones that occur with the use of Flonase include:

  • Headache
  • Nasal burning or irritation
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Sore throat
  • Infections (including eye, ear, and sinus)
  • Cough
  • Asthma, bronchitis, or wheezing
  • Flu-like symptoms (fevers, aches)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in joints or muscles
  • Dysmenorrhea (irregular menstrual periods)

What Are Potential Serious Reactions with Using Nasonex?

Serious reactions rarely occur with the use of Nasonex. The most severe, anaphylaxis is associated with difficulty breathing and may be life-threatening. With the long-term use of the medication, these more serious side effects may occur more rarely:

  • Nasal septal perforation (hole in the cartilage that divides the nasal passages)
  • Nasal ulcer or sore
  • Nose or mouth candida infection (candidiasis)
  • Glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure
  • Hypercorticism
  • Adrenal suppression
  • Angioedema
  • Growth suppression (in children)

Things to Keep in Mind with the Use of Nasonex

Nasonex may not be an appropriate medication for everyone, so you should discuss with your doctor whether it's the right choice for you. Its safety in breastfeeding is unknown, and if the medication is used for more than 2 months, you should have a routine examination of your nose by your doctor. In children and adolescents who use Nasonex, it's important to monitor growth.

If you have any questions or difficulties with the use of Nasonex, you should stay in close contact with your prescribing health provider.


"Nasonex." Epocrates Rx Pro. Version 5.1.2, 2013. Epocrates, Inc. San Mateo, California.

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