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Fluticasone nasal Side Effects

Not all side effects for fluticasone nasal may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to fluticasone nasal: nasal spray

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by fluticasone nasal. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking fluticasone nasal, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common
  • Bloody mucus or unexplained nosebleeds
  • cough
  • headache
  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • excessive mucus
  • fever
  • general aches and pains
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • weakness
  • runny nose
  • White patches inside nose or throat
Symptoms of overdose
  • Blindness
  • blurred vision
  • bone fractures
  • excess facial hair growth in females
  • fullness of face, neck, and trunk
  • high blood pressure
  • impotence in males
  • increased thirst or urination
  • lack of menstrual periods
  • muscle wasting
  • weakness

Some of the side effects that can occur with fluticasone nasal may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Burning, dryness, or other irritation inside the nose
  • sore throat
Less common
  • Runny nose

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to fluticasone nasal: nasal spray


Endocrine side effects have included suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The risk of adrenal suppression is less than that associated with systemic corticosteroids and should be of concern only when using higher than recommended doses. Slight suppression of plasma cortisol has been noted following 250 mcg intranasal doses of fluticasone.[Ref]

Due to extensive first-pass metabolism of fluticasone to an inactive carboxylic acid, significant systemic effects are not expected from any amount of the drug that may be swallowed via intranasal administration of normally recommended dosages. In one study involving 61 patients, no significant difference was demonstrated in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function among patients given intranasal fluticasone 200 mcg/day or placebo for 1 year.[Ref]


Local side effects have included nasal irritation including burning, dryness, and soreness in 1% to 6% of patients. Nose bleed has been reported in up to 15% of treated patients and sore throat in 2%. Intranasal fluticasone may also cause sneezing. Nasal ulcerations and Candida albicans infections have been reported. Alteration or loss of sense of taste or smell has been reported rarely. Nasal septal perforation and impaired wound healing has also been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system adverse effects have included headache in 2% to 4% of patients. Some studies have reported headache in as many as 32% of patients. Dizziness has also been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have included postmarketing reports of a systemic eosinophilic condition. Clinical features of this condition have included a vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy. These events have usually been associated with a reduction and/or discontinuation of oral corticosteroid therapy following introduction of fluticasone.

Rarely, hypersensitivity reactions have been reported including angioedema, rash, face and tongue edema, pruritus, urticaria, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea and anaphylaxis.[Ref]

Cases of serious eosinophilic conditions also have been reported with other inhaled corticosteroids in this clinical setting.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included reports of cataracts and posterior capsular cataracts.[Ref]


In 1993, the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology (AAAI) requested that the FDA review its decision regarding the labeled risks of the use of inhaled corticosteroids during severe viral infections. The AAAI's request was based on the lack of data linking inhaled corticosteroids to increases in complications of viral infections.[Ref]

The danger of infections from immune suppression associated with inhaled corticosteroids has been debated. No conclusive evidence is available to support an increase in tuberculosis or viral infections in patients receiving inhaled fluticasone.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included epistaxis, ulcerations, Candida albicans infection, impaired wound healing, and nasal septal perforation.


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2. Wilson AM, McFarlane LC, Lipworth BJ "Effects of repeated once daily dosing of three intranasal corticosteroids on basal and dynamic measures of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis activity." J Allergy Clin Immunol 101 (1998): 470-4

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15. Garbe E, LeLorier J, Boivin JF, Suissa S "Inhaled and nasal glucocorticoids and the risks of ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma." JAMA 277 (1997): 722-7

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