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Flonase Patient Tips

Written by C Fookes on Nov 23, 2016

How it works

  • Flonase is a brand (trade) name for fluticasone nasal spray.
  • Fluticasone is thought to work by controlling the release of prostaglandins and other substances that promote inflammation. Fluticasone reduces inflammation and relieves itching. It can also help constrict (narrow) blood vessels.
  • Fluticasone belongs to the group of medicines known as corticosteroids.


  • Flonase relieves nasal symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and nasal itching in adults and children aged four years and older.
  • Fluticasone - the active ingredient in Flonase - has a strong affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor, this means it is less likely to cause salt and water retention (and therefore less likely to cause high blood pressure, low potassium levels, or high sodium levels).


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Nose bleeds, nasal ulceration, headache, sore throat, nausea, cough and nasal burning or itching.
  • Also occasionally more serious nasal effects may occur and use of Flonase may delay wound healing. Do not use Flonase if you have recently had nasal surgery or nasal trauma.
  • Glaucoma and cataracts have been associated with nasal corticosteroid use. Use exactly as directed and avoid spraying Flonase near the eyes.
  • Using corticosteroids may make you more susceptible to viral infections such as chickenpox or measles or other types of infection.
  • Long term, continued use of Flonase nasal spray may reduce growth velocity in children.
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with a compromised immune system, with certain eye problems, with certain allergies, with an active infection, and certain other conditions.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Flonase reduces inflammation and nasal symptoms associated with rhinitis; however, Flonase may cause nose bleeds and it takes about three days for the full effects to be seen.


  • Dosage may be given either once or twice daily.
  • Maximum dosage should not exceed two sprays per nostril daily.
  • Effectiveness of Flonase against allergies depends on regular use.
  • Shake Flonase well before using. Prime before first use (shake and release 6 sprays into the air away from face).
  • May take several days to reach full effect when used for allergic rhinitis symptoms. Consider using a decongestant nasal spray initially (maximum three days use) or taking an antihistamine until Flonase exerts its effect.
  • If no response is seen after several days use, contact your doctor. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
  • Do not spray Flonase near your eyes or in your mouth.
  • See your doctor if you notice a change in your vision, or experience a rash or an allergic-type reaction while using Flonase.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Although the active ingredient in Flonase, fluticasone, is rapidly absorbed through the nasal tissues, it does not have an immediate effect on rhinitis symptoms. It may take several days of Flonase use to see a significant reduction in symptoms.


Flonase (fluticasone nasal spray) [Package Insert] Revised 10/2011 GlaxoSmithKline LLC

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Flonase only for the indication prescribed.

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Revision Date: 2016-11-23 00:00:00