How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Fluticasone propionate belongs to the class of medications called corticosteroids. It is used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis, including hay fever, and perennial rhinitis. It can be used to manage symptoms such as sinus pain and pressure associated with allergic rhinitis. It may take 2 to 3 days for the medication to reach its full effect. For some people the full effect will not be reached for a long as 2 weeks.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each 100 mg of spray (1 spray) delivered by the nasal adaptor contains fluticasone 50 µg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, phenylethyl alcohol, polysorbate 80, and purified water.

How should I use this medication?

For adults and children 12 years and older, the recommended dose is 2 sprays in each nostril once a day. Some people with severe rhinitis may benefit from 2 sprays in each nostril every 12 hours. The maximum daily dose is 4 sprays in each nostril.

For children 4 to 11 years old, the recommended dose is 1 or 2 sprays in each nostril in the morning. The recommended maximum daily dose is 2 sprays in each nostril daily.

Shake the medication gently before using and gently blow your nose to clear your nostrils before each use. For the best results, this medication should be used regularly each day. For seasonal allergies, you should start using this product before the first exposure to the cause of the allergy.

If you are using this medication for the first time or you have not used it for more than 1 week, you will need to "prime" the pump by spraying the pump in the air, away from you, several times or until a fine mist is sprayed from the bottle.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, administer it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Fluticasone propionate nasal spray should not be used by anyone who:

  • is allergic to fluticasone or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • has untreated fungal, bacterial, or tuberculosis infections of the respiratory tract

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • burning, dryness, or other irritation inside the nose
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sneezing after using the spray
  • sore throat

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • bloody nasal mucus
  • eye problems (eye pain, blurred vision)
  • severe, unexplained nosebleeds
  • white patches inside nose or throat

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (sudden wheezing or difficulty breathing, chest pain or tightness; hives; swelling of the face, lips, or eyes)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Additional medication: Although fluticasone propionate will control seasonal allergic rhinitis in most cases, an abnormally heavy amount of summer pollen may sometimes require additional treatment, particularly to control eye symptoms. Speak to your doctor if you have been using this medication for 3 weeks and are still experiencing allergic rhinitis symptoms.

Growth in children and adolescents: Corticosteroids such as fluticasone propionate nasal spray may impair the growth of children and adolescents. Your doctor will monitor for this. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Infections: Corticosteroids such as fluticasone propionate nasal spray may worsen existing infections, mask the signs of infection, and cause new infections. If you use this medication for several months or longer, your doctor will monitor you periodically for signs of infection. People who have not had chickenpox or measles or have not been vaccinated against these infections should take special care to avoid exposure to them.

Stopping treatment: Under most circumstances, treatment with corticosteroids such as fluticasone propionate nasal spray should be tapered off gradually and not stopped suddenly. In the case of fluticasone propionate nasal spray, this is usually only a concern at high doses. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about stopping regular use of this medication.

Wound healing: Corticosteroids such as fluticasone propionate nasal spray can impair the ability of wounds to heal. This medication should be avoided if you have recently had nasal surgery or nasal trauma until wounds have completely healed.

Pregnancy: The safety of fluticasone propionate nasal spray during pregnancy has not been established. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if fluticasone propionate passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children under 4 years of age and should not be used by children under 4 years old. Long-term use of fluticasone propionate nasal spray is not recommended for children under 12 years old.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may an interaction between fluticasone propionate nasal spray and any of the following:

  • ketoconazole
  • ritonavir

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.