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

Triamcinolone belongs to the family of medications called corticosteroids. Triamcinolone nasal spray is used to treat perennial (year-round) and seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Triamcinolone works by reducing inflammation in the nasal passages and helps to eliminate or reduce symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, itching, and sneezing.

This medication usually starts to work within 2 or 3 days, but for some people, it may take up to 2 weeks to work.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using 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 actuation releases approximately 55 µg triamcinolone acetonide from the nasal actuator (estimated from in vitro testing) in an unscented, water-based spray formulation. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, dextrose, edetate disodium, microcrystalline cellulose, and polysorbate 80. Hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust the pH to between 4.5 and 6.0. This medication comes in a non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-containing metered-dose pump spray which will provide 120 actuations.

How should I use this medication?

For adults and children 12 years of age and older, the usual starting dose is 2 sprays in each nostril once a day. The dose may be decreased to 1 spray in each nostril once a day once the desired effect is obtained.

For children 4 to 12 years of age, the usual starting dose is 1 spray in each nostril once a day. Your doctor may increase the dose to 2 sprays in each nostril once a day if symptoms don't improve. Once symptoms are controlled, the dose may be decreased to 1 spray in each nostril once daily.

Many things can affect the dose of 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 to understand how to use this medication properly. Read the package insert information carefully and talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or are not sure how to use this medication.

Before using this medication for the first time, you will need to prime the pump. To do this, pull the cover and the clip off the spray pump and shake the pump gently. Then, put two fingers on the "shoulders" of the bottle. While holding the bottle away from you, push the bottle with the thumb firmly and quickly until a fine mist appears (about 5 pumps). Repriming is only needed when the spray pump has not been used for more than 14 days. To reprime, shake the bottle gently and pump only once while holding the bottle away from you.

To use the medication:

  1. Gently blow the nose to clear the nostrils if needed.
  2. Pull the cover and clip off the spray pump and gently shake the spray pump.
  3. Hold the spray pump firmly with the index finger and middle finger on the "shoulders" on either side of the spray tip and thumb on the bottom of the bottle. Rest the back of the index finger against the upper lip.
  4. Put the spray tip into one nostril (the tip should not reach far into the nose) and bend your head forward slightly.
  5. Point the tip straight back into the nose and close the other nostril with a finger. Pump the spray by pushing the thumb firmly and quickly for a full stroke and gently sniff at the same time. Repeat for the other nostril.
  6. If you are using more than one spray, repeat steps 3 to 5.
  7. Wipe the nozzle with a tissue and replace the cap.
  8. Avoid blowing the nose for 15 minutes after a dose.

To obtain the full benefit from this medication, it is important that it be used regularly and exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop using this medication even if you feel better, unless your doctor recommends that you do so.

If you miss a dose and you remember within an hour or so, administer a dose and continue with your regular schedule. If it has been more than an hour or so since your missed 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. Discard the bottle after 120 sprays or after 2 months of starting the bottle.

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?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to triamcinolone or any ingredients of the medication
  • have active or dormant tuberculosis
  • have an untreated fungal, bacterial, or viral infection

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 irritation of the nose
  • headache
  • nosebleed
  • sneezing
  • 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 seek medical attention.

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

  • feel generally unwell
  • nose or throat pain
  • severe nosebleed
  • unpleasant taste or smell
  • yellow or green nasal discharge

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

  • symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (such as swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)

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.

Growth in adolescents and children: Corticosteroids taken by mouth may impair the growth of adolescents and children. Although the use of nasal corticosteroids is less likely to cause this effect, your doctor will monitor for this. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

Infection: Corticosteroids such as triamcinolone 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. If you have not had chicken pox or measles or have not been vaccinated against these infections, take special care to avoid exposure to them.

Other corticosteroid medications: If you have been taking oral corticosteroids and are starting triamcinolone nasal spray, your doctor should carefully monitor your condition. Changing from the oral form to the nasal spray can cause symptoms such as tiredness, aches, pains, and depression. Tell your doctor if you have used or are using other corticosteroids. Your doctor will monitor you while you are taking this medication.

Stopping treatment: Do not stop this medication suddenly. It should be stopped gradually as directed by your doctor.

Vision problems: Long-term use of corticosteroids such as triamcinolone nasal spray may cause glaucoma or cataracts. Report any vision changes to your doctor immediately.

Wound healing: Corticosteroids such as triamcinolone can reduce the ability of wounds to heal. If you have ulcers in your nose, have had nasal surgery, or have had nasal trauma, talk to your doctor about how this medication will affect these conditions. Your doctor may recommend stopping this medication, or waiting until wounds have completely healed to start using it.

Pregnancy: 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 triamcinolone passes into breast milk, but it is suspected that it does. If you are breast-feeding mother and 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 using this medication have not been established for children under 4 years of age. Children between 4 and 12 years of age should only use this medication under the direction of a doctor.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between triamcinolone and any of the following:

  • other nasal sprays

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 that 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.