Allergies are triggered when your immunity system erects needful defense against a foreign body. Such foreign substances are generally referred as allergens. Among the various types of allergies, a few widely triggered conditions are allergies experienced in nasal pathways; these are categorised as nasal allergies. The typical signs of such an allergy are sneezing, runny rose, stuffed nasal pathways, secretion of tears, itchiness, etc. Most nasal allergies are seasonal in nature while some are perennial. Seasonal ones are often triggered by pollen grains. On the other hand, perennial nasal allergies are outcomes of sensitivity to insects, mites or pets. Flonase is a drug commonly used for the treatment of nasal allergies. It is a good practice to know the side effects this drug may trigger.
When an allergen or an allergy-causing substance attacks your system, the immunity function gets ready to fight it. So, if an allergen is breathed-in, your immunity system will soon make needful amounts of antibodies and stimulants to defend you. In essence, these are protein-based compounds which make histamines; the function of histamines is to produce a few chemicals to trigger defensive reactions. Commonly experienced reactions include widening of blood vessels, internal swelling, stuffing your respiratory pathways, skin-based reactions like itchiness, hives, sores, etc. In general, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines to manage allergic reactions as well as to treat associated medical conditions.
Nasal allergies are mostly caused by allergic agents like tobacco smoke, dander of pets or saliva of cats, a few types of aromatic foods, strongly scented perfumes, dust as well as exhaust from cars or other vehicles. Intensive presence of pollen in the atmosphere is another cause for seasonal allergic reactions. Pollen grains from weeds and grasses are present during fall (autumn) and summertime. On the other hand, pollen of flowering plants is more pronounced during springtime. The common signs of nasal allergy are persistent spell of sneezing, runny nose or watery discharge from nose, itchy eyes, dryness of nasal skin, etc. You may also experience stuffed nose, soreness of throat, headache, tiredness, coughing and inflammation of facial as well as nasal region.
Use of flonase
Flonase is an anti-inflammatory drug. It belongs to a family of medications known as corticosteroids. Such drugs are used for treating allergies as well as a few skin conditions. Flonase is available as an over the counter (OTC) drug and also as a prescription medication. It is widely sold as a nasal spray; it can be applied or sprayed onto your nasal region. Its use can bring relief to allergic rhinitis and help manage symptoms such as runny nose, nasal itchiness and excessive episodes of sneezing. It is also used to relieve signs of allergies like stuffed nose, nasal discharges and a few other nasal discomforts.
It is not a good practice to blow the nose within 40 minutes after using flonase; such blowing can remove the active ingredients from the nasal region. In short, it can reduce the efficacy of your nasal spray. It is equally important to never share the pack with others. The odds of spreading infections are high when flonase is shared.
Side effects of flonase
Use of flonase may cause a few adverse reactions including some undesired side effects. Most common among such adverse side effects are dryness of nasal areas, nasal irritation and spells of vomiting as well as nausea. Abdominal discomforts may cease to show up once your body gets used to this spray. But, if one or more of these side effects persists, you need to stop using the spray. You also need to talk to your treating doctor for needful substitutes.
A few serious side effects of flonase
In some rare cases, flonase may also cause some serious or acute side effects. Such effects include damage of nasal tissues in the form of pain in the nasal region, bleeding, sound of wheezing each time you inhale and exhale. A few other acute side effects are soreness of throat, formation of white-colored spots inside the nasal airways, discoloration of oral passage – especially, near your throat, etc.
Flonase is unlikely to cause serious allergies or allergic reactions. However, as stray incidents, a few people have observed serious allergies such as hives or rashes on skin, acute spells of drowsiness or dizziness, persistent itchiness, inflammation of facial parts or oral organs, respiratory problems – including, wheezing, shortness of breath or gasping.
Very serious side effects
In very remote instances, a small set of users reported pain in the eyes as well as inflammation of facial organs. If the active ingredients of this drug get into your blood, it can lead to a few serious effects. Such effects include weakness, persistent feeling of thirstiness, blurring of eyesight, extreme levels of weariness, inexplicable loss of bodyweight and chronic headaches. These risks are more pronounced when you use the drug for a longer time as well in very large doses.
It is also important to note that the above side effects, allergies and discomforts do not constitute a complete list of adverse reactions. It is likely that flonase may trigger a few unknown or unlisted adverse reactions. Upon sensing any of these adverse side effects or new discomforts (i.e., apart from those listed above), you need to immediately talk to your treating doctor. You can also contact the emergency helpline numbers of the food and drug administration (FDA) in the US. Those who live in the United States need to contact 911 for medical help on an emergency basis. As an alternative, you can also contact a poison control center closer to your home. Residents of Canada must soon reach out to Health Canada or establish quick contact with a poison control unit located in your province.
Above all, you need to remember that your doctor has advised the use of flonase because its benefits outweigh the risks of these side effects. The heartening fact however is –most users of flonase have not reported any major adverse reactions or harmful side effects.
Safety precautions needed for limiting or avoiding adverse side effects of flonase
Dosage instructions are based on your gender, age, the nature of allergy and above all, how well your body responds to this nasal spray. Some users may take stronger doses of flonase (by spraying more) or increase the dosage frequency (by spraying it often); such practices may not hasten your recovery. Contrary to popular belief, these practices may worsen your current medical condition. Hence, it is highly recommended to adhere to the dosage instructions of your treating doctor all through the medication plan. If you are using flonase to treat nasal allergies of children, it must be used only for a short term. Long term use of this drug may lead to a few other medical conditions. It is a good practice to talk to a children’s doctor (i.e., a pediatrician) to know the duration of the medication plan.
Prior medical conditions and clinical history
It is essential to tell your medical team about all existing medical conditions as well as prior ailments. Also, it is a good practice to inform about your clinical history and your family’s medical history. If you have experienced prior incidence of respiratory infections such as pneumonia, etc., ocular disorders (such as cataract, narrow angle glaucoma, etc.) and hepatic dysfunction (cirrhosis or hepatitis), your medical team needs to be aware of all such conditions.
Your body’s abilities to respond to stress-points say, during a surgery or an intervention – may decrease with regular use of flonase. Hence, prior to your surgery or a dental procedure, it is important to tell about the intake of flonase; it is likely that your surgeon or dentist will advise you to discontinue this drug at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery or dental procedure.
Other needful precautions
As a safety measure, it is important to read the instructions listed on the pack before starting to use it. Ask for the information leaflet each time you visit the pharmacist to have a refill. Always remember that flonase needs to be used only once per day. Ensure the contents do not reach your eyes, and shake the pack before use which helps to prime the drug well. Regular use is recommended to maximise the benefits. This drug’s efficacy levels improve if used at the same time each day. Also, you must not expect the drug to start reducing allergies soon after starting the doses. It may take a few days – usually, 5 to 7 days – for flonase to start functioning. However, if allergic reactions are not subsiding, you need to report to your treating physician without further delay.
Those who take drugs HIV-protease inhibiting meds like ritonavir need to talk to their doctor before starting to use flonase. It is a good practice to maintain a list of drugs you currently take as well as treatment plans presently pursued. While maintaining this list, ensure to include OTC meds, prescription drugs as well as supplements (herbal, dietary and vitamins). Pregnant women are advised to use flonase only if its intake is inevitable. In general, your doctor may advise not to use this drug while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. The risks of the active ingredients of this drug entering into mother’s milk are not fully studied. Hence, women who are breastfeeding must stay away from using flonase.
In sum, nasal allergy is one of the most common discomforts. All over the world, nearly 15% to 20% of the population is estimated to have it. In US, almost 9% of adults are known to have experienced allergic rhinitis or nasal allergies. Commonly experienced adverse side effects include irritation, abdominal conditions such as nausea or vomiting, dryness of nasal tissues, etc. Once your system gets accustomed to the active ingredients of this drug, most side effects will stop. However, if side effects are persisting for long, you need to discontinue this nasal spray and consult the treating physician as quickly as possible. Some of the serious side effects of flonase include bleeding from your nose, damage of nasal skin and tissues, blighted spots in the throat, soreness of throat, etc. If you notice any of these serious reactions or side effects, you need to contact 911 or a poison control center immediately.