"March 5, 2013 -- Spring allergy season is again off to an early start in many parts of the country, and doctors say there are some signs it may be even more miserable than usual this year.
Last year was the fourth warmest winter on re"...
Local Nasal Effects
In clinical trials with fluticasone propionate administered intranasally, the development of localized infections of the nose and pharynx with Candida albicans has occurred. When such an infection develops, it may require treatment with appropriate local therapy and discontinuation of FLONASE Nasal Spray. Patients using FLONASE Nasal Spray over several months or longer should be examined periodically for evidence of Candida infection or other signs of adverse effects on the nasal mucosa.
Nasal Septal Perforation
Postmarketing cases of nasal septal perforation have been reported in patients treated with FLONASE Nasal Spray [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Impaired Wound Healing
Because of the inhibitory effect of corticosteroids on wound healing, patients who have experienced recent nasal ulcers, nasal surgery, or nasal trauma should avoid using FLONASE Nasal Spray until healing has occurred.
Glaucoma And Cataracts
Use of intranasal and inhaled corticosteroids may result in the development of glaucoma and/or cataracts. Therefore, close monitoring is warranted in patients with a change in vision or with a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts.
Hypersensitivity Reactions including Anaphylaxis
Nasal Spray if such reactions occur [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Rarely, immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after the administration of FLONASE Nasal Spray.
Persons who are using drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases or been properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration affect the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If a patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If a patient is exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the complete prescribing information for VZIG and IG.) If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
Intranasal corticosteroids should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with active or quiescent tuberculous infections of the respiratory tract; systemic fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections; or ocular herpes simplex.
Hypercorticism And Adrenal Suppression
When intranasal corticosteroids are used at higher than recommended dosages or in susceptible individuals at recommended dosages, systemic corticosteroid effects such as hypercorticism and adrenal suppression may appear. If such changes occur, the dosage of FLONASE Nasal Spray should be discontinued slowly consistent with accepted procedures for discontinuing oral corticosteroid therapy.
The replacement of a systemic corticosteroid with a topical corticosteroid can be accompanied by signs of adrenal insufficiency. In addition, some patients may experience symptoms of corticosteroid withdrawal (e.g., joint and/or muscular pain, lassitude, depression). Patients previously treated for prolonged periods with systemic corticosteroids and transferred to topical corticosteroids should be carefully monitored for acute adrenal insufficiency in response to stress. In patients who have asthma or other clinical conditions requiring long-term systemic corticosteroid treatment, rapid decreases in systemic corticosteroid dosages may cause a severe exacerbation of their symptoms.
Drug Interactions With Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors
The use of strong cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, ketoconazole, telithromycin, conivaptan, lopinavir, nefazodone, voriconazole) with FLONASE Nasal Spray is not recommended because increased systemic corticosteroid adverse effects may occur [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Effect On Growth
Intranasal corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations]. Monitor the growth routinely of pediatric patients receiving FLONASE Nasal Spray. To minimize the systemic effects of intranasal corticosteroids, including FLONASE Nasal Spray, titrate each patient's dose to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Use In Specific Populations].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).
Local Nasal Effects
Inform patients that treatment with FLONASE Nasal Spray may lead to adverse reactions, which include epistaxis and nasal ulceration. Candida infection may also occur with treatment with FLONASE Nasal Spray. In addition, FLONASE Nasal Spray has been associated with nasal septal perforation and impaired wound healing. Patients who have experienced recent nasal ulcers, nasal surgery, or nasal trauma should not use FLONASE Nasal Spray until healing has occurred [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Glaucoma and Cataracts
Inform patients that glaucoma and cataracts are associated with nasal and inhaled corticosteroid use. Advise patients to notify their healthcare providers if a change in vision is noted while using FLONASE Nasal Spray [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Hypersensitivity Reactions, including Anaphylaxis
Inform patients that hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, urticaria, contact dermatitis, and rash, may occur after administration of FLONASE Nasal Spray. If such reactions occur, patients should discontinue use of FLONASE Nasal Spray [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Warn patients who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles and if they are exposed to consult their healthcare provider without delay. Inform patients of potential worsening of existing tuberculosis; fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections; or ocular herpes simplex [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Reduced Growth Velocity
Advise parents that FLONASE Nasal Spray may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Physicians should closely follow the growth of children and adolescents taking corticosteroids by any route [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use].
Use Daily for Best Effect
Inform patients that they should use FLONASE Nasal Spray on a regular basis. FLONASE Nasal Spray, like other corticosteroids, does not have an immediate effect on rhinitis symptoms. Maximum benefit may not be reached for several days. Patients should not increase the prescribed dosage but should contact their healthcare providers if symptoms do not improve or if the condition worsens.
Keep Spray Out of Eyes and Mouth
Inform patients to avoid spraying FLONASE Nasal Spray in their eyes and mouth.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Fluticasone propionate demonstrated no tumorigenic potential in mice at oral doses up to 1,000 mcg/kg (approximately 20 times the MRHDID in adults and approximately 10 times the MRHDID in children on a mcg/m² basis) for 78 weeks or in rats at inhalation doses up to 57 mcg/kg (approximately 2 times the MRHDID in adults and approximately equivalent to the MRHDID in children on a mcg/m² basis) for 104 weeks.
Fluticasone propionate did not induce gene mutation in prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells in vitro. No significant clastogenic effect was seen in cultured human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro or in the mouse micronucleus test.
No evidence of impairment of fertility was observed in male and female rats at subcutaneous doses up to 50 mcg/kg (approximately 2 times the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m² basis). Prostate weight was significantly reduced at a subcutaneous dose of 50 mcg/kg.
Perennial Nonallergic Rhinitis
Three randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, vehicle placebo-controlled trials were conducted in 1,191 subjects to investigate regular use of FLONASE Nasal Spray in subjects with perennial nonallergic rhinitis. These trials evaluated subject-rated total nasal symptom scores (TNSS) that included nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, rhinorrhea in subjects treated for 28 days of double-blind therapy and in 1 of the 3 trials for 6 months of open-label treatment. Two of these trials demonstrated that subjects treated with FLONASE Nasal Spray (100 mcg twice daily) exhibited statistically significant decreases in TNSS compared with subjects treated with vehicle.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled trials with FLONASE Nasal Spray in pregnant women. Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, FLONASE Nasal Spray should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Women should be advised to contact their physicians if they become pregnant while taking FLONASE Nasal Spray.
Mice and rats at fluticasone propionate doses approximately 1 and 4 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human daily intranasal dose (MRHDID) for adults (on a mg/m² basis at maternal subcutaneous doses of 45 and 100 mcg/kg/day, respectively) showed fetal toxicity characteristic of potent corticosteroid compounds, including embryonic growth retardation, omphalocele, cleft palate, and retarded cranial ossification. No teratogenicity was seen in rats at doses up to 3 times the MRHDID (on a mg/m² basis at maternal inhalation doses up to 68.7 mcg/kg/day).
In rabbits, fetal weight reduction and cleft palate were observed at a fluticasone propionate dose approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID for adults (on a mg/m² basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 4 mcg/kg/day). However, no teratogenic effects were reported at fluticasone propionate doses up to approximately 20 times the MRHDID for adults (on a mg/m² basis at a maternal oral dose up to 300 mcg/kg/day). No fluticasone propionate was detected in the plasma in this study, consistent with the established low bioavailability following oral administration [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Fluticasone propionate crossed the placenta following subcutaneous administration to mice and rats and oral administration to rabbits.
Experience with oral corticosteroids since their introduction in pharmacologic, as opposed to physiologic, doses suggests that rodents are more prone to teratogenic effects from corticosteroids than humans. In addition, because there is a natural increase in corticosteroid production during pregnancy, most women will require a lower exogenous corticosteroid dose and many will not need corticosteroid treatment during pregnancy.
Hypoadrenalism may occur in infants born of mothers receiving corticosteroids during pregnancy. Such infants should be carefully monitored.
It is not known whether fluticasone propionate is excreted in human breast milk. However, other corticosteroids have been detected in human milk. Subcutaneous administration to lactating rats of tritiated fluticasone propionate at a dose approximately 0.4 times the MRHDID for adults on a mg/m² basis resulted in measurable radioactivity in milk.
Since there are no data from controlled trials on the use of intranasal FLONASE Nasal Spray by nursing mothers, caution should be exercised when FLONASE Nasal Spray is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of FLONASE Nasal Spray in children aged 4 years and older have been established [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].Six hundred fifty (650) subjects aged 4 to 11 years and 440 subjects aged 12 to 17 years were studied in US clinical trials with fluticasone propionate nasal spray. The safety and effectiveness of FLONASE Nasal Spray in children younger than 4 years have not been established.
Effects on Growth
Controlled clinical trials have shown that intranasal corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. This effect was observed in the absence of laboratory evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, suggesting that growth velocity is a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The long-term effects of this reduction in growth velocity associated with intranasal corticosteroids, including the impact on final adult height, are unknown. The potential for “catch-up” growth following discontinuation of treatment with intranasal corticosteroids has not been adequately studied. The growth of pediatric patients receiving intranasal corticosteroids, including FLONASE Nasal Spray, should be monitored routinely (e.g., via stadiometry). The potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against the clinical benefits obtained and the risks associated with alternative therapies. To minimize the systemic effects of intranasal corticosteroids, including FLONASE Nasal Spray, each patient's dosage should be titrated to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms.
A 1-year placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 150 pediatric subjects (aged 3 to 9 years) to assess the effect of FLONASE Nasal Spray (single daily dose of 200 mcg) on growth velocity. From the primary population receiving FLONASE Nasal Spray (n = 56) and placebo (n = 52), the point estimate for growth velocity with FLONASE Nasal Spray was 0.14 cm/year lower than placebo (95% CI: -0.54, 0.27 cm/year). Thus, no statistically significant effect on growth was noted compared with placebo. No evidence of clinically relevant changes in HPA axis function or bone mineral density was observed as assessed by 12-hour urinary cortisol excretion and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, respectively.
The potential for FLONASE Nasal Spray to cause growth suppression in susceptible patients or when given at higher than recommended dosages cannot be ruled out.
A limited number of subjects aged 65 years and older (n = 129) or 75 years and older (n = 11) have been treated with FLONASE Nasal Spray in clinical trials. While the number of subjects is too small to permit separate analysis of efficacy and safety, the adverse reactions reported in this population were similar to those reported by younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Formal pharmacokinetic trials using FLONASE Nasal Spray have not been conducted in subjects with hepatic impairment. Since fluticasone propionate is predominantly cleared by hepatic metabolism, impairment of liver function may lead to accumulation of fluticasone propionate in plasma. Therefore, patients with hepatic disease should be closely monitored.
Formal pharmacokinetic trials using FLONASE Nasal Spray have not been conducted in subjects with renal impairment.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/24/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Flonase Information
Flonase - User Reviews
Flonase User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Allergies & Asthma
Improve treatments & prevent attacks.