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Flonase Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Last reviewed on RxList 2/24/2015

Flonase (fluticasone) is a synthetic steroid of the glucocorticoid family of drugs and is prescribed for the control of symptoms of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Flonase is available as a generic drug, and dosing is usually administered as two sprays in each nostril once daily, or one spray in each nostril twice daily. The most common side effects of Flonase (fluticasone) include:

  • headache,
  • back pain,
  • sore throat,
  • sneezing,
  • cough,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • menstrual problems,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • and nosebleeds.

Flonase has also been associated with hypersensitivity reactions (for example, skin rash, itching, facial swelling, and anaphylaxis).

Drug interactions and warnings include Norvir (ritonavir) and Nizoral (ketoconazole). Taking either one of these drugs with Flonase may increase the blood concentrations of Flonase and potentially increase its side effects. Flonase should only be used during pregnancy when it is absolutely necessary. There have not been adequate studies of Flonase and concentrations in breast milk; therefore, Flonase should be avoided while breastfeeding unless it is absolutely necessary.

Our Flonase Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Flonase in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe or ongoing nosebleeds;
  • noisy breathing, runny nose, or crusting around your nostrils;
  • redness, sores, or white patches in your mouth or throat;
  • fever, chills, weakness, nausea, vomiting, flu symptoms;
  • any wound that will not heal; or
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, back pain;
  • minor nosebleed;
  • menstrual problems, loss of interest in sex;
  • sinus pain, cough, sore throat; or
  • sores or white patches inside or around your nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Flonase (Fluticasone Propionate Nasal Spray)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Flonase Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Nasal dryness/irritation, nausea, or vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: eye pain, facial pain, signs of nasal damage (such as pain, severe nosebleeds, a constant whistling sound from your nose), white patches in your nose/back of your throat, pain when swallowing, persistent sore throat.

Rarely, it is possible that corticosteroids given in the nose will be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can lead to side effects of too much corticosteroid. These side effects are more likely in children and people who use this medication for a long time and in high doses. Tell your doctor right away if any of the following side effects occur: unusual/extreme tiredness, weight loss, headache, swelling ankles/feet, increased thirst/urination, vision problems.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Flonase (Fluticasone Propionate Nasal Spray)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Flonase FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Systemic and local corticosteroid use may result in the following:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In controlled US clinical trials, more than 3,300 subjects with allergic and nonallergic rhinitis received treatment with intranasal fluticasone propionate. In general, adverse reactions in clinical trials have been primarily associated with irritation of the nasal mucous membranes, and the adverse reactions were reported with approximately the same frequency by subjects treated with placebo. Less than 2% of subjects in clinical trials discontinued because of adverse reactions; this rate was similar for vehicle placebo and active comparators.

The safety data described below are based on 7 placebo-controlled clinical trials in subjects with allergic rhinitis. The 7 trials included 536 subjects (57 girls and 108 boys aged 4 to 11 years, 137 female and 234 male adolescents and adults) treated with FLONASE 200 mcg once daily over 2 to 4 weeks and 2 placebo-controlled clinical trials which included 246 subjects (119 female and 127 male adolescents and adults) treated with FLONASE 200 mcg once daily over 6 months (Table 1). Also included in Table 1 are adverse reactions from 2 trials in which 167 children (45 girls and 122 boys aged 4 to 11 years) were treated with FLONASE 100 mcg once daily for 2 to 4 weeks.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions with FLONASE Nasal Spray with > 3% Incidence and More Common than Placebo in Subjects ≥ 4 Years with Allergic Rhinitis

Adverse Reaction FLONASE 100 mcg
Once Daily
(n = 167) %
FLONASE 200 mcg
Once Daily
(n = 782) %
(n = 758) %
Headache 6.6 16.1 14.6
Pharyngitis 6.0 7.8 7.2
Epistaxis 6.0 6.9 5.4
Nasal burning/nasal irritation 2.4 3.2 2.6
Nausea/vomiting 4.8 2.6 2.0
Asthma symptoms 7.2 3.3 2.9
Cough 3.6 3.8 2.8

Other adverse reactions with FLONASE Nasal Spray observed with an incidence less than or equal to 3% but greater than or equal to 1% and more common than with placebo included: blood in nasal mucus, runny nose, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, flu-like symptoms, aches and pains, dizziness, and bronchitis.

Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, the following adverse events have been identified during postapproval use of intranasal fluticasone propionate. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to either their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or causal connection to fluticasone propionate or a combination of these factors.

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions

Hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema, skin rash, edema of the face and tongue, pruritus, urticaria, bronchospasm, wheezing, dyspnea, and anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions, which in rare instances were severe.

Ear and Labyrinth Disorders

Alteration or loss of sense of taste and/or smell and, rarely, nasal septal perforation, nasal ulcer, sore throat, throat irritation and dryness, cough, hoarseness, and voice changes.

Eye Disorders

Dryness and irritation, conjunctivitis, blurred vision, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and cataracts.

Cases of growth suppression have been reported for intranasal corticosteroids, including FLONASE [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Flonase (Fluticasone Propionate Nasal Spray)

Flonase - User Reviews

Flonase User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Flonase sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

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

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