How Do Intranasal Corticosteroids Work?

Reviewed on 9/28/2021

HOW DO INTRANASAL CORTICOSTEROIDS WORK?

Intranasal corticosteroids are effective in reducing inflammation and are used to treat allergic rhinitis (irritation and swelling of the mucous membrane in the nose occurring seasonally or year-round) or vasomotor rhinitis (blood vessels in the nasal mucosa dilate and cause congestion) and nasal polyps (a painless benign growth on the lining of the nose or sinuses)

Intranasal corticosteroids have a complex mechanism of action. Each drug has a different approach to reduce the local inflammation and when given in combination with other medications produces more anti-inflammatory effects. 

There are several drugs in this drug class and their mechanisms of action are as follows:

  • Some corticosteroids evoke histamine H-1 receptor antagonist activity, exhibit H1-receptor antagonist activity and inhibit the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine from the cells.
  • Some corticosteroids naturally possess potent anti-inflammatory activity that affects and inhibits several cells such as mast cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, lymphocytes, and mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, cytokines, and eicosanoids. 
  • Some corticosteroids with anti-inflammatory properties may also have vasoconstrictive properties and may evoke potent glucocorticoid activity that provides direct anti-inflammatory actions to the nasal mucosa.

Intranasal corticosteroids when used often may decrease the sensitivity against allergens such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites.

HOW ARE INTRANASAL CORTICOSTEROIDS USED?

Intranasal corticosteroids are used to treat:

  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis
  • Perennial allergic rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Vasomotor rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nasal polyps (postsurgical prophylaxis)

SLIDESHOW

Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF INTRANASAL CORTICOSTEROIDS? 

Side effects associated with intranasal corticosteroids include:

 

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE NAMES OF INTRANASAL CORTICOSTEROIDS?

Generic and brand names of intranasal corticosteroids include:

  • Azelastine/fluticasone intranasal
  • Beclomethasone, intranasal
  • Beconase AQ
  • Budesonide intranasal
  • Children's Flonase Allergy Relief
  • Ciclesonide intranasal
  • ClariSpray
  • Dymista
  • Flonase Allergy Relief
  • Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief
  • Flunisolide intranasal
  • FlutiCare
  • Fluticasone intranasal
  • Mometasone, intranasal
  • Nasacort Allergy 24HR
  • Nasonex
  • Olopatadine intranasal/mometasone, intranasal
  • Omnaris
  • QNASL
  • Rhinocort Allergy
  • Rhinocort Aqua (DSC)
  • Ryaltris
  • Triamcinolone, intranasal
  • Veramyst
  • Xhance
  • Zetonna
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/corticosteroids-intranasal

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11449202/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22532281/

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