Nasacort vs Flonase: Similarities & Differences

Allergic rhinitis can be frustrating and quite depressing but not with the use of Nasacort and Flonase. These two drugs are medications used to treat nasal allergies. Although they perform the same functions, they have differences in many categories, such as usage, prescriptions, side effects, and Drug Interactions.

General Information

Nasacort: The generic name for Nasacort is Triamcinolone Acetonide. The Rhone Poulenc Rorer-a French pharmaceutical institution founded in 1928 is the company responsible for the manufacturing and existence of Nasacort in the market today. The drug was first approved in May 1996 but could not be taken by children below the ages of 12. However, in September 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this medicine by children between the ages of 2-5. The approval was based on a control study that proved Nasacort's use on children as effective while compared to placebo.

Flonase: Otherwise known by its generic name Fluticasone propionate, Flonase is a synthetic glucocorticoid manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (Top manufactures and distributor of nearly 81 drugs in the United States). The FDA first approved the drug on 23rd July, 2014. It works by blocking the various substances like cytokine, chemokine, histamine, tryptases, leukotriene's, and prostaglandins that cause allergic reactions. Persons below the age of 4 cannot take Flonase.


Flonase and Nasacort are used in the treatment of upper respiratory allergies and hay fever. Apart from allergic rhinitis, Nasacort is used in the treatment of respiratory or pulmonary diseases, as well as in treating infections and infectious ailments. On the other hand, Flonase besides allergic conditions, is only capable of treating specific eye problems.



Both Nasacort and Flonase are over the counter drugs packed in the form of nasal spray. They are taken through spraying the drug on each nostril or rather by spraying the medicine on the inflamed area of the nose. The dosage in both of these medicines varies in relation to the age of the user. Persons aged 12 years and older are administered with spraying each nostril twice daily but can reduce the dosage if it is too strong for them.


Nasacort is taken as a daily dose but only when needed. Along with person aged 12 years and above, the medication is prescribed to children aged 2-5. Here, the preferred dosage is ideally one spray on each nostril daily. Children between 6 and 11 years can either take the dosage once or twice daily as per their body's reaction to the drug. Before use, Nasacort nasal spray needs shaking and priming. If the spray has not been in use for at least two weeks, you should shake and re-prime it before using. Nasacort is only prescribed for short-term usage.

Children above 12 years systematically take Flonase nasal spray for six months. In the first week, they should on a daily basis spray each nostril twice, but on the second week through the next six months, one can adjust the dosage to one spray on each nostril daily. Flonase in children between 4 to 11 years is taken for only two months. Children below the age of four are not allowed to use Flonase nasal spray. Unlike Nasacort nasal spray, priming is not necessary with Flonase nasal spray.

Drug and disease interactions

Not all drugs and conditions interact well with Nasacort and Flonase nasal sprays. This is why medical advice and sincerity is recommended before using any of these drugs. Nasacort and Flonase react negatively if taken with patients who are allergic to these drugs or patients with injuries and open wounds on the nose. It is not convenient for person with eye infections, liver problems, exposure to measles or chickenpox, tuberculosis, fungal infections, and weak immune systems to use Nasacort and Flonase medications.

While there is limited information, hence no absolute drugs said to be adversely interacting with Nasacort nasal spray, the drugs under the ritonavir and ketoconazole are singled out as drugs that react undesirably with Flonase nasal spray. When Ritonavir and Ketoconazole drugs are taken with Flonase nasal spray, they increase the plasma levels which adversely affect the health of the user. Cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors do not also react well with Fluticasone propionate.

Side Effects

Nasacort and Flonase have both mild and severe impact. The serious results rarely show up unless the medications are taken in the wrong manner. Headaches, bloody nose, cough, and irritating nose are the standard and minor side effects in Nasacort and Flonase. The adverse effects of these two medicines include nose bleeding, intense allergic reactions, glaucoma, worsening infections, slowed growth in children and cataract. Immediate medical attention is advised if the mild symptoms persist or if the severe side effects emerge.

Development of asthma symptoms is a minor side effect only depicted by Nasacort and sneezing is also a side effect only seen in Flonase. Additionally, the feelings of pins and needs in your feet and hands, as well as difficulties in breathing, are serious side effects present in Flonase but absent in Nasacort.


One of the advantages of both Nasacort and Flonase nasal sprays is their effectiveness in treating nasal allergies as well as other medical conditions mentioned earlier. Additionally, the dosage in both drugs lasts for 24 hours and prescriptions are found over the counter at lower prices. With respect to demerits, Nasacort is age restrictive as they can't be administered to children of certain ages even when these children have nasal allergies

Final Thoughts

Neither Nasacort, nor Flonase nasal sprays are stronger than the other. They contain the same magnitude of effectiveness if taken correctly. However, if a doctor prescribes one of the drugs instead of the other often, it could be because your immune system does not react well with the other medication. Your physician will carefully evaluate your condition and recommend the most suitable drug. Otherwise, these two medications have been tested and confirmed to be effective in management of similar symptoms.