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With so many allergy treatments on the market, it can be difficult to sort out which product may be best for you. One available option for treating nasal allergy symptoms is nasal decongestants (pills or sprays), and another is FLONASE nasal sprays. Here’s what you need to know and how they compare.


Nasal decongestants are used for quick, temporary relief of nasal congestion. They come in a variety of forms, such as:

  • Pills like Sudafed® Congestion
  • Liquids like Mucinex® and Vicks Sinex Nighttime Liquicaps
  • Sprays like Afrin®

And they are most commonly used for colds, sinusitis, hay fever, allergies, and rhinitis. 


The main function of a decongestant is to reduce the stuffiness you feel in your nose.1,2 Decongestants work by narrowing blood vessels in the lining of the nose. This reduces the blood flow through the area. The swollen tissue inside the nose then shrinks and allows air to pass through more easily.


There is a direct connection between adrenaline and decongestants. Though adrenaline is not an ingredient in decongestants, the way the body responds to both are pretty much the same. In fact, adrenaline is a stimulant that causes an elevated pulse rate, a common side effect experienced with decongestants.3 This explains why you may find it difficult to sleep if you take a decongestant at night.


Nasal decongestants only relieve a stuffy nose, but FLONASE nasal sprays are different. FLONASE relieves a stuffy nose too, as well as sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, and itchy, watery eyes. In addition, FLONASE once-daily nasal sprays provide 24-hour relief, while some nasal decongestants must be taken multiple times a day.  

It is important to note that nasal decongestant sprays like Afrin® are not to be used for longer than 3 straight days as the label directs. FLONASE nasal sprays, on the other hand, can be used daily as directed for as long as you're exposed to allergens that bother you.

If you'd like to learn more about how FLONASE can efficiently and effectively treat your allergy symptoms, click here.

†FLONASE SENSIMIST is indicated for itchy, watery eyes in adults and children 12 years of age and older. See product pages for full information.

Mucinex® is a registered trademark of Reckitt Benckiser. 

Vicks Sinex™ Nighttime Liquicaps is a trademark of Procter & Gamble. 

Afrin® is a registered trademark of Bayer. 



1. MayoClinic. Allergy medications: Know your options. Accessed August 1, 2018. 

2. AAFA. Allergy Overview. Accessed August 1, 2018.

American Academy of Otolaryngology. Antihistamines, Decongestants, and 3. Cold Remedies. Accessed August 1, 2018.