Skip to main content

Nasal steroid allergy sprays like FLONASE are different from other types of nasal sprays, like Afrin®, which is only a decongestant. Not only do nasal steroid allergy sprays reduce the swelling in nasal passages, making it easier to breathe through your nose,1 but they also treat other symptoms, like itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. And before you think a nasal allergy spray will bulk up your nostrils, you can rest easy. FLONASE contains a glucocorticoid—a substance produced naturally by your body to help fight inflammation. A glucocorticoid is a kind of steroid that is different from the anabolic (muscle-building) steroids sometimes misused by athletes.


It’s important to know that nasal steroids sprays are safe to use for all adults. However, for children, make sure that you use one that’s approved for children age 2 or over.

Some common short-term and long-term side effects that may occur when using intranasal steroid sprays like FLONASE allergy relief nasal sprays, include:

  •  Burning
  •  Dryness
  •  Crusting
  •  Other irritation inside the nose

Other possible side effects of FLONASE include:

  • Occasional nosebleeds 
  • Nasal whistling
  • Headaches

Make sure you (or your child) uses the spray exactly as prescribed to avoid side effects.

If you experience symptoms while using our family of FLONASE products that resemble an allergic reaction such as rash, swelling of the face or tongue, wheezing, or feeling faint, stop using FLONASE and see a doctor. If you have questions or concerns about symptoms or trouble using the medication, it is best to call your doctor.  


To help prevent local side effects from FLONASE allergy relief nasal sprays, it's best to spray only the recommended number of sprays in each nostril and aim the nozzle toward the outer wall of the nostril. Be sure to blow your nose to clear the passageway and wash your hands before using FLONASE. To learn how you can get the most from your FLONASE products, refer to our How to Use guide to ensure you achieve the allergy relief you need.

Learn which FLONASE product is right for you:

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Nasal corticosteroid sprays Accessed August 9, 2019.