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Flonase nasal spray has become a very popular allergy treatment.

Corticosteroids (cortisone-like drugs such as prednisone) are very effective at easing irritation and inflammation in the upper respiratory tract (nose and lungs).

The problem with oral steroids, however, is that they come with a long list of side effects if they are used on a regular basis (cataracts, glaucoma, fluid retention, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, weakened bones, peptic ulcer, mood swings, etc.)

Ingredients in nasal sprays, however, are less likely to be absorbed into the body and cause such serious adverse reactions.

Flonase is prescribed for allergic symptoms such as runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing, nasal itching, and congestion.

Side Effects and Interactions

Nasal irritation and burning may sometimes accompany the use of Flonase.

Other side effects may include sneezing, sore throat, nosebleeds, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinusitis, nasal dryness, or unpleasant taste. Headache, dizziness, itching, wheezing, skin rash, and nausea have also been reported.

In rare cases patients using corticosteroid nasal sprays have noted ulceration of the nasal tissues and perforation of the septum (the cartilage between the nostrils).

Cataracts and glaucoma are quite uncommon but may represent signs of systemic absorption.

Prolonged use at higher than recommended doses can increase the risk of such side effects. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Special Precautions

Corticosteroid sprays are not supposed to be readily absorbed into the body.

Nevertheless, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (July 3, 1997) revealed that when asthma patients inhaled beclomethasone (found in Vanceril and Beclovent) for long periods of time, they experienced a substantial increase in cataract formation.

An article in JAMA (March 5, 1997) noted that high doses of inhaled steroids (taken for more than three months) increased the risk for glaucoma. This suggests that at least for corticosteroid asthma inhalers there is absorption of the drug into the body.

Although Flonase is very effective for relieving nasal allergy symptoms, care must be taken not to overuse this spray.

Exceeding the recommended dose could lead to systemic absorption and side effects such as cataracts, glaucoma, reduced growth in children, fluid retention, acne, menstrual changes, enlarged face, and suppression of the body's natural cortisol production.

People exposed to chicken pox or measles should contact a physician immediately. If the immune system is impaired (through excess corticosteroid exposure) these infections could become very serious.

Anyone with TB, herpes infection of the eye, or an untreated bacterial, fungal, or viral infection should probably not use any corticosteroid nasal spray unless specifically told to do so by a physician.

If someone uses corticosteroid nasal sprays for prolonged periods of time (more than several months) he should be seen by a physician so an examination of the nasal mucosa can be carried out.

There have been rare cases of nasal septum perforation (a hole between the two nostrils) when such products are used for a long time.

Cases of yeast infections (Candida albicans) can occur with repeated use of any corticosteroid spray. If such an infection arises in the nose it will likely require suspension of Flonase and appropriate antifungal therapy.

If symptoms persist or someone experiences nasal irritation or breathing problems such as wheezing, a physician should be notified promptly. In rare cases pressure within the eye has increased after exposure to nasal steroid sprays.

People with a risk of glaucoma should be periodically checked by an ophthalmologist.

A woman who may become pregnant should talk with a physician before using any corticosteroid nasal spray.

Taking the Medicine

The initial dose of Flonase is two sprays in each nostril once daily.

An alternate dosing schedule may be one spray in each nostril twice daily (e.g., once in the morning and once in the evening).

After symptom relief has been achieved (usually within a week or less) it may be possible to maintain adequate benefit from Flonase with just one spray in each nostril once daily.

Never exceed two sprays in each nostril per day.
Steroid nasal sprays do not relive symptoms immediately. It may take several days of regular use to experience benefit.

If symptom relief is not noted within a week a physician should be consulted.

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I am terrified. I went to the optometrist last month, and he said I may have low-pressure glaucoma. His tests weren't conclusive. A few weeks later, I heard an ad for fluticasone on TV that mentioned glaucoma as a side effect. This is the first time I had heard of this. I've been taking inhaled fluticasone since the early 1990s. Do you know if the damage is already done, or can I reverse it by stopping the medicine?

I used Flonase for 1 year, 2 sprays per night. I am 37 and was just told I have cataracts in both eyes. The optometrist was as surprised as I was that I would have this at this age, particularly because I am in really good health. I saw a commercial for Veramyst (has fluticasone) and it says cataracts are a possible side effect. I'm angry because I was never warned that the Flonase might cause this. I hope someone sues them.

I've been using Flucticasone for 3 years. During this time I have developed elevated blood pressure, cataracts, headaches, osteoporosis and anxiety. I'm livid that I was never informed about these side effects and had to research to become aware of them.

At age 44 I began using fluticasone (Flonase) intranasal spray for 2 years as prescribed and developed posterior subcapuslar cataracts in both eyes. My optometrist said it was the fastest growing cataract he had ever seen. I had to have cataract surgery in both eyes at age 46. I was on Nasonex for years prior to that with no problems. Both my allergist and my ophthalmologist said the Flonase caused the cataracts.

Fluticasone was recommended to me by my health insurance company! How can this be? It will cost them more money to treat the cataracts this stuff may cause. I'm not mad that I wasn't warned before I started using this. I'm disgusted by the system that allows this on the market at all.

I just had my eye exam last night and my Dr was so surprised that I have a cataract in my right eye! I am 45 - Flonase is the only med that I am taking that would cause such a thing he said!! I was not told this either when I started using it!! Crazy!!

I have used a CPAP breathing machine at night for sleep apnea since 2006. Since I use a nasal mask I have had a problem with my sinuses closing off around 3-4am and I cannot breathe through my nose and would have to remove the mask to get back to sleep. I was given NASONEX (worked perfectly) which my drug insurer recently stopped covering because of cost and the generic Fluticasone was the only spray that they would cover.

I cannot use over-the-counter med sprays because I also have Atrial Fibrillation with a heart pacemaker. According to my health insurer I will be able to replace my CPAP breathing mask in 3 weeks and will try to get a full-face mask so I will be able to breath through my mouth and not need the Fluticasone any longer. I sure don't need any other problems cropping up!

A month ago I was given Fluticasone Propionate nasal spray (50 mcg) for post-nasal drip. Within a week of once-a-day application my voice became hoarse, I developed conjunctivitis, sinusitus, so severe that it affected nerves in my upper molars, the result was severe and unbelievable pain.

Though I stopped taking Fluticasone immediately the horrible side effect lingers. I am now on antibiotics for the sinusitus and ibuprophen for pain. Before this episode I almost never take medication for minor ailments (I am in my 60s) and I find myself being managed by one form or another type of drugs. From now on I will start looking for more holistic and natural cure in future, and anything from pharmaceutical companies will be off my list!

TMW and LR:

Have them check your blood sugar with a H1c blood test. Early cataracts are a symptom of Type II diabetes. I, too, had an early cataract.... only found out recently my blood sugar was high. Blessings.

I have been taking 50 mcg Fluticasone Propionate (Flonase) for a few years on and off. I recently stopped (after a year of being on it... I missed a few doses and took it at different times... I am pretty terrible with medicine since I rarely have to take any) and the passed few days I have noticed a different kind of feeling. I feel as though I want to jump out of my skin.. Like I have all of this crazy energy but I cant let it out.. itchy throat, anxiety (panic) like no other, depression, dizziness/faintness, stomach nervousness.... Anyone ever have any of these problems after STOPPING a cortisteroid (flonase)?

I'm 55, and in excellent health. I have a yearly eye exam and always have had a clean bill of health. This year I went to my eye exam and was told I had cataracts in both eyes all of a sudden!

We looked at my health records and realized I started taking fluonase two years ago — it's the only regular medication I take. The optometrist told me that steroids often cause cataracts.

I'm just floored that I wasn't warned of this side effect.

I am a self-employed editor and web designer, and pay for my own health insurance. Now I can barely see the computer to do my work and have no idea how I could afford time off to recover from cataract surgery in both eyes.

Needless to say, I'm devastated. If I'd know that this would be the price I'd pay for less sniffling at night, I'd certainly have chosen to continue sniffling and just take a lot of sudafed.

I used fluticasone for 2 weeks, my doctor didn't inform me at all about cataract side effect. Now at age 42 had developed a cataract on the lens of my right eye, and the doctor was a physician assistant. The eye doctor told me I have 6 months before I go blind because the cataract is fast growing.


Doctors CAN NOT possibly inform you of all possible side effects, that's why the pharmacy is required to give you the patient education sheet when you get the perscription. It's amazing how many people don't read these things. People can not rely on their doctors for 100% of their health information. If doctors took the time to inform you of all the possible side effects your appointment would be more than 1 hour long and quadruple the price.

I use Flonase and it's been by far the best thing for my allergies.

I'm terrified. I've been on this stuff for about three, maybe four years now. It has been a blessing for my chronic allergies... I wish they would have told me I'm going to get cataracts and glaucoma before I started it. I would never have bothered... Eek.

Throwing it in the garbage now and hope it isn't too late. I'll have to schedule an eye doctor appointment asap to see what damage has been done...


I used Flonase for 6 wks so far. I have been happy to breathe thru my nose so well. I am 70 and I do not need to have "enty"(any) more problems! Good bye Flonase. Thanks folks in forum.You are a blessing.

I took fluticasone for 4 days and stopped because my tongue went numb and I lost some of my taste and smell. 4 days later I noticed my eyes were blurry. I had hope it was just dry eyes but it's not going away days later. I feel I can't process what I'm seeing and I cannot focus. It's very scary to think this drug may have messed me up forever. I'm going to an eye Dr. today in hopes this is just temporary. I wish I had read the fine print before taking this. What an ordeal it has been. I feel so worried I will never get back to normal. I had excellent eye sight, taste and smell.

I have just found out that the cataracts that I have had in both eyes may be the result of taking steroids. The only steroid that I have been taking on a regular basis is flonaise, during allergy season. I developed cataracts in both eyes while still in my 50s. Needless to say, I am not taking flonaise any more. There should be warnings on this bottle in a large font, as its consumption causes eye problems.

I have pretty severe seasonal allergies and have been using flonase for several years during the spring season. I was told by the druggist to rinse my mouth out by gargling after spraying it in my nose. I have had no problems with the product and have been able to breath through my nose at night instead of waking up several times a night because of dry mouth from mouth breathing or sneezing.

I do not use it during the day only at night and one spray per side along with a generic claritin. Only on really heavy pollen days have I ever used two squirts per side. It has been a blessing to be able to breathe and not have the severe symptoms I was accustom too.

I took flonase for a couple of days and have lost my sense of smell and taste! Does anyone out there know about this? I would appreciate any info you might have. Thanks

I recently took fluticasone nasal spray for 5 weeks. After a week I began severe mood swings... depression, crying, anger. I am generally a happy person. At 2 weeks I called my doctor, ENT, and a pharmacist and they all said there was no connection. Finally a different pharmacist told me it caused mood swings and I stopped taking it at once. I was immediately back to my old cheerful self. My instincts told me from the start that the medication was too strong and I felt uneasy about it. I plan to pay more attention to it vs. the medical profession in my future.

I just took my 13 yr. old daughter for a yearly eye exam and found out that she has high eye pressure in both eyes. We have zero family history of glaucoma and she has been on Veramyst. A friend who has glaucoma said that she was told not to use Veramyst or Flonase but to use instead Rhinocort instead since it does not raise pressure. My child has to go for more tests. Does anyone know if going off the nasal steroids will mean that her pressure will return to normal or will she now forever have glaucoma the rest of her life? I never would have let her take this medicine had I read everyone's comments.


The vast vast vast majority of people do not have any significant adverse rxn to flonase. Something tells me that these retinopathies everyone is talking about might have more to do with their diabetes than their seasonal allergy sprays.

It is more long term use of the steroid spray that contributes to cataracts - more specifically posterior subcapsular cataracts. Cataracts are not a retinopathy. Most people above responding are saying they are healthy and do not have diabetes. (diabetes can cause a retinopathy but that's not what we are talking about here).

My 10 year old son has been on fluticasone for 3 months. It was prescribed when his flovent (for asthma), wasn't helping his chronic cough. He was also prescribed a daily loratidine tablet. Cough is better.

We have noticed & had several friends & family comment our son's face appearing swollen. Really big cheeks. He has always been smaller than average (height & weight) for his age. That's why this seems associated with either the fluticasone spray or combo of all his meds.

Been on flovent for more than 3 years. Albuteral as needed for 10 years. Should we be concerned with his appearance of big cheeks & round face? Will he return to normal when he discontinues this med if it caused this effect? Thanks for help.

Did you have any withdrawal symptoms when you stopped using the Fluticasone?
If you only use it during allergy season, what happens when you stop?


I am 55 and have been taking Fluticasone nasal spray for 10-15 years year round (I live in California and something is always blooming). I was having vision problems, went to the ophthalmologist, and she discovered I have a posterior sub capsular cataract, which is the least common but affects vision the most.

It already had caused vision problems, which is why I went to the doctor. She kept asking if I'd taken steroids or had trauma to my eye, and then I recalled that this is a corticosteroid. As I am generally healthy, I was shocked and could not believe that I had a cataract. My type of cataract is most commonly caused by corticosteroids or injury or irradiation to the eye for a tumor. So really I have to conclude it was the Flonase. I will discuss with my internal medicine doctor and consider getting off it. Was it really worth it?

I'm 59 and my eye doctor told me it is NATURAL for people in their 50s to have the beginnings of cataracts. It's the natural aging of our bodies. Sounds to me like everyone is panicking over something that is not really the problem of the medicine. Before you ditch your medication speak with your doctor. I appreciate the comments I am reading but am well aware everyone is NOT medically educated to prescribe or give advice. I think reading these comments is just scaring people more than doing any good. Read the information contained with your medication and then ask your doctor questions. That is the best way to decide what to do. ALL medications have forms of side effects but that doesn't mean you are experiencing them all.

All I know is that my 13 year old daughter's eye pressure came down after being OFF Veramyst for two months.

I have been on flonase since the early 90's for my allergy symptoms and just had an eye exam pressures are all normal although he said I do have a few "floaters" (which I don't see) these are very common as you age and the fluid in your eye changes with age. Flonase has not been an issue for me and really helped my allergy symptoms. Did I say that I will be 60 in September.

I think we need to address this on an individual basis, what about family history etc. Also I work for an allergist, don't just stop your meds, talk to you doctor and between the two of you find what is right for you, there are lots of other things out there to take to help make you comfortable but talk to your doctor first, he or she reads all the latest info and will know what can work best for your symptoms and your body.

I am 59 and went to the eye doctor on Wednesday and was told that I had the beginning of cataracts in both eyes. I was alarmed and read up of what causes cataracts. When I read that steroids can cause them, I remembered that fluticasone propionate was a steroid.

I have been taking this on and off for several years. Now I am so disturbed that I had not been warned about the side effects! I would never had risked it if I had been told. I never read it in the info when I got the medicine. I guess I didn't read carefully!

I was wondering if your daughter is much better and returned to normal health? I hope that she is well and stays off the nasal sprays. I am still having issues with Flonase generic after a month and hoping they will eventually taper off. Wishing you & your daughter good thoughts and good health.

I am 54 and recently took Fluticasone Nasal spray for 5 days. I noticed yesterday that I was very down and depressed. I went to bed after work and woke up hoping I would feel better. When I got to work that morning I just sat at my desk and cried for
a long while - wondering the whole time what I was so upset about. Yesterday was the 5th day on the medicine. So here I am doing research on the computer and I found out my suspicions were correct this medicine can cause severe mood swings and depression.

That is it this stuff is going in the trash.

I was put on Fluticasone propionate just to see if it was going to help with something that "seemed" like allergy. Apparently, it was a better and more accurate way to find out rather than do some testing.

I was on it for only a week, it felt like I was shooting gasoline up my nose--so I stopped taking it. A couple of weeks later I went to get my eye glass prescription renewed and was told my eye pressure was elevated and therefore I need to be monitored. Today, I go to the doctor that had prescribed Fluticasone propionate and she tells me the very medicine could have been responsible! I had asked her when she was prescribing it to me if there were any side effects. She said no, only some people experience bleeding from their nose. I am also pretty furious! I mean, who prescribes medicine that leads to blindness?!!!!!!!!!!

The most common cause of cataracts is years of sun exposure- Starting when you're young. Smoking can lead to early cataracts. It's possible the medicine may have sped up the condition, but as others have stated, cataracts usually begin in your 50s... And, is a normal part of aging. Cataracts are easily treatable with surgery. Don't distress, talk to your doctor, switch to a different medicine if it concerns you.

I have been on Flonase/fluticasone since 1997. I have had 5 sinus surgeries for infections. I want to stop the medication. 15 years of use can not be good. Has anyone talked to their Dr. about stoppping the use?

I was diagnosed with rhinology. I had been using fluticasone for 5 years. I took 2 sprays each nostril every morning. Over the years my sense of smell and taste had been slowly decreasing off and on. At this point I can hardly taste my food. I have been seeing ENT specialists. They have examined my nose and throat and have found no polyps nor inflammation. Since I did not have any trauma to my head nor did I experience any serious head cold they have no answer for me. It appears that my sense of smell and taste, most likely, will be permanent.

I generally only read the first page on the information sheet. This time I read the complete 4 pages. On page 3, in small print was that a long term use of this medication could lead to a permanent loss of taste and smell. I am really upset that this side effect was not in larger print. I would have stopped taking this medication the first time I had experienced the symptoms.

I'm sure you were given the info on the meds when you got the prescription filled. I hate this because I absolutely love my flonase. My entire family has been on this for years. I guess we will try to taper off and just use when absolutely necessary. ugh!! I'm a nurse and I hardly ever read the med info given to me because it's like an entire book.

38 yrs old, California, USA. I've been using Flonase for seasonal allergies (only May-June) for at least 10 years, and have never noticed any side effects. However, recently, I've noticed that, when not on Flonase, I tend to wake up with excess mucous and a hoarse voice, very annoying. I start using it again, voice goes back to normal. I'm not sick, and my eyesight it fine and I have not noticed any loss of taste/smell or mood swings.

My husband, who is 59 years old and diabetic, had cataract surgery several months ago. When he first visited the eye surgeon, she told him he had glaucoma and, although the elevation of his intraocular pressure was not extreme, postponed the cataract surgery and prescribed a couple of eye drops to reduce the pressure. When she thought the glaucoma was under control, he had the surgery. His vision remained poor afterward. At a post-op exam, the surgeon noticed the posterior lens capsule was clouded, so he had laser surgery for that. At his second exam following the second surgery, when his retina was finally visible through the lens, his eye surgeon discovered retinal damage of a type that is caused by glaucoma.

He has since had a shunt implanted in his eye to bypass the eye's own drainage system (trabecular meshwork) if the intraocular pressure becomes too high; that was an invasive procedure from which he took months to recover. His second eye surgeon told him the high stress of his job might be responsible for his developing glaucoma or for its rapid progression; he quit work rather than risk losing any more of his vision.

Recently he heard on a television ad for Flonase that its use is associated with the development of glaucoma. He'd used the spray for only about three months, stopping because it irritated mucous membranes of his nose and sinuses. He is convinced that it caused his glaucoma, which has cost him detail vision in his dominant eye. Is that likely?

I'm 29, never really been sick before and was diagnosed with sinusitis 2 weeks ago. I was given an oral antibiotic for 7-days and only had a few days of good health before my symptoms returned. This time around I was given a prescription for Flonase and instructed to take it for the next week in conjunction with sudafed to help the draining process. I'm on day 3 of the flonase and basically have no voice. Yesterday morning, 1 hour after taking my 2nd dosage in 2 days (must take daily dosages) I began to get hoarse and my voice got worse as the day progressed. I can barely speak today. Up until a few days ago I didn't have any issues with my voice, my throat or anything else that I could attribute this to.....

After reading so many of these personal stories, I'm worried that I may be experiencing a side effect to this steroid. I too like many of you was told that Flonase would not effect any other area of my body, and that my short-term use wouldn't really be a concern. Well.... I'm concerned.

Has anyone ever heard of this before??

I just want to say that years before I saw an ENT, I would lose ny voice, it seemed it was always around the same time of year. I think that was a result from a virus and a combo of post nasal drip. I have been on Fluticasone Propionate for just over a year now, never have lost my voice from taking it.

I am trying to find out if anyone has experienced major headaches from stopping it or cutting dosage in 1/2.

Thankfully I recently had me eyes examined and all seems normal. I will be consulting w/my allergist to find out what the side effects are when you stop the meds. It's difficult for me to say if my major headaches were from cutting the daily dose in 1/2 or if it is a result of the major sinus pressure I used to have before medication for the treatment of my severe allergies.

I've had severe upper respiratory allergies since college and have used various steroid nasal sprays, for at least 15 years. I've taken Flonase for the past several years. I recently decided to stop using my arsenal of allergy medicines because my husband is unemployed and we can no longer afford them. I have experienced no adverse reactions and, strangely, my allergies are much less severe than they had been.

I find using a neti pot to rinse my sinuses at night, then drinking a mug of hot herbal tea with honey and rum, helps to clear any mucus from my sinuses so I can sleep. (I cough for a while after lying down, but it subsides fairly quickly.) If the allergies return with the spring pollen I may have to resume some of my meds, but I'd prefer to avoid the steroid sprays. I had cataract surgery last summer at age 59; while I suspect the cause was my working with UV light for many years, I'd prefer to take no additional unnecessary risks with my vision.

Wow, I jumped on here just to see what this stuff was, I regret I didn't do it before letting my daughter take it. She is 8 and tonight was her 3rd dose of only 1 squirt a night. I'm tossing this stuff! Pays to do your homework!!

I was prescribed this medicine for fluid behind the eardrum and took it for three and a half weeks. I stopped taking it with the concurrence of my Dr. five days ago to see if the medicine was the cause of the elevated pulse rate and blood pressure. I wonder how long it stays in your system. I am feeling somewhat better. My only other medication is OTC claritin.

I just started Flonase and all of sudden my eyes and breathing have been acting up. What's up with this drug? I am discontinuing use and going back to regular 24 hr. Clarinex or Allegra D, or Zyrtec.

I used this for 3 weeks. Every time I spray my blood pressure goes up to 130/90 & 150-99 range. Once i stop with in 3-7 days gets down to 115/75-125-85 range.

Also I noticed longer I use this spray longer it takes to get thing normal. If I use for 10-15 days on regular basis it takes 5-7 days to clear from the system and if i use 2 days BP will go down with in 1 or 2 days.

Caused lot of anxiety due to elevated blood pressure and wasted a month time and considerable money to investigate the reasons for blood pressure spikes.

Hoping this information will help others.

I take Flonase for seasonal allergies. I have been doing this for about 7 years. I only need to take it Dec-Feb each year. I just stopped taking it a few days ago and I have had really bad headaches and feel very tired and almost flu like. Anyone else experience this? Should I ween off of it?

Question for People's Pharmacy:

How long does Flonase stay in the system? It is considered a Class C drug for pregnancy, and I want to know how long to wait.

I am sorry about your story. Did you get the cataracts removed yet?

I've been using Flonase for about two years and it's really helped my sinus congestion and headaches. However, in the last few months, I've had a problem with my sense of smell. I smell something like a food odor that no one else notices. I read in one website where a rare side effect of flonase can be an effect on your sense of smell. Has anyone else had this problem?

I use this and have never had any problems. It helps me immensely and if I didn't have it i would not be able to go 5min without wiping my nose. I am thankful for this fluticasone!!!!

I used fluticasone propionate for three doses and bagan experiencing a loos of taste, which got progressively worse after each dose. I have stopped the drug. Will this symptom go away??

I also noticed a loss of taste while taking Fluticasone for 3 weeks, but regained taste shortly after discontinuing the medicine.

When I took a week of steroids my only complaint was white tongue and my skin felt sensitive, you could scratch me softly and it felt painful, it took 4 days for it to get out of my system.

Been on it for 15 days, 2 sprays each nostril every morning.
And skin feels sensitive again my wife has cats and I've been bitten by fleas and boy do they hurt

I can taste but not like it used to be.
Swollen feeling of eyes and neck
Eyes look red
White tongue will not go away going to see the dentist tomorrow to help me get rid of it.
Sensitive skin
Scratchy voice

But I also have acid reflux so some symptoms might be because of my acid reflux.

no more sinus headaches
Can breath from both nostrils but later on the day I can only breath thru one.

Going to call my ent and ask if I can go to one spray a day on each nostril.

I started using the spray two weeks ago and after a few days I started to have a burning like a dirty ashtray in the house all the time. I thought it might be from a mother cat that had babies under our bump out gas fireplace. We used pet odor remover and candles but I was still smelling it. I wondered why no one else smelled it. I would smell it in church and in the store so you can imagine how frustrated I was getting.

My daughter asked me if I had started a new medicine and my husband said "She started using a spray up her nose due to sinus trouble" I had taken Flonase before and it hadn't bothered and I didn't read the paper that came with this generic spray and it said you could have alterations in smell or taste. I just hope and pray this doesn't stay with me from now on. It is very frustrating smelling an unpleasant odor all the time. I threw it away today and will never use anything but Saline solution in my nose again. Linda

Hey Omar, I had trouble with a cough, irritated eyes, nose and a strange bad smell most of the time!! I am hoping it will go away since I got rid of the medicine!!

Doctors had me take Flonase, along with Claritin, along with other meds, for potential post-nasal drip or possible acid reflux. They weren't sure. The only result was my blood pressure going from 118/70 to 144/90. After researching for myself, I've dropped all of the meds and I'm praying my bp comes back down. But I'm worried. Sri's post gives me hope.

I was on generic Flonase for 5 weeks, and though my allergy symptoms improved, I noticed I was getting a headache every evening and experiencing daily tiredness that I wasn't used to.

So I stopped cold turkey 2 days ago and I felt flu like and extremely tired today. I am assuming it is due to steroid halt. Hope I feel better soon. Oral steroids always make me feel terrible. I don't know why I thought squirting one up my nose would be any different.

Hi, I know your post is a few years old, but hoping you get this. My daughter, 11 was perscribed nasonex, she was on it only two months... no history of eye trouble, now diagnosed with pre glaucoma very high eye pressure both eyes, near sightedness also. I feel so guilty for allowing her to go on this, and so furious at the doctor who prescribed it without hesitation.

Did your daughters eye pressure go back down??? I have the same question you did... should I wait to see if it goes down or begin her on heavy drops to lower the pressure... or is the damage already done... And why is no body suing these pharma companies????

Hello Rachel, how high is the eye pressure? And how long has your daughter been off the medication? I was on Flonase only for 5 days and about a week after I had stopped my eye pressure was tested 22 and 24. It actually took me a couple of months to make that connection. I had no idea why it tested higher than usual until the very doctor that prescribed it said it was probably Flonase.

Anyway, most importantly, my eye pressure DID go down! I went for another test two months later and it was back to 17 for both eyes. Check with your doctor if it's safe to wait for a month or so to see if it goes down on it's own. Good luck!

though flonase has been of great relieve for me so far but I'm scared by its alleged negative effects. could the manufacturers be deceiving the public? can we get the manufacturers to respond please.

I was just prescribed this nasal spray for allergies and sinus infection and only been using it for 3 days.. No problems yet but reading all of this scares me and I think I will throw it away...

Thanks to all who have commented - it has been helpful to me. I'll attempt to contribute to the collective knowledge. I use 10mg of Quinapril daily for borderline blood pressure, and my blood pressure is well controlled. I started Fluticasone temporarily on July 4 to relieve airborne allergies, until injections could commence. I noticed this past week that I could hear my blood rushing in my left ear, and finally thought it might be caused by high blood pressure. That was the case and I took an extra 10mg of Quinapril last night and tonight. My pulse has been normal. I have ceased the Fluticasone and will monitor my BP this week, inform my ENT and personal physician, and then have my eyes checked for glaucoma when the BP is controlled.

My mother is a diabetic, she has been using a cortisone nasal spray for about a week. Her blood sugar got so high she was incoherent, her right eye is blood red and she has been tired, dizzy, weak. And has headaches. She even fell this morning while trying to go to the restroom, she was so weak she said her legs felt like jello. She's only 65 and all of this started when she started the spray. I have read that it raises blood sugar. Is this true? Could this spray be causing all of these issues?

I am on my second bottle of Flonase and I love being able to breathe clearly but I've noticed a weight gain -- especially over the last few weeks -- with no change or additions to my diet. As well, I now sometimes have headaches (which I rarely had in my 56 years of life). Hoping it's not from the Flonase but I think I'll stop for a few months and see if these things clear up.

What I don't understand is this: If we use the nose as passage for other medications and vaccinations, this means that those medications are being successfully absorbed through the mucous membranes of the nasal passages, right? Why then, are corticosteroid sprays "not readily absorbed into the body?"

Peoples Pharmacy response: Aha, great question. We suspect that they are absorbed, and that systemic side effects may be more common than most physicians and pharmacists realize.

I am so glad I found this site. My blood pressure has been spiking. It occurred to me to research the Fluticasone (Claritin too. Apparently people with HBP should not take Claritin-D). Good thing I checked. Some days I used 2 sprays per nostril twice daily, when it should be only once! I will stop and see what happens. Thanks for sharing.

I was prescribed fluticasone propionate 50 mcj for polyps in my nose. I also take xyzal for allergies. I've been taking this for a few months now but have been recently getting bad headaches and pressure in the front of my head and also I have trouble sleeping which is why I'm writing this at 3:30 in the morning. At first I thought I may need to get my eyes checked since it's been awhile, which I have an appointment set up now, but the only thing I've been taking differently is this stuff. I'm going to stop taking this in hope of relieving my headaches because I rarely get them. I'll keep you informed of my progress.

I've been getting bad headaches and I think it's fluticasone propionate. I also have flu like symptoms now but I really think it's this stuff.I'm stopping this medication now and hopefully it goes away. I also have an eye exam scheduled. Hope your symptoms are gone now.

Im going through the same thing now.I'm stopping as of today. Hopefully my headaches go away soon. Did yours go away? If so how long did it take?

My blood pressure became well controlled a few days after stopping Fluticasone. I had my vision checked this week and have no glaucoma problem, so I seem to have no lasting problems.

After taking Fluticasone for a few months in my left nostril, I developed consistent nasal sores in my left nostril alone. My doctor admitted that the spray caused such problems in some patients and phoned in another prescription. But on Googling that one, I was appalled at its dangerous side effects. Each of us should research meds and not count on anyone else to look into their complications.

Thank you for helping me realize Flonase was the problem. I started using Flonase six months ago. About a month into using it I got tons of floaters. My eyes were fine saw the opthomologist four times. I had vertous separation in both eyes. After that I noticed a constant pain in the back of my head, not a headache. Then I had two nose bleeds. I went to the doctor and my blood pressure was really high. He increased my losartin to 50 mg. I got home took one and took my blood pressure an hour later. 204/113. I went to ER. They said I have a high sensitivity to this type of medication and I have a nasal sore.

I should have known, I cannot take Advair or any other like medication. I am allergic to many medications. I took myself off the medication and will talk to my doctor. Flonase was a miracle drug. No asthma attack in six months. I guess this miracle drug has too high of a price for me to pay.

The average number of years diabetes goes undiagnosed is EIGHT years.

PEople's Pharmacy response: This study from the VA suggests that 4 years is not too unusual, and that the delay is not usually the patient's fault.

I took flonase for 10 days in conjunction with amoxicillan for sinus pressure and a middle ear infection per doctor's orders. I have yet to quit feeling dizzy or tired, and I can barely see as I type, not to mention numb finger tips, weight loss (30 lbs in 2 months). I went to my doctor about this and all she wants to do is wait it out a couple weeks while the blood test results come back. I'm not saying I don't have other health problems, but they have yet to be diagnosed, and it is odd that this started shortly after I moved from the midwest to the southeast and started taking flonase. Does anyone know how long these side effects will stay with a person? I have been off it for at least 2 weeks now.

That is good news.


I was on Flonase for six months. I have been off of it three weeks and still am having issues. I have floaters in my eyes, stiff neck with knots in it and flashing lights in my eyes. I have been to an ophthalmologist and my eyes are fine. My doctor said I should have no side effects, but he is wrong. All of this started after I started Flonase. The only thing that is normal again is my blood pressure.
I refuse to take any more drugs unless it is medically necessary to keep me alive.
I don't know if this helped but personally I believe it will be months to be normal again.

I began Flonase a week ago. Within 4 days it cleared my sinus congestion while simultaneously completely eliminating my senses of taste and smell. I've never had any problems with taste or smell prior to using flonase. It's trading one aggravation for two others, and it's NOT worth it! I can only hope to regain losses. Blessings to you all.

Been using Flonase for years... never told about side effects to watch for. I have dry eyes which I use Restasis for, have started to develop cataracts, have macular degeneration in one eye, have high blood pressure which I take Lisinopril for, yeast infection, have pretty much lost the ability to taste sweets, headaches... but the Flonase works great on my allergies. I have mentioned all of the above to various doctors and never had one even mention the possibility that Flonase might be responsible. Oh, and my insurance company very generously pays for the Lisinipril, Restasis,...

I went to the doctor asking for allergy shots for my severe seasonal reaction to ragweed. For some reason, he brushed that off and wrote me a prescription for Veramyst. As he was checking my record, he said that I'd been prescribed this years earlier. Looking back, I quickly quit using it after an allergist gave it to me. It had side effects but couldn't remember exactly what they were.

I decided to give it another shot. Over a month or two, I only used the Veramyst about 10 times or so. And my nose would burn every time. I haven't used it again for weeks, but it seems like I'm smelling something that isn't there -- a sickly sweet, trashy, chemically smell. I've moved everything away from my desk, everything that it could possibly be, but it's always there. More in my left, sore nostril than the right.

My nasal passage on that side has been hurting more and more, and I don't know why. My vision has been not so great since I went past 40 years of age, but for the past couple of months, everything is way blurrier. Is it the Fluticasone or not? I would bet it is and I will never let it near my nose again. I'm going to set up an eye doctor appointment next and am considering going back to have my nose examined. This mystery smell is driving me nuts -- windows closed or open. I hope this goes back to normal. It's awful.

Jd after using any corticosteroid I I end up in ER and like you I learned the hard way. I just read it causes high blood pressure, glaucoma and some other things. I have been off Flonase for almost two months and all kinds of things keep popping up. After using it for six months it has caused me to have head pain and aggravate things that have never bothered me. It sounds like you need to see a doctor. I hate how they insist you cannot have a bad reaction to corticosteroids. Question everything you put in your mouth. Good luck.

This stuff is BAD NEWS!!!!!! I know its hard to explain some of my symptoms when your comparing being sick to a reaction to a drug that supposed to help you.

The doctors know what the hell the side effects are, and then you go to ask them, they act as though you're an idiot for asking and they try to single you out like your the only one on the planet with any problems with the drug, as they sit on 5000 pages of adverse side effects listed from their in house study of the crap they sell to you.
All I can say is shame on them, they are no better than a thief in the night robbing you of your eyesight and other senses!

I've been on Flonase for several years now with no issues. When my allergies are really bad, it's not quite enough and I have to support it with something else - but most of the time, it's great. I also have several friends who currently use it or have used it with no issues. I understand being cautious, but don't let some anecdotes keep you from relief. I would definitely suggest giving it a try.

I have been taking fluticasone nasal spray for three months, it cleared my nose, I am able to breathe, however for the last month my high blood pressure has been high, I have a lots of headaches, my face was swelled, anxiety stress, lock of energy, as of today I have stopped taking it.

It has taken me well over a month to get rid of the side effects. It works great but I am severly allergic to corticosteroids. You will be happier without it.

Plz reply what is gonna happen my doctor told me to squirt it to the side. At night I accidentally squirted it up my nose reply as fast as you can

The more serious, long-term side effects occur after you've used Flonase for months or years. Despite the many testimonies above, only a minority of users develop glaucoma or cataracts. Pharmaceutical companies exist to make profits, not to better people's health; they consider lawsuits, even for wrongful death, simply a cost of doing business. Except for not-for-profits, insurance companies also exist to make money. Insurance companies will cover (or charge the lowest co-payment for) the drug in a given class for which they've contracted to pay the pharmaceutical company the lowest price (or for which they get the highest kickback?); they know they'll pay out less for the relatively few cataract and glaucoma treatments than for a higher-priced drug used by millions of subscribers. The FDA is advised by boards whose members are in the pocket of the manufacturers, so It's "buyer beware" when it comes to drugs and medical devices.

I used Fluticasone for 3 or 4 days a year ago for sinus infection... I couldn't stand the way it made my nose feel (pressure) and it made me hoarse.

It's a year later, and I still have trouble with sinus pressure... especially that weird pressure feeling in my nose. Even with that initial sinus infection, that weird feeling in my nose only began with that nasal spray. It may not be rational, but I will never touch the stuff again.

Hey I've had all those symptoms and more. Are you still having those problems?

After about four months everything is better but I still have a weird feeling in my sinus, and some head pain, I had neither before Flonase.

I just used a new bottle of fluticasone (Flonase) for the first time, one spray each nostril. For maybe 20 seconds, my face and ear went numb. It was more on one side, and I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Then it subsided. It has to be the Flonase. Done with that for sure.

Been taking Fluticasone for 3 months. I admit to missing some dosages, and in the last week I have made sure not to miss, however the Fluticasone has started to spike my blood sugar. I saw an allergy doctor, and he said I should be aware that any steroid will raise your blood pressure and blood sugar. I wonder why my general practitioner did not tell me.

My son is 8 years old, was put on Flonase about a year ago, every day. He has history of asthma and sinus infections and croup when he was a baby. Summer of 2013 he started having stomach issues, which resulted in an inpatient admission at the hospital this past November. And a subsequent barium enema and a motility (Sitz marker) test.

On 12/26/13 we did a complete bowel prep and on 12/27/13 he had a full upper and lower endoscopy done with 20 biopsies. They were ruling out H. Pylori infection or Celiac disease, because his duodenal bulb (opening to small intestine) was so inflamed, irritated etc. Biopsies came back negative, he hasn't been on any NSAID's or aspirin or ibuprofen, which his GI doctor (at our children's hospital) said can cause it.

She prescribed two drugs to treat him for stomach ulcer, and when I got them from the pharmacy I was scared to give to him because the side effects are horrible. My whole family including myself is allergic/sensitive to many medications. The doctor still wasn't sure what the problem is but after doing a lot of research I found that corticosteroids can cause peptic ulcer, which is what he is in early stages of. Peptic ulcers can be in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

After reading this, there is no doubt in my mind he absorbed the flonase systemically and is caused this problem. He would also complain of a weird smell that I could never smell and thought it was just his imagination. I have discontinued the flonase and now I read every paper from the pharmacy regarding new prescriptions.

I am sorry for the people on here who also had problems with this medication. My dad is a stroke person who had cataracts removed (unrelated to this) but I know how awful they were for him. I just hope my son's eye pressure is okay on top of everything else. I guess my next call will be to the eye doctor. Please watch out for ulcers/inflammation if you take this drug!!! Thanks for reading.

I feel sorry for your son. My eye pressure is good but have tons of floaters and I believe the corticosteriods are part of the problem. I have a high sensitivity to them.

I was prescribed Fluticasone (Flonase) for deviated septum that caused extreme stuffiness at night when trying to sleep. I took this medicine for almost 2 years and sleep much better. However, after my shower this morning, I blew my nose like I do every morning, except this morning, my nose started to bleed and the flow was like a faucet that I couldn't turn off. No matter how long I pinched my nostrils shut, the flow wouldn't stop.

It was so severe I began choking on the bleeding and had my husband take me immediately to the Emergency Room. It took about an hour for the ER to slow the bleeding long enough so the Dr. could cauterize the bleeding. Once the Dr. found out I had been taking this spray for this long, he advised me to stop taking it and see a different ear nose & throat doctor within a couple days.

His opinion was that no one should be on this medication for this long without being monitored. I haven't seen my ENT Dr. since he prescribed it and whenever the prescription came up for renewal, he renewed it and never told me I had to come back again in 6 months. But I must take a lot of responsibility for this happening because I didn't check into the long term side effects. If you are taking this nasal spray, please be very very careful, do your homework and be sure you are being monitored on a regular basis.

I started using Fluticasone (flonase) about 3 months ago and have decided to stop since I read the above comments, especially the last one Jan, 15 2014. It is true regarding the dizziness, still coughing and all the above. I have never had a nose bleed, but last night the same thing happen to me as stated above. Bleeding from the nose and mouth, like a faucet. (I was so frightened). My neighbor told me to apply ice to the bridge of my nose, tilt my head forward just a little and pinch my nose. After about 10 minutes it stopped and this morning no bleeding. So that is it for me. I will go back to my Ocean Spray...

I was prescribed this spray last Wednesday by my doctor and only used it three times, once in each nostril and only once a day. I developed very tight chest pains a few hours later, which made it very difficult to breathe after the second day, so I stopped on Friday. The chest pains still come in waves, which normally start about 3pm and last until late evening.

I have also developed blurry vision as well, which some people have mentioned. I am never taking this spray again, but does anyone know how long it takes for the steroid to completely leave the system and should I go back to my GP? Is there anything I can take to counter act this?

I took fluticasone for about a month and one morning, I woke up and had no sense of smell or taste. I immediately stopped taking it as I read that that was a possible side effect. I have not used this drug for a couple weeks and my senses has yet to return. Does anyone know if this might be permanent or will it come back? Any feedback would help me very much.

I have permanent eye floaters from it after nine months.

I am one of those "rare" people who developed septal perforation. I can no longer use Flonase to treat seasonal allergy symptoms, and must have a surgical procedure to place a silicone "button' in my septum to close the hole. NOT HAPPY. Use Flonase carefully!

I started fluticasone spray (flonase)last week. 2 sprays a day. I am sad, angry, have a headache and still can't breath. My eyes feel like they have sand in them. There are more symptoms. I visit the Dr. tomorrow. I feel better that I am not the only one that feels this way. It is not in our imagination. I hope none of this is permanent. The stuffiness, nose bleeds are one thing. The emotional roller coaster the last 4 days have been terrifying.

I began using Flonase 2/25/14 and saw an eye doc for a yearly exam on 2/28/14. I was told I have enlarged optic nerves. Anyone had experience with that after starting flonase? I see a lot of glaucoma and cataract stuff but wondered if anyone had heard of this? I've been seeing floaters as well. No history of diabetes here. I've had lots of headaches which I never have. Had a CT scan of the sinuses showing chronic sinusitis of the Maxillary sinuses and the thought was the inflammation caused pressure which caused headaches but the ENT wasn't sold on that. Going to see a Neurologist in two weeks. Just wanted to write in and see if anyone had a similar experience. Also, how long before quitting Flonase did you see improvement in any side effects?

My doctor prescribed Flonase to me five months ago. I have been having various medical problems that I now believe are related to taking the steroid. I've had weird infections that my doctor never said could be caused by a suppressed immune system by taking this medicine. I have been having mood swings that was affecting my work and my doctor put me on anti-depression medication never indicating that a steroid might cause this symptom.

Last week I had eye pressure then my eye went foggy, blurry, and I had bright flashes with black spider webs to look through. I went to an Ophthalmologist who said the vitreous (jell) had pulled away from the retina. Many problems with my eye now and my other eye has started hurting. My Ophthalmologist said there is nothing I can do except no heavy lifting, jumping or exercise. Surgery for eye repair may be in my future.

I have thrown my Flonase away and I'm sorry I ever decided to use it. All of these problem started after starting this medicine. No doctor has said Flonase is the cause but I'm discontinuing use and hope for healing.

You are correct, in everything that you have said! I wish that, you could have gone into detail ....about the side effects that, you have had to deal with.

I too am hyper sensitive to steroids. It has caused high blood pressure that was so extreme, I stayed over night in the hospital. I have tons of eye floaters and the Opthomologist said my floaters are not caused by an eye problem. It also made me want to jump out of my skin for weeks after I quit using it.

I am healthier but I cannot take prednisone, Advair etc, they are all steroids. Doctors sometimes don't recognize a sensitivity to medication and give too high a dose. Sorry for your problems. I hate my eye floaters and flashes of light which is usually old age but mine started after Flonase.

I have lost my sense of smell and taste as well. Just started looking into it. I will stop using it now. Does anybody know if this is a permanent situation?

Hello again. I left a post a few months ago about losing my sense of smell and taste due to using fluticasone. I was very worried that I would never taste my favorite foods and drinks again. I am very happy to say that after a few months (what felt like a lifetime) I am starting to taste things again.

It started out with very strong foods such as very spicy/hot foods or very sweet foods, then moved to bitter foods and then salty foods. I am not 100% yet but I am so thankful to be where I am now. I would imagine that I only have a few months to go before I am back to "normal". Everyone out there in my shoes I can only say "be patient". " it will happen." Best of luck to those out there at their wits ends, hang in there please!

I was taking Fluticasone for about 3 years and it did help relieve the inflammation I have. When I picked up my prescription for the first time I remember the pharmacist telling me that I could use this every day for the rest of my life and not have any problems. Therefor, I used it without reading up on it...big mistake. I started experiencing a very dry throat. So bad that I would choke on my words as I was talking. At night I wake up about every hour and have to drink water or else I just cough and cough. I stopped taking the med when I noticed all of this but it has been about 9 months and I still have these symptoms...more so in colder air. I am hoping this will go away. Has anyone experienced this? I am wondering if I should sue the pharmacist or Fluticasone? I am not one to do that normally but this is effecting my every day life terribly. I can't sleep so it causes all the problems that are associated with a lack of sleep. Would love some feedback.

I have noticed unusual symptoms with using Flonase. Headache mainly and a sense of panic and anxiety. It hasn't helped my congestion so I am going to stop using it and especially so after reading this site. I have also noticed difficulty breathing with this medicine.

I hope that you are feeling better. This sounds like the same thing that has happened to me.

Does anyone know of any natural alternatives?

Two and a half years ago I was prescribed fluticasone for a severe sinus infection. After three days of use my sense of smell was completely gone, though oddly me sense of taste was intact. I ceased use of the drug immediately.

Gradually my sense of smell began to return, though it was a slow - and weird - process. Certain aspects of a smell might come through; for example, a skunk could be in the neighborhood, and I could smell some components of the odor but not all. Another example, I began to be able to tell that something was cooking, but could not tell what it was.

Smells would also occasionally get 'stuck'. I'd get a whiff of something, and then I'd smell it all day long. Often it was a false odor int he first place, as if my olfactory nerve was firing at random.

Now, 2.5 years later, I estimate my sense of smell at perhaps 70% (it's a remarkably hard thing to gauge). Some things I simply cannot smell, such as natural gas from the stove, others come through faintly, or I get only part of the smell. There are few things that I can smell fully.

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