The People's Perspective on Medicine



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 of Flonase

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 of Using Flonase

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I was told to take Flonase by an urgent care doctor due to my allergies. Had never taken it before. I have been using it for 3 months and for 3 months I have experienced hair loss. Just never connected the dots that it was the Flonase. Will stop it immediately.

Caused weight gain for me. Doctor will denied it. I gained 40 lbs, then after stopping flonase gradually lost 35 lbs.

Dr. recommended Flonase for my seasonal allergies about 2 years ago. I used the SensiMist (one spray in each) since I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to meds and I try hard to avoid steroids. It certainly helped….BUT it was also the genesis of so many problems. I take levothoroxine, and my levels began fluctuating. Last fall I had an episode of anxiety and confusion after a particularly tiring weekend. It was so bad my husband took me to ER. Everything checked out fine.

Began experiencing dry mouth and my sense of taste and smell were less acute. Thought it was related to new tooth whitening regimen so stopped that. Worsening thyroid issues. I developed painful cracks in the corners of my mouth. I stopped the Flonase about 3 weeks ago when the dry mouth became unbearable. Now I have candida in my mouth that is proving stubborn to treat….on an oral antifungal and magic mouthwash. My tongue, inner lips, and cheeks are raw and unbelievably sensitive. Eating is painful and unpleasant. Any acid sends me through the roof. I’ve lost 20 lbs. My lips peel constantly even using Aquaphor constantly. My sense of taste is minimal. After 3 weeks my thyroid meds need readjusting again. All this has really played with my wellbeing, always being quite healthy.

I don’t think these reactions are as rare as they are portrayed. I’m back to being a minimalist. Good luck to all dealing with this. Some are seeing great improvement after getting off Flonase so that gives me hope. Thank you to Peoples Pharmacy for all that you do and for this forum which allows us to regain some sanity dealing with things such as these.

Flosnase gave me a 2 month long Vaginal yeast infection

I’ve been on Flonase for six months and my right arm starting going numb. Then lower back pain set in, numbness down my right leg and foot, pins and needles in hands. I’ve had an MRI in the last few years and I know it’s not onset of MS. I’ve read that this might be some of the rarer side effects from Flonase, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and stopping use today. I had no idea there were so many side effects for this drug!

I was on flonase and allegra d for decades and then when I was 50, I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes! My doctor told me I was her youngest patient. To this day I blame it on the flonase. I stopped it for at least a decade and started up again when I started getting side effects from allegra D. Well I have been using the flonase for less than a year again and the headaches are unbearable. I already suffer from wide spread osteoarthritis especially in my neck. I suffer from chronic migraines triggered by the weather and my osteoarthritis. But now the headaches are everyday with no weather changes and my neck hurts all the time. The last time I stopped the flonase, about a month ago, the headaches stopped. I am stopping it again because I cannot take living like this. It also keeps my blood pressure around 140/145 over 80 which is kind of off for me at age 68. My 30 year old son also stopped taking flonase when he was much younger because of headaches. I am done with flonase and will try and find an alternative for my allergies.

Ive been taking flonase and antibiotics for about 4 days now. I went to an urgent care center and the doctor said i had strep. I got a shot in each hip and he prescribed me with antibiotics and flonase. Ive never used a nasal spray before and ive taken antibiotics many times and had the same shots many times. I have never felt like i do now. My symptoms have included anxiety, racing heart, general weakness, sore throat, acid-reflux and burning lungs…. my nose is clear though I now have more problems than I did before i went to the doctor…

Oh… and bloating of the stomach as well as constantly tasting flonase.

DO NOT USE FLONASE!! I had a very frightening side effect from this dangerous drug. I have a bad cold, and my doctor recommended I use Flonase. I accidentally purchased the ‘child’ version instead of the adult version. I used the spray twice. The night I used the spray for the second time I was awakened by an extremely forceful burning sensation rising from my chest and lung area. My throat was burning. I was coughing. I could not catch my breath. I was wheezing. I vomited. I had crackling sounds coming from my lungs on exhalation, a severe headache and sore throat.

The next day my throat was swollen, felt burnt, and the tissue inside my throat was different, as though it had been singed by the experience. This was the ‘child’ dosage!! I had never experienced anything remotely similar to this violent reaction in my life. Obviously, I did not use Flonase again and every one of those nasty symptoms has disappeared!! I use very few ‘drugs,’ especially OTC drugs and will seek more natural approaches to treat my symptoms in the future.

I still have this terrible cold, but the ‘treatment’ of the symptoms was so much worse than the symptoms. I will eat chicken soup, rest, and let time work its natural healing process.

I used Flonase for the first time 2 weeks ago. I used a squirt and a half in one nostril the evening of July 4th. When I woke the next morning I had some swelling under my eye & a dark circle. As the day progressed the dark circle became a full on black eye. I also had a severe burning that went from my nostril up around my eye with a eye piercing headache which lasted about a week. I still have loss of taste. Has anyone ever experienced any of these side effects?

Hello! I’ve taken flonase fovealmost a year. I noticed my skin thinning and my hair falling out. A high level was being absorbed systemically. This drug is so dangerous. Especially for those with endocrine disorders/diseases. Wish i wouldve found out sooner.

Did your hair grow back? I have the same problem and stopped Flonase a week ago.

After using Flonase for two weeks, my face broke out in severe acne and redness. It feels like my face is on fire. I have never in my life had acne. I stopped Flonase 2 days ago but the symptoms have not gotten any better. Hoping this will subside soon.

My adult daughter and I have both been experiencing significant hair loss. We stopped using Flonase about a week ago. I hope we see some improvement soon.

I am amazed to hear about weak muscles in legs…I have been on flonase about a year or so. I have developed aching calf muscles and a feeling of anxiety associated with a feeling of not being able to breathe after I use the spray sometimes. Lately heartburn and nausea and a burning tongue have been driving me crazy. How do I stop? Can I just stop suddenly?
I did not want to use this.The doctor sort of pushed me into it.

I have been taking Flonase for fifteen years. I thought this was the wonder drug for my sinuses, little did I know thirteen years of yeast infections were caused by this. No doctor ever told me that this could be the cause of them. Many dollars were spent trying medications and exposing my lady parts to doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me! Testing up the wazoo and pure embarrassment. I quit Flonase five days ago and low and behold first day of quitting, no irritating itching and discharge. I think this company and the doctors need to educate themselves a bit more on this drug!!

I had no idea about this either…. I started Flonase with an antibiotic so I assumed the yeast infection was caused by that, but months later, it was persistent, no discharge but swollen intense itching. I stopped all soaps, detergent, perfumes, etc. with no relief. So, on a hunch I stopped the Flonase…. overnight, the symptoms improved! I’m pretty well informed, but I had no idea….

Flonase is the devil’s drug! I took it for two days and had heart palpitations, extreme anxiety, diarreah, and GI upset. I was so scared that I almost took myself to a psych ER. I also suspect it fatigued my adrenal gland, as I began to have trouble with hypoglycemia shortly after. If you’ve had a bad reaction, please inform the FDA soon–I did! It is frightening that it is the first line of defense in seasonal allergies…

I have been having a bout of palpitations anxiety high blood pressure and chest discomfort every spring for 4 years. 2 times it sent me to the ER. I am pretty sure I have figured it out to be caused by this nasal allergy spray! Devil drug for sure

My son took this for years along with topical steroids for eczema. He is now 15months into topical steroid withdrawal. He is off of all steroids & will hopefully never have to use them again (unless life saving) or he could through all of this again. It is horrible! Please read ITSAN.ORG if you think you may be addicted to TS or any other steroid.

Steroids are sooo dangerous!
My young nephew is in his 14th month of withdrawal from topical steroids for eczema. Check out website for red face syndrome or ITSAN.

I took Fluticasone about 10 years ago and after two weeks of taking it I noticed changes in my peripheral vision and light flashes and eventually eye floaters in both of my eyes. Problem with peripheral vision and light flashes disapeared but the eye floaters stayed as a reminder of using nasal corticosteroids.

I took a steroid nasal spray for about 2 years. It thinned the membranes in my nasal cavity, and I contracted a severe infection in the bone in my nose. These sprays should not be used long-term, they can cause lots of problems.

I’ve only been taking Flonase for about 6 weeks now. I noticed calf stiffness and increased anxiety but didn’t connect that to the drug until reading some of these posts. About 2 weeks ago I noticed a floater in my right eye. Within the last 2 weeks both eyes developed spider web floaters and they seem to be increasing. I’ve had some eye pain and flashing halo of lights. I’ve been to an ophthalmologist twice so far and told him what I was taking but he never mentioned that Flonase could be the cause. I’m thankful for these posts. I’m stopping it immediately. I can deal with the sinus issues but not loss of sight!

I took it for awhile years and years ago when it first came on the market and it seemed to help with seasonal allergies. I stopped due to cost. Last week I saw an ENT after having a bit of difficulty swallowing. Got diagnosed with rhinitis and prescribed Flonase to help with mucus in my throat which is, according to the doctor who saw me, a symptom of silent GERD/acid reflux. Perhaps, but I’ve never had problems with acid reflux before and after using the Flonase I’m now burping a lot and having bouts of nausea and uncontrollable vomiting with no other reasonable explanation. It appears for me anyway, to be causing GERD/acid reflux, not helping with anything. Just threw it in the trash. Back to warm water and salt rinsing. It’s not great for allergies but it’s more natural.

I was so happy with no allergy issues for two months, but the loss of sense of taste and smell, the weight gain and the dramatic decline in vision just aren’t worth it. I hope my body will forgive me and heal –especially the vision problems are scary. Does anyone know of a supplement that might help fix problems caused by Flonase?

I have taken this and other corticosteroids for sinus issues and chronic allergy which remains undiagnosed. Unfortuantely after a week of taking the recommended dose of the nasal spray I usually become agitated, dizzy and chronically tired but unable to rest and relax. I have decided not to take these meds for any longer than 5 days maximum.

How many more people have lost their sense of smell after using fluticasone?
There is another forum where a number of people have posted about this.

Hi, I am responding to your question about loss of taste and smell after using fluticasone. I have taken “two snorts” (once a day) for 4 days now. After the first two snorts, I noticed a loss of taste and smell, but my congestion (nasal and chest) were worse, so I didn’t think too much about it… by day 3, the nasal congestion was improving. By day 4, I was feeling much better. HOWEVER, I cannot smell ANYTHING , and I can BARELY taste anything at all. My taste test included a variety of flavors…the ultimate being 1/2 teaspoon of chile de arbol salsa macha , which consists of HOT (15,000 – 30,000 scoville units) chile infused with oil. I chewed it in my mouth for about a minute before swallowing. I tasted no flavor and only about as much heat as Crystal or Taco Bell Hot sauce (not hot at all). Normally, I will not allow that much of the salsa to touch my tongue at once! This concerned me, so I started searching online….. I read that the longer you lose your sense of taste/smell (from flonase), the greater becomes your chance of not being able to recover your full range of senses (taste/smell). I read this in an online post/response conversation where the response was from an MD, and the patient had been using Flonase “longer term” (I don’t know how long) and still experienced significant loss of taste and smell after stopping the use of Flonase for over a year. Again, the MD stated that if the senses have not returned after a year of stopping the Flonase, it’s unlikely that additional improvement will be significant. Wishing you all a speedy recovery!

I have allergies and continuing sinus problems, and this has been going on for years. I was prescribed Flonase last week again. I’ve used it for a couple of years on and off. I started having blood pressure elevation, heart palpitations, and my last lab result has been elevated glucose levels, which I do not have usually. Also, I feel aggressive and angry for no good reason and snapped at a lady in the grocery store earlier today who had an attitude. Now, I’m a very nice person and this is uncharacteristic for me, that is why I googled Flonase side effects.I am glad for the comments on this website. I am going to check out alternative methods to helping my allergies and sinus problems without using these dangerous drugs. Thank you, People’s Pharmacy.

I was prescribed Flonase in February of this year and it is now May and I had to stop it. It is a very dangerous med. I have many friends that are nurses and I was informed that any type of steroid will increase blood pressure (which my blood pressure was fine) and also raise blood sugar level (which I do not have diabetes). I have heart palpitations and yes, my blood pressure raised and the itching of my entire body has been unbearable. Plus, I got a yeast infection. This medication should be reported to the FDA immediately and taken off the market. Doctors should also be away that just because a small majority do not get side effects, the fast majority do. I would rather tolerate my seasonal allergies than put up with this horrible nose spray. And by the way, my right nostril felt like the muscle would not stop throbbing. Please do not use Flonase or any other nasal spray with steroids. Hopefully the side effects will disappear. I will never understand how the FDA approved this monster med. Doctors should know better also.

Just curious, how did you get off Flonase? Did you taper off gradually or go cold-turkey. I’ve read that corticosteroids should be gradually reduced.

I am totally upset and should have remained with an old remedy. Steamed water, towel over the head and Vicks. Now that is what I call safe.

I’ve been using this off and on for about 3 years. Lately I’m having a lot of heart palpitations and extreme anxiety. Has anyone experienced this? Especially the heart palpitations?

Two days ago, I took one dose (2 sprays in each nostril) of Flonase, and then stopped. I found out the drug was a corticosteriod, and wanted no part of it. However, today I discovered I have almost no sense of smell. This is after only one dose. After reading all these comments where others have lost their sense of smell, I noted several people asked if the condition was permanent. No one has responded to their questions. Now I’m adding mine: Is it permanent?

I used Flonase for about a week and totally lost my sense of smell. It has been over a month since I quit using it and I have recovered less than 10% of my sense of smell. I am just discovering there are others like me. What is most disturbing is that most everyone who has had this side effect says it has been permanent.
I liked fine food and wine. I’m getting depressed about the whole thing. I would never have used Flonase if I knew there was any chance of loss of smell being a side effect. Loss of smell is not listed as a side effect on OTC Flonase, although I have read that it was listed as a side effect on the prescription Flonase.

I used Flonase for many years and have lost about 90% of my sense of smell and significant loss of taste. It’s been 6 yrs plus since I had sinus surgery in hopes of improving the sense but no luck. I stopped using Flonase last year. No doctor ever suggested my loss of smell was from using Flonase. And no doctor since had attributed my loss to Flonase. In retrospect I’m pretty certain Flonase was the cause.

I started taking Flonase a couple of weeks ago when an ENT doctor recommended it to help with a eustachian tube blockage. I am not sure if it has helped this problem, but I have realized that I am losing my sense of taste. I have decided to stop using the Flonase and hope that my sense of taste will return.

I had the the exact same problems. Plugged up ears caused by the tubes getting blocked. I too was recommended Flonase and have now lost sense of taste and some loss of smell.

I think I can smell a lawsuit though.

Took for about one week. Had all the s/e listed. Severe vomiting but no nose bleeds yet. Stopped immediately after reading these posts. Usually google all scripts before filling them and sometimes I don’t fill them at all. This one was over the counter so I assumed it was safer. Poor judgement on my part. One major problem I have that no one has mentioned is extremely stiff calves making it extremely difficult to walk or climb stairs. Anyone else having this problem? Thanks for any response.

This med has weakened my muscles and given me muscle cramps. I

I am happy and sad to hear that other people have been experiencing these same side effects. I was prescribed Fluticasone about two weeks ago to address some coughing that we believe was due to some allergy. It did address the cough but I have developed blurry vision, trouble breathing, and a general sense of anxiety. I would much rather be dealing with the mild cough that what I am going through right now. I am setting up an appointment to see my doctor to report these issues. I will let you know how long it takes for the symptoms to subside.

A spirometer used many times daily then less frequently over time may help with your cough. I had an allergy cough for months and doctors just kept prescribing more drugs with more side effects.

I took flonase a few times through out 10 years, to this day I’m still wondering what I was suppose to notice. I’m not one that cares to put anything up his nose unless its once in a while to clear the air ways. i’ve also read about oral steroids and how they have a long list of side effects, these side effects isn’t something that will be there for months to years because you are only taking them for a short while. another problem is they been trying to make better steroids with less side effects which does not work for me, and then there are the nonsteriodal pain killer that supposedly don’t have all these nasty side effects. now to the point, when they start altering drugs because of natural nasty side effects to get something with minimal side effects you start getting far more dangerous things that can happen, nabumetone… Nabumetone can increase your risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases such as strokes and myocardial infarctions, which can lead to death without warning. i’d rather suffer the prednisone side effects for a little while or the side effects of hydrocodone. i had refused flonase and nabumetone once i had learned the damages they will cause, nabumetone has an unbelievable list of things that can go wrong as well as flonase has a nice list of things that can go wrong. its best to get the salt solution nose spray from your drug store it works just as well. no one knows your body and what works best for it then you do.

Prescribed Flonase for an ear infection. This stuff is a nightmare. Noticed a dark spot in my vision that turned out to be a cotton wool spot which is an ischemia in the retina. Cotton wool spots are common in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and AIDS, all of which I did not have.

After two eye angiograms there was no eye disease found and when asking my Retina specialist if the Flonase caused me to have high blood pressure and in turn could that have caused the cotton wool spot, he said it was a more rare side effect, but yes it could. I was also waking up with my heart racing. I’ve never had breathing problems or allergies but discovered that my sinuses where closing up when I layed down. This wasn’t immediately obvious because there was no mucus.

After I had a CT scan of my sinuses, I was diagnosed with turbinate hypertrophy. I only took Flonase three days and was left with turbinate hypertrophy, permanent damage to my retina in my dominant eye, floaters, and visual snow. Please look for alternative medicine. I wish I could go back in time and never have taken this and let my ear heal on its own.

I had tooth extracted and was on augmentin. I took Flonase too. I now have yeast infection more in the rectal area and a bad taste. In kith. Dry mouth. Can it be from the Flonase? I’m using anti fungal cream on that area and took one diflucan for vaginal yeast which I’m not sure I had. Help. I have to be on Flonase for 30 days

Ok, now I am scared. I have been on Flonase for about 13 years. Without it I get sinus infections. I do use about 3-4 puffs in each side, because my sinuses are always clogged, but I am supposed to only use 1 puff daily.. Next week I am having my second endoscopic sinus surgery. My vision is dropping, I have floaters, mood swings, etc., just like all of you. I wonder just how much damage I have done to myself. I was also told by Doctors that this was something I could use the rest of my life without any problems…

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.

Does anyone know of any natural alternatives?

Neti Pot works wonders, along with saline nasal sprays.

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

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 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.

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 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?

Thanks for your report. I’ll definitely stay away from Flonase. The insert in the box does say that “taste alteration” is a “rare” side effect. Not going to take the chance.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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 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 have permanent eye floaters from it after nine months.

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 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 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…

How long did it take before the side effect were gone? Especially the dizziness?
Thanks so much for your help

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

What happened in ER? MS. I took an allergic reaction after using spray accidently for a 2nd time a few days ago within 8 hours, I thought it was a reaction to something else but I am now almost sure it is this nose spray. I have been on it for years and only discovered all these really bad possible side effects today. I came out in a terrible rash (like I had been burned) on my chest, back and tops of shoulders. Also over throat area. Pounding head and throat felt restricted.

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.

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 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.

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.

That is good news.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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 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 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.

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?

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.

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…

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.

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!

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????

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.

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.

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!!

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

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

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

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 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?

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.

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