Flonase Vs Nasacort: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You
Drug overview & main differences | Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ
Runny nose, itchy, watery eyestis the season for seasonal allergies. If you suffer from seasonal or perennial allergies, you are not sneezing alone. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.
Flonase and Nasacort are two popular medications used for allergy relief. They are in a class of medications called glucocorticoids, more commonly known as steroids. Nasal steroids work by decreasing swelling and congestion in your nose, improving symptoms. Although both medications are known as steroids, they do have some notable differences, which we will outline below.
Donts: What Not To Do With Sinusitis
Of course there are certain activities you should do when you have a sinus infection and things that you should not do when you have a sinus infection. We recommend avoiding the following activities to have a speedy recovery.
- Dont fly in an airplane: The pressure on an airplane can increase the pain in your ears and nasal cavities. If you can avoid it, we suggest not flying when suffering from sinusitis.
- Dont drink alcohol: You shouldnt consume alcohol with a sinus infection. Alcohol dehydrates the body and can cause your nose and nasal cavities to swell when dehydrate, in turn exacerbating your symptoms.
- Dont swim in a pool: chlorine in swimming pools can irritate your nose, especially in higher doses. If suffering from sinusitis, avoiding returning to the pool until youve fully recovered from the infection.
- Dont breathe irritating materials or smoke:avoid breathing in harmful materials or fumes when you have a sinus infection. You should not smoke cigarettes or cigars. And, you should avoid high pollution areas. Try to breathe in clean, fresh air. This will be the best for your sinuses and your recovery.
Other Causes Of Sinusitis Symptoms
Allergies. Symptoms of both sinusitis and allergic rhinitis include nasal obstruction and congestion. The conditions often occur together. People with allergies and no sinus infection may have:
- Thin, clear, and runny nasal discharge
- Itchy nose, eyes, or throat
- Recurrent sneezing
- Symptoms of allergies that appear only during exposure to allergens
Migraine and Other Headaches. Many primary headaches, particularly migraine or cluster headaches, may closely resemble sinus headache. Migraine and sinus headaches may even coexist in many cases. Sinus headaches are usually more generalized than migraines. But it is often difficult to tell them apart, particularly if headache is the only symptom of sinusitis.
Trigeminal Neuralgia. In some cases, headache that persists after successful treatment of chronic sinusitis may be due to neuralgia in the face.
Other Conditions. A number of other conditions can mimic sinusitis, including:
- Dental problems
- A foreign object in the nasal passage
- Temporal arteritis
- Persistent upper respiratory tract infections
- Temporomandibular disorders
- Vasomotor rhinitis, a condition in which the nasal passages become congested in response to irritants or stress. It often occurs in pregnant women.
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What You Can Do
If you start to feel symptoms such as a runny nose or stuffy head, try to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a cold or allergies.
Though they can seem similar, there are a few characteristics that distinguish one from the other, including:
Yellow or green nasal discharge
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In This Article
If youre constantly plagued with a stuffy nose that just wont quit, you might actually be dealing with a sinus infection.
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This kind of infection occurs when fluid builds up in the air-filled sinuses and nasal cavities, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When that happens, germs can grow and flourish.
Because most sinus infections are caused by viruses, according to the CDC, many dont need to be treated with antibiotics .
Instead, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to naturally ease your symptoms. Here are the best home remedies to get rid of a sinus infection.
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Effect On Quality Of Life
Pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of chronic sinusitis can have significant effects on quality of life. This condition can cause emotional distress, impair normal activity, and reduce attendance at work or school. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the average patient with sinusitis misses about 4 work days a year, and sinusitis is one of the top 10 medical conditions that most adversely affect American employers.
How To Use A Saline Rinse:
Using a saline rinse is relatively easy. An appropriate rinse is comprised of 1/2 teaspoon sea salt mixed into 1 cup of warm water. After the salt has dissolved in the water, it can be poured into a nasal spray bottle or neti pot. To complete the rinse, lean over the sink and insert the nozzle into the nose, squeezing to allow the mixture to enter the nose. Allow the rinse to travel through the nasal passages and exit the throat. Complete the rinse as often as needed, but wait at least 30 minutes between each rinse.
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Do Nasal Sprays Treat Sinus Infection
Treating a sinus infection means unblocking and draining the sinuses. Corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Flonase and Nasacort are the best source for treatment because they help reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Its best to keep the nasal passages clear because nasal congestion can block the drainage of your middle ear space, causing an ear infection.
Most sinus infections can be treated with nasal sprays and antibiotics. Sometimes your doctors may add oral medications as well. If you have recurring sinus infections, you should see one of Allergist/Immunologists to see if you have allergies or if you have a defect in your immune system that is predisposing you to sinus infections. Your doctor may also want to do in-office imaging of your sinuses to see if you have a structural issue that is affecting your sinuses, leading to chronic sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis. In rare cases, you may need surgery to treat recurring sinus infections. One of our allergists will determine your course of treatment. If they determine you need surgery, they will recommend an experienced ENT specialist near you.
Is Flonase Or Nasacort More Effective
A recent study found after 28 days of treatment that Flonase and Nasacort are similarly effective in treating nasal allergy symptoms and are both well-tolerated. Another study showed that Flonase and Nasacort are equally safe, effective, and well-tolerated.
The most effective medication for you should be determined by you, along with your doctor, who can take into account your medical condition, history, and other medications you take.
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Which Nasal Allergy Spray Is Most Effective
There are a variety of nasal allergy sprays, and some work in different ways. While drugs like Flonase and Nasacort are steroids, some nasal allergy sprays contain other ingredients such as azelastine, which is an antihistamine and works differently than a steroid. Many people like Afrin nasal spray however, you have to be very careful to use this medication for only 3 days or less, otherwise it can cause rebound congestion. The most effective allergy spray is the one that works best for you, and it may take some trial and error to determine which allergy spray works best.
Medications For Sinus Disorders
Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections. They’re useful for treating bacterial sinus infections but will not help a cold caused by a virus. Many bacteria that were once treatable by common antibiotics have become resistant, so doctors in the UPMC Sino-Nasal and Allergy Center are careful when prescribing antibiotics for sinus problems. A culture of the bacteria found in the sinuses will provide guidelines to the best sinus antibiotic to use.
While taking an antibiotic, it may help to restore the good bacteria in your system by taking probiotics or acidophilus tablets. You can also eat foods that contain large amounts of benign bacteria, such as yogurt or kefir.
The body releases histamine during an allergy attack. Histamine causes sneezing, itching, and welting. Antihistamines block the histamine receptors that cause allergic reactions.
Newer antihistamines like Zyrtec , Clarinex , Allegra , and Claritin have a very low rate of causing side effects, compared to older antihistamines. They do not cause drowsiness, except for Zyrtec. Zyrtec may impair performance or cause sedation, but much less often than the older antihistamines.
Sudafed is now a behind-the-counter decongestant. Phenylephrine is less effective than pseudoephedrine. All oral decongestants can cause side effects such as urinary retention, insomnia, and jitteriness.
Leukotrienes are potent agents of broncho constriction.
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Is Mold Causing Your Sinus Infection
If you suffer from chronic sinus infections youre not alone. It is estimated that over 37 million people in the United States currently suffer from some sort of sinusitis. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of people making an appointment at one of North Atlanta ENT & Allergys three offices.
How Mold Causes Sinus Infections
Some individuals are more prone to being affected by sinusitis caused by mold. This is because they possess a gene in their DNA that makes them more susceptible to the effects of mold, which are usually symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
When a mold fungus finds its way into the sinus cavity, the immunity in the body reacts by releasing a chemical known as oesinophils to fight the fungi. This substance is what causes fungal sinusitis and will cause irritation for as long as the fungi are within the sinus.
In addition, since fungi thrive in damp and dark environments, it can be difficult to get rid of the infection since the sinus cavity is the perfect host environment.
Symptoms of Fungal Sinusitis
- Swellings in the nasal cavity
- Runny nose
Please note that these symptoms may be a sign of either acute or chronic sinusitis.
Distinguishing between Fungal Sinus and Bacterial or Viral Sinus
While it may not be easy to tell the difference between a fungal sinus infection and bacterial or viral sinus infection, it is not entirely impossible.
There are two known tests carried out by an otolaryngologist to identify the type of infection:
How Do You Clear Blocked Sinuses
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Are Flonase And Nasacort The Same
Flonase and Nasacort are very similar and have many of the same uses and warnings. However, they have some notable differences, such as in the active ingredient, drug interactions, and price, as outlined above. Other medications in the nasal steroid category you may have heard of include Rhinocort , QNasl , and Nasonex . Fluticasone is also available as a combination drug in the form of brand-name Dymista, which contains azelastine along with fluticasone.
Warnings Of Flonase And Nasacort
- Localized effects that may occur are nosebleeds, nasal ulceration, local Candida infection, nasal septal perforation, and impaired wound healing.
- Steroids may cause glaucoma or cataracts. You should be closely monitored if you have any changes in vision or if you have a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts. If you use Flonase or Nasacort long-term or have any eye symptoms, you should follow up regularly with an ophthalmologist.
- If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs , discontinue Flonase or Nasacort and seek emergency medical attention.
- Because steroids suppress the immune system, you are more prone to infections while using a steroid nasal spray.
- Children may experience a reduction in growth velocity growth should be closely monitored. The lowest possible dose, for the shortest duration of time, should be used.
- Rarely, adrenal suppression may occur, and the nasal steroid should be slowly tapered to discontinuation .
- Because there is not enough data about nasal steroids in pregnancy, you should consult with your doctor before taking Flonase or Nasacort if you are pregnant. If you are already taking Flonase or Nasacort and find out that you are pregnant, contact your healthcare provider for guidance.
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Good Hygiene And Preventing Transmission
Cold and flu viruses spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These viruses can also be transmitted by shaking hands. Everyone should always wash their hands before eating and after going outside. Ordinary soap is sufficient. Waterless hand cleansers that contain an alcohol-based gel are also effective. Antibacterial soaps add little protection, particularly against viruses. Wiping surfaces with a solution that contains 1 part bleach to 10 parts water is very effective in killing viruses.
Which Medications Open The Sinuses Will Antibiotics Cure Sinus Infections
Medications that Cure Sinus Infections
The goal in treating sinus infections is to eliminate bacteria from the sinus cavities with antibiotics. This helps prevent complications, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis.
- In acute, uncomplicated sinus infections, a synthetic penicillin, for example, amoxicillin , which is prescribed to most people to cure acute sinus infections. Amoxicilin is effective against the ususal causes of sinus infections, and is inexpensive. The most common side effects of amoxicillin include allergic reactions and an upset stomach.
- People allergic to penicillin can take a sulfur-containing antibiotic called trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or TMP/SMX . Sulfa drugs are not recommended for people who are allergic to sulfur.
- People who have several episodes, or partially treated acute sinusitis or those who have chronic sinusitis may become resistant to amoxicillin and TMP/SMX. Synthetic penicillins and cephalosporins such as amoxicillin/clavulanate , cefuroxime , and loracarbef can cure most sinus infections.
- Eventually, overuse of these “broad-spectrum” antibiotics may lead to organisms evolving that can resist even the most potent antibiotics available. Simpler antibiotics, for example, amoxicillin, should be used first and taken for the entire duration .
Medications to Keep the Sinuses Open
OTC Steroid Nasal Sprays
Steroids are potent inhibitors of inflammation.
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Which Medications Help Drain The Sinuses
Home remedies that open and hydrate the sinuses may promote drainage. Please refer to home remedies for information about how to:
- Increase daily fluids
- Take expectorants and pain relievers
- Irrigate the sinuses with saline
If environmental allergies cause sinusitis, antihistamines may help reduce swelling of the mucous membranes. Allergens stimulate white blood cells in the blood and tissues to release histamine into the circulation, which causes nasal congestion.
- Some of the older sedating OTC antihistamines are no longer recommended because they tend to dry out and thicken the mucus, making drainage more difficult.
- Non-sedating antihistamines such as fexofenadine , cetirizine , levocetirizine , loratadine , or desloratadine do not seem to dry out the mucosa. If nasal congestion is severe, a decongestant can be added .
Which One Works Best
Many studies have shown that steroid nasal sprays are very effective at combating allergy symptoms in the nose. For example, in one study, researchers compared fluticasone and triamcinolone nasal sprays by asking 233 patients to fill out questionnaires over 21 days of treatment. The results of the study showed that both steroids were equally effective. It also showed that both medications were safe and didnt cause serious side effects. Another study from 2019 that also compared fluticasone and triamcinolone showed similar results.
Lets not forget about Afrin. Afrin is an older drug thats proven to work, but as we mentioned, you dont use it in the same way as Flonase or Nasacort. Afrin is for temporary symptom relief. It works in minutes but only lasts 12 hours. Flonase and Nasacort are for prevention. They take about 2 to 4 weeks to reach their full effect.
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How Does Saline Nasal Spray Work
Saline nasal sprays work in several ways to improve symptoms associated with nasal congestion.
First, saline nasal sprays help to minimize your risk of getting sick by washing foreign invaders like viruses, irritants, and allergens out of your nasal passages before they have a chance to trigger an immune response.
Second, saline nasal sprays can help to improve the effectiveness of medicated nasal sprays when the saline spray is used first, as it improves the moisture content in the nasal passages, making them more receptive to medication.
Third, saline nasal sprays help to clean and hydrate the lining of the nasal passages, which is important in maintaining a strong nasal immune response.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly when you are feeling sick, saline nasal sprays thin and loosen excess mucus in the nose and sinuses, helping to reduce symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion and feelings of discomfort.
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What Are The Different Product Options
For some people, the hardest part about choosing an OTC nasal spray comes from the fact that each brand has so many different product options. Heres a rundown of Flonase, Nasacort, and Afrin nasal spray products.
Flonase and Nasacort products come in adult and childrens versions, but if you read the labels, youll see that their ingredients and age limits are the same. They differ in the fact that the versions for children have 60 sprays per bottle, while the adult versions are also available in bottles that contain more sprays. Be sure to talk to a pediatrician before giving any of these medications to a child.
Childrens Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief
Flonase and Childrens Flonase are for people ages 4 and up.
Flonase Sensimist and Childrens Flonase Sensimist are for people ages 2 and up.
Flonase Sensimist is a newer product line that was made to produce a gentle mist with no scent or alcohol, and doesnt cause post nasal drip. It took away some of the major things people didnt like about the original Flonase. Unlike Flonase, which has fluticasone propionate, Flonase Sensimist has fluticasone furoate, a different variation of fluticasone.
Generic and fluticasone furoate nasal sprays are also available.
Nasacort and Childrens Nasacort are for people ages 2 and up.
nasal spray is also available as a generic.
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