What to Know About OTC Nasacort Allergy 24hr (triamcinolone nasal)

Man using nasal spray
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Nasacort Allergy 24HR (triamcinolone nasal) is an over-the-counter (OTC) spray used for the treatment of nasal allergy symptoms. Sold under the generic name of triamcinolone nasal, it's a topical corticosteroid that can help improve nasal congestion and promote better breathing.

A children's version, Children's Nasacort Allergy 24 HR, is also available.

Nasacort works by reducing inflammation in the tissues of the nose, a process that may involve chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines, important parts of the immune system, can cause inflammation as a result of exposure to allergens.


Nasacort was the first OTC nasal spray medication containing a steroid used to treat or prevent allergic rhinitis, which is often accompanied by one or more symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, and difficulty breathing through the nose. Nasacort can be useful to reduce these respiratory allergy symptoms.

Users may also find Nasacort helpful to treat sleep-related symptoms that can arise as a result of allergic rhinitis. During sleep, restricted breathing due to allergies can result in snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, or even obstructive sleep apnea.

Before Taking

Nasacort is available as an OTC drug, which means that you do not need to meet with your doctor or obtain a prescription to purchase it.

Precautions and Contraindications

You should not use Nasacort if you have an open wound or ulcer in your nose, as it may affect your body's ability to heal naturally. Likewise, if you are healing from a procedure in or around your nose, such as sinus surgery, avoid using Nasacort until you have healed.

Nasacort, while effective for many people, is not the only solution for nasal allergies. Newer OTC nasal sprays include Flonase and Rhinocort, and other, non-steroidal options for treating allergies include antihistamines like Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine).


According to the drug manufacturer, those aged 12 and up should spray two times in the nostril once per day. If symptoms are not relieved, the person can increase to two sprays twice a day until symptoms subside.

All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine the right dose for you.


Children should use the children's formulation, Children's Nasacort Allergy 24HR. Children aged 6 to 12 should receive one spray per nostril once daily and should always be supervised while using Nasacort. If symptoms persist, increase to two sprays per nostril.

Children aged 2 to 6 should receive a maximum of one spray per nostril per day.

Children under the age of 2 should not use Nasacort.

How to Take and Store

The drug manufacturer recommends gently blowing your nose before using Nasacort. The first time it is used, the nozzle must be primed. Next, insert the nozzle into your nostril while angling it toward the back of your nose, squirt the number of times indicated (1 or 2), and gently inhale. Do not blow your nose for 15 minutes after taking Nasacort.

Side Effects

As with any drug—even OTC varieties—there is the potential for harmful side effects. Although the chances of experiencing most side effects is low, you should be aware of the most common ones that can occur with the use of Nasacort:


Children may experience additional potential side effects, including:


With the long-term use of Nasacort, rarer, more serious side effects could include:

  • Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the cartilage separating each side of the nose)
  • Infection of the nose or mouth with a yeast called Candida
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • High cortisol levels
  • Adrenal suppression
  • Growth suppression (in children)

If you have any difficulties with Nasacort, you should discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider.

Warnings and Interactions

  • Women who are pregnant or nursing should talk to their doctor before using Nasacort
  • Children and adolescents should be monitored carefully for any adverse effects on growth in the case of long-term use (though at least one study contradicts associations between the use of triamcinolone and growth 10.1542/peds.2014-1641)
  • If you have had recent treatment with other steroids, such as asthma medications or allergy treatments, you may want to avoid Nasacort
  • Certain eye conditions such as increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, or cataracts may be a contraindication
  • If you have an untreated infection, especially with tuberculosis or herpes simplex affecting the eye, or if you have been exposed to measles or varicella (chickenpox), talk to your doctor
  • If you suffer from recurrent nosebleeds it may not be advisable to use Nasacort
  • Do not share Nasacort bottle with others, as this may increase the chances of infection
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  1. doi: 10.2174/1567202614666170619081929

  2. 10.1155/2017/3054217

  3. 10.1186/s13223-018-0280-7

  4. 10.1542/peds.2014-1641

Additional Reading

  • Imai S, Otsuka T, Naito A, Shimazawa M, Hara H. Triamcinolone Acetonide Suppresses Inflammation and Facilitates Vascular Barrier Function in Human Retinal Microvascular Endothelial Cells. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2017;14(3):232-241.

  • Skoner, DP., Berger, WE., Gawchik, S.M., Akbari, A and Qui, C. Intranasal Triamcinolone and Growth Velocity. Pediatrics. 2015, 135 (2) e348-e356.

  • Small P, Keith PK, Kim H. Allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018;14(Suppl 2):51.

  • Tyurin YA, Lissovskaya SA, Fassahov RS, et al. Cytokine Profile of Patients with Allergic Rhinitis Caused by Pollen, Mite, and Microbial Allergen Sensitization. J Immunol Res. 2017;2017:3054217.