OTC Nasacort Allergy 24hr Nasal Spray for Allergies

Man using nasal spray
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Nasacort Allergy 24HR is an over-the-counter nasal spray, sold under the generic name of triamcinolone nasal, that is used for the treatment of allergies. It is a topical steroid spray that can help to improve nasal congestion and may be useful to reduce snoring and as an adjunctive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea when allergic rhinitis is present.


Nasacort is the first over-the-counter nasal spray medication that contains a steroid that can be used to treat or prevent allergic rhinitis. This condition often leads to nasal congestion, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing through the nose. These difficulties breathing during sleep may result in snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, or even obstructive sleep apnea.

How It Works

Nasacort is a corticosteroid nasal spray. It is applied as a squirt into the nostril and the solution helps to decrease inflammation in the tissues of the nose. It is unknown how precisely it works. In general, it acts to reduce chemicals in the body called cytokines. Cytokines are important to the immune system and they may be present and cause inflammation as a result of allergen exposure.

Who Should Not Use Nasacort

Nasacort should not be used if you have an open wound or ulcer within your nose. It may affect the ability of this would to naturally heal. Use of the medication in pregnancy demonstrates adverse effects in animals and safety in lactation is unknown. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should discuss the safety and risks versus benefits with your physician.

There are certain conditions where Nasacort should be used with caution or not at all. If you have had recent treatment with other corticosteroid medications, you may not want to use it. In addition, certain eye conditions such as increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, or cataracts may be a contraindication. If you have an untreated infection, especially with tuberculosis, herpes simplex affecting the eye, or exposure to measles or varicella (chickenpox), Nasacort should be used with caution. It may not be advisable to use it if you suffer from recurrent nosebleeds (epistaxis). In addition, children should be followed carefully if long-term use occurs.

Common Side Effects

As with any drug, there is the potential for harmful side effects with the use of Nasacort. As it is available as an over-the-counter medication, it is thought it can be safely used independently of doctor supervision. Although you would not be expected to experience most side effects - and would likely not experience any of them - some of the more common that can occur with the use of Nasacort include:

  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Cough
  • Headache

Children may experience additional potential side effects, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Asthma
  • Infection
  • Ear infection 
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis)

Potential Serious Reactions

With the long-term use of Nasacort, more serious side effects may occur more rarely but include:

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

Things to Keep in Mind

There are people who should use Nasacort with caution or not at all, as noted above. In particular, you should not use Nasacort if you have an open sore in your nose. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should discuss the safety and risks versus benefits with your physician.

Children and adolescents should have their growth monitored in long-term use. If you have a history of eye problems, you should have routine eye examinations to ensure no complications develop.

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

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Article Sources

  • "Nasacort Allergy 24HR." Epocrates Rx Pro. Version 14.1, 2014. Epocrates, Inc. San Mateo, California.