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

Man using nasal spray

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Nasacort Allergy 24HR (triamcinolone) is an over-the-counter (OTC) nasal spray used to treat allergy symptoms such as sneezing and congestion. It belongs to a class of medications that prevent the immune system from releasing chemicals called cytokines in response to exposure to an allergen. Cytokines lead to inflammation that causes nasal symptoms. Nasacort Allergy 24HR also is available in generic form. It should not be used to treat symptoms caused by a viral infection such as a cold or flu.

Uses

Once available only by prescription, the OTC version of Nasacort Allergy 24HR was introduced in October 2013. It is used to treat certain symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and other allergies, including:

  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • itchy nose
  • watery eyes

When used at bedtime, Nasacort Allergy 24HR also may help relieve sleep issues that arise as a complication of difficulty breathing caused by allergies, including snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Before Taking

Because you don't need a prescription to purchase OTC Nasacort Allergy 24HR, you will not need to see your doctor before using it, although it may be a good idea to ask them if they think it might be a good medication for you to try. (There is a prescription-strength version of generic triamcinolone that does require a doctor's involvement.)

Aside from price and packaging, there are no discernible differences between Nasacort Allergy 24HR and generic triamcinolone: Both should work equally well to relieve allergy symptoms.

Precautions and Contraindications

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is a safe medication for most people to use. Because it's sprayed directly into the nose, however, you should ask your doctor before using it if you have an open sore or ulcer in your nose, or if you've recently had sinus surgery or another procedure in or around your nose and are still healing from it. The same holds if you get frequent nosebleeds.

Other potential contraindications for using Nasacort Allergy 24HR include:

  • Certain eye conditions, namely increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, or cataracts .
  • An untreated infection affecting your eyes—in particular, tuberculosis or herpes simplex
  • Recent exposure to measles or varicella (chickenpox)

If you're pregnant or are trying to conceive, you should check with your healthcare provider before using Nasacort Allergy 24HR. If you become pregnant while using Nasacort Allergy 24HR, let your doctor know. Likewise, check with your doctor before using Nasacort Allergy 24HR if you're nursing.

The same is true if you're taking any other type of steroid medication (to treat asthma or a rash, for example) or if you're allergic to triamcinolone or any of the ingredients listed on the Nasacort Allergy 24HR package label.

If Nasacort Allergy 24HR isn't safe or effective for you, there are other medications that treat nasal allergy symptoms you can try. These include newer OTC steroidal nasal sprays such as Flonase and Rhinocort. Non-steroidal options include antihistamines like Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine).

Dosage

One spray of Nasacort Allergy 24HR contains 55 milligrams of the active ingredient, glucocorticoid, a corticosteroid also used in medications to treat conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is formulated to be used no more than once per day. According to the manufacturer, Chattem, Inc, a subsidiary of Sanofi, the dosage for children 12 and older and for adults is two sprays per nostril daily. Once symptoms improve, the daily dosage should be decreased to one spray per nostril.

Modifications

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is safe for children over age 2, although the dosage differs from that for adults:

  • Children 6 to 12: One spray per nostril daily. If symptoms don't improve, increase to two sprays, returning to the single-spray dose once symptoms subside.
  • Children 2 to 6: Children this age will need an adult's help and supervision to use Nasacort Allergy 24HR.

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

How to Take and Store

The first time you use a bottle of Nasacort Allergy 24HR, it must be primed by pressing and releasing the nozzle several times.

Once primed, insert the nozzle into your nostril, angling it toward the back of your nose. Press the nozzle to activate the spray, breathing in gently as the medication is released. Do not blow your nose for 15 minutes after taking Nasacort Allergy 24HR.

Never share a bottle of Nasacort Allergy 24HR bottle with someone else: Doing so can put you both at risk of infection.

Since you'll be putting the Nasacort Allergy 24HR nozzle into your nose, clean it periodically by removing it and soaking it—and the bottle cap—in warm water for a few minutes. Rinse both in cold water and allow to air dry. Use these steps if the applicator becomes blocked as well.

Side Effects

As with any drug, there is the potential for harmful side effects from using Nasacort Allergy 24HR. Although the chances of experiencing most of them are low, it's important to know what to look out for.

Common

The most likely side effects from using Nasacort Allergy 24HR are:

Children may experience additional side effects, including:

Severe

There are a number of rare, but serious, side effects associated with the long-term use of Nasacort Allergy 24HR:

  • Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the cartilage that separates the nostrils)
  • Infection of the nose or mouth with a yeast called Candida
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Elevated cortisol levels
  • Adrenal suppression

If you experience any side effects or problems with Nasacort Allergy 24HR, stop using it and contact your healthcare provider.

Warnings and Interactions

There is some research to suggest that long-term use of triamcinolone by children can have an impact on their rate of growth. For this reason, children and teens who use Nasacort Allergy 24HR for long periods of time should be monitored by their doctor.

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