How Omnaris Is Used for Nasal Allergies

Omnaris (ciclesonide) is a nasal steroid that has recently become available for the treatment of allergies.

Omnaris joins many other nasal steroids available for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. GoodRx reports other popular nasal steroids include Flonase (fluticasone propionate), Nasonex (mometasone), Veramyst (fluticasone furoate), Rhinocort (budesonide), Nasacort (triamcinolone) and others.

You may be wondering, with all those drugs, do we need yet another nasal steroid to treat allergic rhinitis? In my opinion, any nasal steroid needs to establish a niche that separates it from the rest of the pack.

Woman using nasal spray
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How Omnaris Is Different

Omnaris is a pro-drug that is metabolized to its active form in the nasal mucosa. This means that it is delivered to the nose in an inactive form, and turned into an active drug by enzymes within the nose. Before it is activated by these enzymes, it has little to no steroid side effects prior to its activation within the nose.

The risk of systemic side effects from Omnaris is low, although the FDA does recommend caution and monitoring for glaucoma, cataract formation, and immunosuppression. Omnaris, like other intranasal corticosteroids, can cause Cushing's syndrome after long-term use.

Omnaris also comes in a hypotonic solution (lower salt concentration than in human blood), which keeps the medication in the nose longer, and is less likely to drain in the throat. Unlike many other nasal steroids, it doesn’t contain benzalkonium chloride as a preservative. This preservative is known to cause side effects within the nose, such as a decrease in the mucociliary transport within the nose (the nose’s “self-cleaning” feature), irritation of the lining of the nose, and decreased the function of infection-fighting white blood cells within the nose. Instead of benzalkonium chloride, Omnaris contains potassium sorbate as a preservative.

Omnaris Still Has Some Side Effects

But Omnaris still comes with some side effects, the most common being nosebleeds, irritation of the nose and throat, as well as a headache. However, these side effects were not significantly higher with Omnaris when compared to placebo (fake medicine) in various studies.

Will Omnaris be a better nasal steroid than others already on the market? Time will tell. In the meantime, nasal steroids represent the single best medication for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. FDA. Omnaris Prescribing Information.

  2. A.V R. Inhalational steroids and iatrogenic cushing’s syndrome. The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal. 2014;8(1):74-84. doi. 10.2174/1874306401408010074.

Additional Reading
  • Chervinsky P, Kunjibettu S, Miller DL, Prenner BM, Raphael G, Hall M, Shah T. Long-term Safety and Efficacy of Intranasal Ciclesonide in Adult and Adolescent Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007; 99:69-76.
  • Meltzer EO, Kunjibettu S, Hall N, Wingertzahn MA, Murcia C, Berger W, LaForce C. Efficacy and Safety of Ciclesonide, 200 mcg Once Daily, for the Treatment of Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007; 98:175-181.
  • Ratner PH, Wingertzahn MA, van Bazel JH, Hampel F, Darken PF, Shah T. Efficacy and Safety of Ciclesonide Nasal Spray for the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 118:1142-8.

By Daniel More, MD
Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California.