QNASL Nasal Spray for Allergies

Steroid Medication May Relieve Congestion

QNASL is a prescription nasal spray, sold under the generic name of beclomethasone dipropionate nasal, that is used in the treatment of nasal 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.

Man inhaling decongestant
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QNASL is a prescription medication that is used to treat 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

QNASL is a corticosteroid nasal spray. As it is waterless, it is advertised to stay within the nose better. It is applied as a spray into the nostril and the medication helps to decrease inflammation in the tissues of the nose. It is unknown how precisely it works. In general, it acts to reduce inflammatory 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 QNASL

QNASL 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 QNASL should be used with caution or not at all. If you have had recent treatment with other systemic 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. QNASL should be used with caution if you have an untreated infection, especially if you are infected with tuberculosis, herpes simplex virus, measles, or varicella (chickenpox). It may also not be advised to use it if you suffer from recurrent nosebleeds (called epistaxis). In addition, children older than 12 should be followed carefully if long-term use occurs.

Side Effects

As with any drug, there is the potential for harmful side effects with the use of QNASL. 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 QNASL include:

  • Nasal irritation
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Runny nose
  • Dry nose
  • Dry throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Distorted sense of taste
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness

Potential Serious Reactions

A severe allergic reaction with difficulty breathing called anaphylaxis may occur with the use of QNASL. With the long-term use of this medication, additional serious side effects may occur rarely but include:

  • Perforation of the nasal septum
  • Nasal ulcer
  • Infection with Candida yeast
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • High cortisol levels
  • Adrenal suppression
  • Growth suppression (in children)
  • Angioedema (blood vessel swelling)
  • Bronchospasm or wheezing

Things to Keep in Mind

There are people who should use QNASL with caution or not at all, as noted above. In particular, you should not use QNASL 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.

It is recommended that you have routine examination of your nose if you use the medicine for more than 2 months. 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 QNASL, you should be in close contact with your prescribing health provider.

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  • "Qnasl." Epocrates Rx Pro. Version 14.1, 2014. Epocrates, Inc. San Mateo, California.

By Brandon Peters, MD
Brandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist.