Flonase Side Effects

by on June 13, 2012


Flonase side effects are generally mild and not serious. Some individuals may experience headaches, minor nosebleeds, and sinus pain when they first begin using Flonase, but these side effects typically improve with time. More serious reactions are rare but can occur. A higher risk of developing infections is one of the most concerning side effects of this medication.

Common Flonase Side Effects

Some patients experience side effects when they begin taking Flonase. These symptoms are rarely severe and usually improve within a few days. If any of these side effects of Flonase present a reason for concern, contact your doctor.

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Minor nosebleeds
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Bloody mucus in the nose
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Sores or white patches in the nose
  • Sinus pain
  • Decreased sex drive

Serious Flonase Side Effects

It is not likely that you will experience any serious or severe side effects while taking Flonase. There have been reports of extreme, sometimes fatal, allergic reactions to fluticasone. Seek emergency attention immediately if you have any of these signs of a serious allergic reaction:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, or lips
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing

One of the most concerning side effects of Flonase is the medication’s tendency to lower blood cell counts and increase the risk of infections. Avoid exposure to sick individuals while taking Flonase and contact your doctor if you have been in contact with a person who has measles or chicken pox. The symptoms below have been reported by a small number of Flonase users and could be a sign of a serious complication. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects:

  • White patches in the nose or throat that are painful
  • Symptoms similar to the flu, such as fever, chills, body aches, etc.
  • Sore throat
  • Irregular periods
  • Vision problems
  • Easy bruising
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Nose injuries
  • Unusual acne outbreaks
  • Muscle weakness
  • Enlarged face and neck
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness

There may be other side effects of Flonase that are not listed here. If you experience any changes in your well-being or notice any signs of a possible infection, call your physician.


Flonase is approved for use in patients as young as two years old but may not be the safest treatment option for all children. Studies have shown that steroids like fluticasone can affect normal growth in children. It is not known if this medication causes a decrease in the adult height that a child will reach. Discuss the potential risks and the benefits of Flonase with your child’s doctor to determine if the treatment is worthwhile. There may be other medications that are just as effective but do not carry this risk.


Corticosteroids like Flonase can be dangerous to infants under the age of two. Fluticasone is a pregnancy category C drug, meaning that the effects of the medication during pregnancy are unknown. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Flonase may pass through breast milk, causing harm to a nursing child. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your physician before taking Flonase. Your doctor may be able to recommend alternative allergy treatments that will not pose a risk to your baby.

Flonase and Existing Conditions

Because of its potential to make the body’s immune system less effective, Flonase is not safe for everyone. Let your doctor know if you currently have an infection of any type, or if you have recently injured or had surgery on your nose. Your caregiver should also be aware of these conditions:

  • Tuberculosis, now or in the past
  • Glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye disorders
  • Herpes simplex of the eyes
  • Sores, ulcers, or other skin conditions in the nose
  • Liver disease

Other Medications

Some medications may be less effective when taken with Flonase or may decrease the effectiveness of Flonase. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking. If you are taking any of the drugs below, discuss their use with your doctor before taking Flonase:

  • Vaprisol
  • Nefazodone
  • Antibiotics such as Pediazole, Biaxin, Ketek, etc.
  • Heart or blood pressure medications like Cardene, Quin-G, Norpace, etc.
  • Antifungal medications including Oravig, Sporanox, Nizoral, etc.
  • Isoniazid for tuberculosis
  • Medicatios to treat AIDS or HIV such as Lexiva, Reyataz, Viracept, etc.
  • Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills

If you are taking oral steroids, such as prednisone, dexamethasone, etc., or orally inhaled steroids like Flovent and QVAR, your doctor may suggest a lower dosage of these medications when you start taking Flonase to minimize the potential side effects of steroid class drugs.

In healthy adults, Flonase side effects are extremely rare and very mild. Most individuals can safely and effectively alleviate their nasal allergy symptoms with Flonase. Always take good preventive measures to protect yourself from sickness and infection while taking this medication and report any adverse reactions to your doctor.