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Understanding Allergy and Hay Fever Medications (cont.)

Anticholinergic Nasal Sprays

Ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) is a prescription medication that can be used to reduce runny nose.

  • How anticholinergic nasal sprays work: When sprayed into each nostril, anticholinergic nasal sprays decrease secretions from the glands lining the nasal passage. This diminishes the symptom of runny nose.
  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals who are allergic to any components of the nasal spray should not take this drug.
  • Use: The usual dosage is one to two sprays in each nostril two to three times per day. This is not typically used as a first-line drug in the treatment of hay fever but may be useful in some cases for severe and uncontrollable runny nose.
  • Drug or food interactions: Since this spray has little or no effect beyond the area applied, it is unlikely to interact with other drugs.
  • Side effects: Anticholinergic nasal sprays may cause an excessively dry nose, thereby causing nosebleeds or irritation.

Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays

Examples of corticosteroid nasal sprays include beclomethasone (Qnasl, Beconase, Vancenase), budesonide (Rhinocort), flunisolide (Nasalide, Nasarel), fluticasone (Flonase), mometasone (Nasonex), ciclesonide (Omnaris, Zetonna), fluticasone furoate (Veramyst), and triamcinolone (Nasacort). Corticosteroid nasal sprays are available by prescription only and are currently the most effective treatment for relief of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

  • How corticosteroid nasal sprays work: These drugs decrease inflammation within the nasal passages, thereby relieving nasal symptoms.
  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals who are allergic to any components of these nasal sprays should not use them.
  • Use: Gently shake the container. Blow the nose to clear the nostrils. Close (pinch) one nostril, and insert nasal applicator into the other nostril. Inhale through the nose and press on the applicator to release the spray. Apply the prescribed number of sprays and repeat with the other nostril.
  • Side effects: These sprays may cause nosebleed or sore throat.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/17/2016

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