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Nasal Sprays
April 2002

Q. What is the difference between Flonase vs. Nasacort? Is one more expensive? Does one work better?

A. Both products mentioned are nasal sprays containing dilute forms of cortisone, our strongest medicine for reducing inflammation and allergy. They are very useful for treating hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, by making the nose and sinuses less reactive to dust, pollens, and other triggers of allergy symptoms. They are not decongestants, so if your nose is already congested they will not give immediate relief. They are meant to be used as a preventitive, and often take a week or more for the effects to begin.

Additional allergy measures include the use of anti-histamine medication, environmental measures such as dust control, and the possible use of "allergy shots" (desensitization).

Several such nasal sprays are on the market, and there is not scientific data that one is much better than the others in this category. Costs can vary widely by location and pharmacy. If prescritions are paid by your insurance, it is likely that some but not all of the cortisone sprays are a covered benefit.

http://www.familydoctor.org/handouts/679.html

http://medlineplus.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000005.htm

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