Nasacort nasal spray (Triamcinolone)
How does it work?
Nasacort nasal spray contains the active ingredient triamcinolone, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands that have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses.
Triamcinolone is a synthetic corticosteroid and is adminstered by nasal spray to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages.
People who suffer from nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever tend to experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their allergy. These include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.
The nasal inflammation occurs when the nasal passages are exposed to foreign particles (allergens), for example, pollen, dust mites or pet fur. The allergens cause the cells in the nose to release chemicals that produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.
When administered into the nose, triamcinolone is absorbed into the cells of the nasal passages. It works by preventing these cells from releasing the chemicals that trigger the allergic response. This stops the allergic reaction from happening, so the nasal inflammation is reduced and the symptoms relieved.
The nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies immediately, and it can take three to four days to have its full effect. It is therefore most effective to start using the nasal spray a few days before you expect to get symptoms, for example before the start of the pollen season, or if you know you are going to be in contact with pets that give you the allergy. For maximum benefit, the spray should then be used regularly while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.
What is it used for?
- Preventing and treating symptoms of seasonal nasal allergies (seasonal allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever.
- Preventing and treating symptoms of nasal allergies that occur throughout the year (perennial allergic rhinitis), for example due to pet allergies or dust mite allergies.
This nasal spray is suitable for adults and children aged six years and over.
How do I use it?
- You should preferably start using this nasal spray a few days before you expect to come into contact with the allergen and continue using it regularly all the time you are still exposed to the thing you are allergic to. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
- Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle gently before use.
- Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be primed by pumping it into the air five times until a fine mist is produced. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this. If the nasal spray hasn't been used for 14 days or more you should reprime the spray by pumping it once into the air before using it again.
- Follow this link for general instructions on how to use a nasal spray.
- Adults and children aged 12 years and over should use two sprays in each nostril once a day. Once your symptoms are under control you may be able to reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril once a day. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed.
- For children aged 6 to 11 years, the usual dose is one spray in each nostril once a day. If your child's symptoms are very bad your doctor may ask you to use two sprays in each nostril once a day to begin with, and then reduce to one spray once a day when the symptoms have improved. Follow the instructions given by your doctor. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your child's symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed. This nasal spray should not be used continuously for longer than three months in children.
- If you forget to use your nasal spray use it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the forgotten dose and take the next dose as normal. Don't use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
- This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
- Take care to avoid getting the spray in your eyes.
- The plastic nozzle of your nasal spray should be cleaned at least once a week, or more frequently if the spray doesn't work because it has become blocked. Follow the printed instructions supplied with the spray. Never try to unblock the nozzle or enlarge the tiny spray hole with a pin or other sharp object, because this will destroy the spray mechanism.
- Any remaining spray must be discarded two months after you first open the bottle, because it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Do not transfer any remaining suspension to another bottle. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle so you know when to throw it away. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning it to a pharmacy.
- If you think you have developed a nose or throat infection while using this medicine you should consult your doctor. You may need to stop using this medicine temporarily while the infection is treated.
- When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to decrease the functioning of the adrenal glands (glands that produce natural steroid hormones). These side effects on other areas of the body are called systemic side effects and are extremely unlikely to occur with this nasal spray, because the amount of triamcinolone absorbed into the bloodstream from the nose is very low. However, as a precaution, your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. You should not exceed this prescribed dose. If your child is using this nasal spray for long periods of time your doctor may want to monitor their height to make sure their growth is not being affected. This nasal spray should not be used continuously for longer than three months in children under 12 years of age. For further information discuss this with your doctor.
Use with caution in
- People with an infection in the nasal passages or sinuses (the infection should be treated).
- People who have recently had nasal surgery or an injury to the nose (this medicine should not be used until the nose has healed).
- People with tuberculosis affecting the lungs.
Not to be used in
- Children under six years of age.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. Only minimal amounts of the medicine pass into the bloodstream after using the nasal spray. However, it is not recommended for use in pregnancy unless the potential benefit to the mother outweighs any risk to the developing baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- This medicine may pass into breast milk. It is not recommended for use during breastfeeding unless the potential benefit to the mother outweighs any risk to the nursing infant. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Runny nose.
- Sore and inflamed throat (pharyngitis).
- Tooth disorder.
- Flu-like symptoms.
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Perforation of the nasal septum.
Frequency not known
- Irritation or dryness of the tissues in the nose.
- Blocked nose.
- Shortness of breath.
- Allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling of the face.
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Alteration in sense of smell or taste.
- Feeling sick.
- Raised pressure in the eye or glaucoma.
Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is unlikely unless the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above or talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
Triamcinolone is not known to affect other medicines when administered into the nose as a nasal spray.
However, if you are taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start treatment with this medicine. This is particularly important if you are or have recently been using any other medicines that contain corticosteroids, for example tablets, injections, eye or nose drops, creams, asthma inhalers, or other similar nasal sprays. This is because there may be an increased chance of adverse effects if you are using more than one type of steroid medication and your doctor may want to monitor you more closely.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
- Nasacort allergy nasal spray can be bought from pharmacies to treat hay fever in adults aged 18 years and over.