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Should I stop taking Flonase when I have a cold?
September 7, 2010 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Should I stop taking Flonase when I have a cold?

I use Flonase (fluticasone propianate, a corticosteroid nasal spray) daily, by prescription, to treat chronic nasal congestion. The congestion is partly congenital and partly the result of allergies.

It is my understanding that corticosteroids suppress the activity of the immune system. It is also my understanding that Flonase, when used intranasally, is almost exclusively bioavailable in the nasal passages. However, since colds/sore throats/upper respiratory infections in general involve the nasal passages and their surrounding areas, I am wondering whether it is a good idea to continue using Flonase when I am sick with a cold, or whether it is a better idea to temporarily suspend usage.

I will ask my doctor about this when I have a chance but since it is not a "life or death" situation, I was hoping for some insight from you-all before then.
posted by Juffo-Wup to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
 
I had actually been advised by a doctor that using flonase would be *useful* in treating rhinitis during a cold, FWIW.
posted by holterbarbour at 12:42 AM on September 8, 2010


IANAP, but one study, whose rigor I haven't examined, indicates that there are no significant effects on symptoms. Yes, fluticasone is a steroid and reduces inflammation, but if you've been using it for a while, wait until you see your doctor to discontinue it. Especially if you have severe congestion, you wouldn't want any rebound effects from immediately stopping its use.
posted by palionex at 2:15 AM on September 8, 2010


Please let us know what your doctor recommends
posted by WhiteWhale at 5:08 AM on September 8, 2010


I always do, with no discernible negative effect.
posted by umbĂș at 8:14 AM on September 8, 2010


Seconding keep using it. There isn't enough steroid in two squirts of Flonase to do anything measurable to your immune system. And, it works as well on inflammation from a cold as it does inflammation from allergies.

Now, if you were taking full doses of something like Prednasone, *that* could be an issue.

Of course, if your doctor puts the kibosh on it, you should go with that instead.
posted by Citrus at 8:29 AM on September 8, 2010


I am prone to sinusitis, and my doctor told me to double up on my flonase at the first sign of a cold. It has made a lot of difference to me--no sinusitis since I started doing that.
posted by uans at 8:41 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the study link, palionex. Very interesting!

WhiteWhale, I'll update the thread after I ask.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 10:12 AM on September 8, 2010


I never got around to asking my doctor about this because of other (non-medical) things cropping up that I had to deal with. If I happen to find out before the thread closes, I'll update again.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 12:15 PM on October 8, 2010


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