Rainy days in May mean high mold counts on the Austin allergy scale. A nonstop sneezing reaction of my own has prompted me to blog about some belated good news for allergy suffers. Late last fall (October 2013), the FDA approved the first OTC nasal steroid for seasonal allergies- Nasocort AQ…and there was much rejoicing! I have maintained for years that I wished the nasal steroid sprays would have gone over the counter before the non-sedating antihistamines (like Zyrtec, Claritin & Allegra) primarily because the nose sprays have far fewer side effects.
People frequently initially cringe when I suggest a nasal steroid spray for their seasonal drippy nose, sneezing and congestion- for a couple reasons. One reason is that many of us hate even the thought up shooting something up our noses. Rest assured, using a fine mist from these sprays is NOTHING like getting water forced up your nose from jumping into water! If that is your (or your teenager’s) primary concern, try a sample before you rule out this treatment option. The second main issue is a global distrust or fear of STEROIDS. Again, relax- you will not be morphing into Arnold from THESE steroids. Nasal steroids are not muscle-building anabolic steroids, but a separate class of drugs called glucocorticoids, which decrease inflammation. Additionally, these nasal sprays are very minimally absorbed into your body, but instead work more locally in the nasal membranes.
BOTTOM LINE: If you have been prescribed nasal steroids for your seasonal allergies, know that there is now a full-strength over the counter option.
(Disclaimer- I have no financial ties nor investments in Nasocort or any other medications, but like all practicing clinicians, I have my own clinical preferences…and this is one of them.)