Allergy Med Flonase Now Approved for Over-the-Counter Sale

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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You may have noticed more medications available in the store that used to require a prescription—and the newest prescription med to make the switch is Flonase (fluticasone propionate) allergy relief nasal spray.

It is important to know that before the status any medication can be changed from prescription-only to OTC, the FDA requires an evaluation for both safety and efficacy. Some other medications that have recently made the jump to OTC include Oxytrol for Women, Nasacort Allergy, and Plan B One-Step, and there are many more out there that used to require a prescription as well.

What is Flonase used for?
Flonase is the first and only nasal spray indicated for BOTH nasal and eye-related allergy symptoms, which will make it an unique over-the-counter nasal spray.

Who can use Flonase?
Flonase is indicated in patients 4 years of age and older.

When was Flonase approved for over-the-counter sale?

OTC Flonase was approved by the FDA on July 23, 2014 to be sold over-the-counter, but it won’t be available until early 2015.

Will OTC Flonase be the same strength as the prescription version?

Yes. OTC Flonase is the same exact strength, 50 mcg/spray, as the current presciption product.

Once OTC Flonase is available will prescription Flonase be discontinued?

Yes. Once the non-prescription version becomes available in 2015, the brand-name prescription product will then be discontinued.

What about generic prescription generic Flonase (fluticasone propionate)?

Yes. Generic fluticasone propionate will still require a prescription from the doctor and will not be available over-the-counter. This means the OTC version will be brand-only, and the prescription version will be generic-only.

What the advantages to using OTC Flonase?

Convenience! Once Flonase is available over the counter, you will no longer be required to see your doctor to get a prescription.

What are the disadvantages to using OTC Flonase?

Cost. Because generic Flonase (fluticasone propionate) is available by prescription it can be billed to your prescription insurance. If you’re insured, this could mean a low generic co-pay or negotiated rate, and a lower cost than the brand-name OTC product. Even if you don’t have prescription insurance, you may still be able to find lower prices at your pharmacy for the generic.

For more information about the upcoming Flonase OTC release, check out the manufacturer website here.

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