Flonase vs Veramyst: What’s the Difference?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Veramyst and Flonase sound nothing alike at first—but if you take a look at their active ingredients, this is where some people run into confusion. These medications treat the same condition, allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies or hay fever), but are available in different strengths, have different salt forms, and are indicated to treat different ages.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) is your body’s allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen, grass, mold, dust, or pet dander.

It can present with symptoms similar to the common cold, however, there is no bacteria or a virus involved. Symptoms can include sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure, and cough. Symptoms usually show up immediately after being exposed to the offending allergen and can continue until you are no longer exposed.

What strengths are Flonase and Veramyst available in?
Flonase (fluticasone propionate) contains 50 mcg of medication per spray, while Veramyst (fluticasone furoate) contains 27.5 mcg per spray.

What are the typical directions for these medications?

Both Flonase and Veramyst are dosed as 2 sprays in each nostril once daily.

What is an advantage of using Flonase compared to Veramyst?

An advantage to using Flonase is that it is available in generic form as fluticasone propionate, which costs much less than brand name Flonase or Veramyst (which doesn’t have a generic available).

Generic fluticasone propionate (Flonase), when used with a coupon or discount, will cost between $13 to $41 depending on which pharmacy you choose. Veramyst on the other hand, even with a coupon or discount, will cost around $130—a considerably larger out-of-pocket expense.

What is an advantage of using Veramyst compared to generic Flonase?
Veramyst can be used in patients as young as 2 years old. Flonase, on the other hand, is not indicated for use until 4 years of age.

Possible confusion at your doctor office:

Unfortunately, many physicians, not realizing that there are two different forms of intranasal fluticasone, will write prescriptions for just “fluticasone,” leaving off the salt form (propionate or furoate) as well as the strength.

The prescription must at least specify the strength (fluticasone 50 mcg) in order for the Flonase generic to be dispensed.

If your prescription is sent to the pharmacist as plain fluticasone, they will need to clarify with your doctor whether the medication is meant to be fluticasone propionate 50 mcg (Flonase) or fluticasone furoate 27.5 mcg (Veramyst).

In that case, the pharmacy’s ability to fill and complete your prescription for pick-up will depend on how efficiently your doctor’s office responds to the request from the pharmacy.

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