Flunisolide: Basics, Side Effects & Reviews


Basics, Side Effects, Reviews & More

Flunisolide is a steroid (or corticosteroid) medication used to treat nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, and runny nose caused by seasonal or year-round allergies.


Nasalide (brand no longer available)




Not a controlled medication


Lower-cost generic available


Prescription only

Reviewed by:

James Ogbeide, PharmD

Michelle Nguyen, PharmD

Last reviewed on:

June 24, 2020


What is flunisolide?

How flunisolide works

Flunisolide is a nasal steroid that works directly in your nose to help reduce swelling and inflammation caused by allergies.

What is flunisolide used for?

  • Seasonal nasal allergies
  • Year-round nasal allergies

Flunisolide dosage forms

nasal spray icon
nasal spray

Typical dosing for flunisolide

The typical dose for flunisolide is 2 sprays (50 mcg) in each nostril twice daily (total dose 200 mcg/day).

Frequently asked questions about flunisolide

Pros and cons of flunisolide


Thumbs UpEffectively treats seasonal and other allergy symptoms such as stuffy nose, runny nose, and sneezing

Thumbs UpSince it's used directly in the nose, flunisolide has fewer side effects and complications than oral steroids

Thumbs UpCan be used in children 6 years old and older

Thumbs UpAvailable in a cheaper, generic form

Thumbs UpDoesn't make you drowsy or dizzy, compared to allergy relief pills


Thumbs DownNeeds to be used at regular intervals to provide the best benefit

Thumbs DownOnly used for the nose and may not improve other allergic symptoms such as watery and itchy eyes

Thumbs DownCan be more expensive than similar over-the-counter (OTC) medications because it is only available as a prescription medication

Thumbs DownCannot be used in people who have active infections that involves the nose

Thumbs DownCan cause mild nasal burning or stinging side effect, thought it usually doesn't last very long

Thumbs DownLong-term use in children can stunt growth

Pharmacist tips for flunisolide

Capsule IconFor best results, spray flunisolide into the air (prime it) before the first use and if it hasn't been used for 5 days.

Capsule IconUse flunisolide daily during the recommended times because it can take up to 2 weeks of regular use for your nose to fully clear.

Capsule IconIf your symptoms don't improve after 3 weeks, stop using this medication and talk to your doctor.

Capsule IconBlow your nose gently before using. Insert the nozzle tip in one nostril and close the other with your finger. Tilt your head forward slightly and press the spray toward the back of the head. Repeat steps for the other nostril.

Capsule IconAvoid spraying flunisolide in your eyes or against the wall joining the nostrils, since this can cause unwanted irritation.

Prices for flunisolide start at just $26.24 with a GoodRx coupon. They’re fast, easy-to-use and free!

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What are the side effects of flunisolide?

With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.

Caution Small The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.

Common side effects

  • Nasal burning and stinging (45%)

Other side effects

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion

Source: DailyMed

The following side effects have also been reported:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common or rare

Bad smell


bloody mucus or unexplained nosebleeds

blurred or gradual loss of vision

burning or stinging after use of spray or irritation inside nose (continuing)

crusting, white patches, or sores inside nose

discharge or redness in eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid

eye pain



light-headedness or dizziness

loss of sense of taste or smell

muscle pain

nausea or vomiting

ringing in the ears

shortness of breath

skin rash

sore throat, cough, or hoarseness

stomach pains

stuffy, dry, or runny nose or watery eyes (continuing)

swelling of eyelids, face, or lips

tightness in chest

troubled breathing

unusual tiredness or weakness


white patches in throat

Symptoms of overdose


blurred vision

bone fractures

excess hair growth in females

fullness or rounding of the face, neck, and trunk

high blood pressure

impotence in males

increased urination or thirst

lack of menstrual periods

menstrual changes

muscle wasting and weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Burning, dryness, or other irritation inside the nose (mild, lasting only a short time)

irritation of throat

Less common

Itching of throat


Not all of the side effects listed above have been reported for each of these medicines, but they have been reported for at least one of them. All of the nasal corticosteroids are very similar, so any of the above side effects may occur with any of these medicines.

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What are the risks and warnings for flunisolide?

Flunisolide can cause some serious health issues. This risk may be even higher for certain groups. If this worries you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other options


  • Risk factors: Long-term use beyond 3 weeks

Use of flunisolide for months can raise your chance of getting thrush, a fungal infection, in the nose and throat. If you notice pain in the nose and throat with redness and white patches, stop using the medication and talk to your doctor.


  • Risk factors: Long-term use | Nasal surgery | Injury to the nose | Ulcers in the nose

Rarely, using flunisolide for months can cause sores to develop in the nose, which can make holes in the bony cartilage between your nostrils (the nasal septum). Talk to your doctor if you experience painful discomfort in your nose, have regular nosebleeds, or painful sores in your nose while you use flunisolide.


  • Risk factors: Not current with vaccinations | Taking other steroid medicines

Using drugs like flunisolide for a long time may weaken your immmune system, which makes you have higher risk for infections. Talk to your doctor before taking flunisolide if you have not been vaccinated for serious diseases like chickenpox and measles. If you currently have an infection, ask your doctor if you should continue taking flunisolide since the medication might make you heal more slowly.


  • Risk factors: Children | Higher doses of flunisolide | Long-term use

Steroid medications like flunisolide can affect growth rate of children. If your child needs to take flunisolide, the pediatrician will prescribe the lowest possible dose to control symptoms and monitor their height and weight.

Interactions between flunisolide and other medications

Flunisolide may interact with certain medications or supplements. Always let your doctor and pharmacist know about any other medications or supplements (including prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements) that you are currently taking. The list below does not include all possible drug interactions with flunisolide. Please note that only the generic name of each medication is listed below.

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

How much does flunisolide cost?

Flunisolide is available as a generic medication and may be significantly cheaper compared to the brand version. Unless there is a specific reason you need the brand, the generic medication will be a better value. For even more savings, use a GoodRx coupon and pay just a fraction of the retail price.

Lowest GoodRx Price
flunisolide (generic)


View Prices & Coupons

Pricing based on most commonly-filled versions: 1 nasal sprays (25ml) of flunisolide 0.025%

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