Fluticasone propionate belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. These drugs help reduce inflammation.
Due to this effect, a person may use some form of fluticasone propionate for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions, allergies, or asthma symptoms.
In this article, we outline what fluticasone propionate is, the conditions that it treats, and how to use it. We also provide information on its safety, including its potential side effects and interactions with other medications.
Various forms of fluticasone propionate are available for different uses. Some examples include those below.
Creams and ointments
Fluticasone propionate is available as a medication in the form of a topical cream or ointment. These products can alleviate the inflammation and itching associated with inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, contact dermatitis, and psoriasis. A person can use the product for short periods to help treat inflammatory skin flare-ups.
Cutivate is a brand name version of fluticasone propionate cream.
Fluticasone propionate is available as a nasal spray for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. In this condition, the inside of the nose becomes inflamed as a result of breathing in allergens, such as dust, mold, or pollens. The medication works by reducing irritation and inflammation inside the nasal cavity.
Fluticasone propionate nasal sprays are available over the counter and via prescription. Both types are available in generic and branded versions. Flonase is a branded version of fluticasone propionate nasal spray.
Fluticasone propionate is also available as an inhaled medication for the treatment of asthma symptoms. These symptoms may include:
As an inhaled medication, fluticasone propionate works by reducing the inflammation of the airways, allowing air to pass in and out of the lungs more easily.
Flovent HFA is a brand name version of inhaled fluticasone propionate.
When using a medication that contains fluticasone propionate, a person should follow the instructions of their doctor or pharmacist regarding the dosage and when to take the medication.
If a person is unsure of how to use a particular medication, they should ask their doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Below is some general information on how to use different fluticasone propionate medications.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend against the use of Cutivate in children due to a lack of information about its safety and effectiveness in this age group.
Adults with an inflammatory skin condition should apply a thin layer of the cream to the affected skin twice daily as necessary.
After applying the cream, a person should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Flonase nasal spray
The FDA provide the following instructions for the use of Flonase nasal spray:
- For adults: Spray two sprays into each nostril once a day.
- For children aged 4 years or older and adolescents: Spray one spray into each nostril once a day.
- For children below 4 years of age: Flonase is not suitable.
Flovent HFA is not suitable for children below 4 years of age.
For all other age groups, the FDA recommend a starting dose of 88 micrograms twice daily.
The exact dosage that a doctor recommends will depend on the severity of the person’s asthma and whether they have previously taken any type of asthma medication.
People who are otherwise healthy should be able to use fluticasone propionate medications safely. To ensure this, they should follow the instructions of their doctor or pharmacist with regard to dosage and timings.
The age at which children can use a fluticasone propionate medication differs according to medication types and brands. Parents and caregivers should check medication labels to ensure that their child is of a suitable age to receive the medication. If in doubt, a person should ask their doctor for advice.
People who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should also talk to their doctor about the use of products that contain fluticasone propionate. A doctor will outline the potential benefits and risks of taking a particular medication.
Fluticasone propionate medications are not suitable for everyone. People with a weakened immune system or other chronic conditions should talk to their doctor about using fluticasone propionate.
Fluticasone propionate sprays and inhalants may interact with some medications, such as:
- certain antibiotics, including clarithromycin and telithromycin
- certain antifungals, including itraconazole and ketoconazole
- antiretroviral medications, such as ritonavir and atazanavir
- the antidepressant nefazodone
The above list is not exhaustive. As such, a person should talk to their doctor or pharmacist about any medications or supplements that they are taking before taking a fluticasone propionate medication.
A person should not need to change their diet while taking fluticasone propionate. However, they should talk to their doctor about the use of supplements or vitamins while taking this medication so that the doctor can identify any possible drug interactions.
The side effects of fluticasone propionate can vary depending on the product and its method of use.
Side effects of Cutivate
The most common side effects of Cutivate include:
- redness and irritation
- increased hair growth
- thinning of the skin
Side effects of Flonase nasal spray
The most common side effects of Flonase nasal spray include:
- burning or irritation of the nasal passages
- a cough
- asthma symptoms
- nausea or vomiting
Side effects of Flovent HFA
The most common side effects of Flovent HFA include:
- throat irritation
- changes in the voice
- a cough
- inflammation in the upper respiratory tract
- upper respiratory tract infection
- fungal infection
Doctors generally consider fluticasone propionate safe for otherwise healthy adults who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.
A person should talk to their doctor about their likelihood of developing side effects or reactions to the particular medication that they are using.
A 2020 review notes that long-term use of corticosteroids can cause a variety of complications, including an increased risk of infections.
Using Cutivate for long periods or on large surfaces can increase the risk of a person developing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. The condition involves the suppression of the immune system, which is typically reversible.
Flovent HFA can increase a person’s risk of developing fungal infections of the mouth or throat.
A person should talk to their doctor about the potential benefits and risks of taking a particular medication. Anyone who needs to take a medication for an extended period should work closely with their doctor to determine the lowest effective dosage.
A person should talk to their doctor if they are considering using a product that contains fluticasone propionate. A doctor can review the person’s medical history to help determine whether the product is likely to be safe and effective for them to use.
A person should also see their doctor if they experience a continuation of their symptoms while using a fluticasone propionate medication. Their doctor may be able to recommend an alternative medication or therapy.
Anyone who experiences side effects after using a particular medication should contact their doctor. If the side effects are severe or potentially life threatening, a person should seek emergency medical treatment.
Fluticasone propionate is a corticosteroid medication that helps reduce inflammation. The medication is available in different forms for different uses. These uses include managing symptoms of asthma and treating inflammatory skin conditions and allergic rhinitis.
A person should see their doctor before they begin taking a medication that contains fluticasone propionate. The doctor will review the person’s medical history to determine whether the medication is safe for them to take.
Anyone who experiences side effects or worsening symptoms while taking this medication should talk to their doctor. The doctor may recommend adjusting the dosage or switching to a different medication.