How Nasacort Treats Allergies and Congestion (2024)

Nasacort Allergy 24HR (triamcinolone) is an over-the-counter (OTC) nasal spray used to treat allergy symptoms such as sneezing and congestion. It belongs to the corticosteroid class of medications, which prevent the immune system from producing cytokines—inflammation-triggering chemicals that contribute to nasal symptoms—in response to exposure to an allergen.

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is also available in generic form. Many pharmacies and retailers have store-brand versions of triamcinolone, as well.

How Nasacort Treats Allergies and Congestion (1)


Once available only by prescription, the OTC version of Nasacort Allergy 24HR was introduced in October 2013. It is used to treat certain symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and other allergies, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Watery eyes

When used at bedtime, Nasacort Allergy 24HR also may help relieve sleep issues that arise due to allergies.

Before Taking

Although you don't need to see your healthcare provider before purchasing OTC Nasacort Allergy 24HR, it is a good idea to ask if your practitioner advises this treatment.

Aside from price and packaging, there are no discernible differences between Nasacort Allergy 24HR and generic triamcinolone nasal spray. Both should work equally well to relieve allergy symptoms.

Precautions and Contraindications

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is safe for most people. Because it is sprayed directly into the nose, however, you should ask your healthcare provider before using it if you:

  • Have an open sore or ulcer in your nose
  • Get frequent nosebleeds
  • Have recently had sinus surgery or another procedure in or around your nose that you are still healing from

Other potential contraindications for using Nasacort Allergy 24HR include:

  • Certain eye conditions, namely increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma (a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve), or cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye)
  • An untreated infection-in particular ocular herpes simplex (viral infection affecting the eyes) or tuberculosis (bacterial infection)
  • Recent exposure to measles or varicella (chicken pox)

If you're pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing, you should check with your healthcare provider before using Nasacort Allergy 24HR. If you become pregnant while using Nasacort Allergy 24HR, let your healthcare provider know.

The same is true if you're already taking any other type of steroid medication (to treat asthma or a rash, for example).

Avoid this medication if you're allergic to triamcinolone or any of the ingredients listed on the Nasacort Allergy 24HR package label.

Other Options

If Nasacort Allergy 24HR isn't safe for you or if it isn't effective for treating your symptoms, there are other medications that treat nasal allergy symptoms that you can try. These include OTC steroidal nasal sprays such as Flonase (fluticasone) and Rhinocort (budesomide).

Nonsteroidal options include oral antihistamines like Claritin (loratadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Allegra (fexofenadine).

The antihistamine nasal spray Astepro (azelastine) is another OTC alternative. It's also available as a generic.


One spray of Nasacort Allergy 24HR contains 55 micrograms (mcg) of the active ingredient, triamcinolone, a corticosteroid that's also used to treat conditions such as asthma.

Nasacort Allergy 24HR is formulated to be used once per day. According to the manufacturer, Chattem, Inc. (a subsidiary of Sanofi), the starting dosage for adults and children 12 and older is two sprays per nostril daily.

Once symptoms improve, the daily dosage should be decreased to one spray per nostril.


Nasacort Allergy 24HR is safe for children as young as 2 years old, and the dosage for young children differs from the dose that's recommended for people over age 12.

A children's version of the product is available that also contains 55 micrograms of glucocorticoid.

  • Children 6–12: Use one spray per nostril daily. If symptoms don't improve, increase to two sprays, returning to the single-spray dose once symptoms subside.
  • Children 2–6: Use one spray per nostril daily. Children this age will need an adult's help and supervision to use Nasacort Allergy 24HR.

All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine the right dose for you or your child.

How to Take and Store

The first time you use a bottle of Nasacort Allergy 24HR, you must prime it by pressing and releasing the nozzle until a fine mist is released. This may take several pumps.

To take:

  • Blow your nose gently to clear out mucus before using the spray. Tilt your head forward slightly.
  • Insert the nozzle into your nostril angling it away from the center of your nose toward your ear, ensuring the spray reaches the back of your nose.
  • Use your finger to close off your other nostril by pushing gently on the outside of your nose.
  • Press the nozzle to activate the spray, sniffing in gently as the medication is released.

Do not blow your nose for 15 minutes after taking Nasacort Allergy 24HR.

Never share a bottle of Nasacort Allergy 24HR, or any other nasal spray, with someone else. Doing so can put you both at risk of infection.

If the nozzle becomes blocked and to clean it, remove the nozzle and soak it (not the rest of the bottle) in warm water for a few minutes.

Nasal Sprays Types and How to Use Them

Side Effects

As with any drug, there is the potential for harmful side effects from using Nasacort Allergy 24HR. Although the chances of experiencing most of them are low, it's important to know what to look out for.


The most likely side effects of using Nasacort Allergy 24HR are:

  • Sore throat
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Cough
  • Headache


There are a number of rare, but serious side effects associated with the long-term use of Nasacort Allergy 24HR:

  • Nasal septal perforation (a hole in the cartilage that separates the nostrils)
  • Infection of the nose or mouth with a yeast called Candida
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Elevated cortisol levels
  • Adrenal suppression

If you experience any side effects or problems with Nasacort Allergy 24HR, stop using it, and contact your healthcare provider for further instruction.

Warnings and Interactions

There is some research to suggest that long-term use of triamcinolone by children can have an impact on their rate of growth.

For this reason, children and teens who use Nasacort Allergy 24HR for long periods of time should be monitored by their healthcare provider.

4 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Tyurin YA, Lissovskaya SA, Fassahov RS, et al. Cytokine profile of patients with allergic rhinitis caused by pollen, mite, and microbial allergen sensitization. J Immunol Res. 2017;2017:3054217. doi:10.1155/2017/3054217

  2. Small P, Keith PK, Kim H. Allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2018;14(Suppl 2):51. doi:10.1186/s13223-018-0280-7

  3. MedlinePlus. Triamcinolone Nasal Spray.

  4. Skoner DP,Berger WE,Gawchik SM,et al. Intranasal triamcinolone and growth velocity. Pediatrics. 2015 Feb;135(2):e348-56. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-1641

How Nasacort Treats Allergies and Congestion (2)

By Brandon Peters, MD
Dr. Peters is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist and is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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How Nasacort Treats Allergies and Congestion (2024)


How Nasacort Treats Allergies and Congestion? ›

It works by decreasing inflammation in your nose, making it easier to breathe. It belongs to a group of medications called nasal steroids. This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

Does Nasacort help with congestion? ›

Breathing is believing with Nasacort® nasal allergy spray — it reduces inflammation to relieve nasal allergy congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy nose.

How long does it take for Nasacort to start working? ›

Does Nasacort AQ start working on the first day? It helps some people within the first day of treatment, however, for other people it may take 3 to 4 days to feel a relief.

How does nasal spray relieve congestion? ›

Decongestant – Decongestant nasal sprays shrink swollen blood vessels and tissues to relieve congestion, but they can't help with sneezing or itching. Many are available without a prescription. However, they are not intended for children under 12 or anyone pregnant or nursing.

Is it okay to use Nasacort every day? ›

Is Nasacort safe for daily use? Nasal steroids are generally safe for long-term daily use when following dose instructions and product warnings on the label. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns before using Nasacort.

Does Nasacort cause rebound congestion? ›

Steroid nose sprays such as budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), fluticasone (Flonase Allergy Relief), and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR) do not work the same way as decongestant sprays and may be used for years without rebound congestion.

Is Nasacort stronger than Flonase? ›

Official answer. Nasacort and Flonase are equally effective, safe, and well tolerated for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Therefore the choice of either Nasacort or Flonase comes down to personal preference, availability or price.

Can I take Nasacort and Zyrtec together? ›

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between Nasacort and Zyrtec.

Can you stop Nasacort cold turkey? ›

To obtain the full benefit from this medication, it is important that it be used regularly and exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop using this medication even if you feel better, unless your doctor recommends that you do so.

Why am I still congested after using nasal spray? ›

In fact, these products often work so well that people are tempted to use them for too long. If you use a medicated decongestant nasal spray for more than 3 days in a row, you may develop rebound rhinitis medicamentosa (RM) when you do stop. This condition can cause prolonged sinus congestion.

How does nasal spray break up mucus? ›

The simple explanation of nasal sprays is that they target inflammation in your nasal passages, which reduces swelling and helps clear up stuffiness. Some nasal sprays (steroid nasal sprays and antihistamine sprays) are specifically designed to treat allergy symptoms and can be used for the long term.

What are the negative side effects of Nasacort? ›

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Crusting or sores inside nose.
  • Frequent or severe nose bleeds.
  • Low adrenal gland function—nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, unusual weakness, fatigue, dizziness.

Is Nasacort a steroid or antihistamine? ›

Triamcinolone is used to prevent and treat seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms (such as stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes/nose/throat, sneezing). Triamcinolone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing swelling (inflammation) in the nasal passages.

Can I take Flonase and Nasacort together? ›

CAN YOU USE FLONASE AND NASACORT TOGETHER? FLONASE Allergy Relief and Nasacort Allergy 24HR™ are both nasal steroids, and it is recommended that you only use one type of nasal steroid.

Do steroid nasal sprays help with congestion? ›

How Does a Nasal Corticosteroid Spray Help you? A nasal corticosteroid spray reduces swelling and mucus in the nasal passageway. The sprays work well for treating: Allergic rhinitis symptoms, such as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itching, or swelling of the nasal passageway.

Which works better, Flonase or Nasacort? ›

Official answer. Nasacort and Flonase are equally effective, safe, and well tolerated for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Therefore the choice of either Nasacort or Flonase comes down to personal preference, availability or price.

Does nasal spray break up congestion? ›

Many people turn to a medicated nasal decongestant spray to offer fast relief for a stuffy and running nose. It can reduce swelling and clear mucus from nasal passages quickly. In fact, these products often work so well that people are tempted to use them for too long.


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