Drug vs. Drug

Rhinocort vs Flonase: Main Differences and Similarities

SingleCare Logo for author page By | April 3, 2019

Rhinocort (budesonide) and Flonase (fluticasone) are nasal spray medications used to treat symptoms from allergic rhinitis. They are both considered corticosteroids that work by decreasing inflammation in the nasal passageway. As allergy medications, they can reduce symptoms such as runny and itchy nose. Their similarities and differences will be explained further here.

Rhinocort

Rhinocort is the brand name for budesonide which can be purchased over the counter as a generic as well. Rhinocort is approved to treat nasal symptoms such as nasal stuffiness and itchiness in adults and children age 6 years and older.

Rhinocort is available as a nasal spray bottle that supplies 32 micrograms of budesonide per spray. It is usually dosed as one spray per nostril once daily with a maximum dose of four sprays per nostril. Rhinocort bottles can provide 120 sprays for allergy symptoms.

It may take several days to a couple weeks to feel complete relief from allergy symptoms.

Flonase

Flonase is the brand name for fluticasone propionate. Like Rhinocort, it can also be purchased over the counter. Flonase can treat allergy symptoms in those adults and children ages 4 years and older. Flonase is more than 3 times more potent than budesonide.

Flonase is available in a nasal spray that provides 50 micrograms of fluticasone per spray. The usual dose is 1 to 2 sprays in each nostril depending on the severity of symptoms. The maximum dose recommended is 2 sprays in each nostril.

As a corticosteroid, Flonase may take 1 to 2 weeks for full symptom relief to take effect.

Rhinocort vs Flonase Side by Side Comparison

Rhinocort and Flonase are nasal spray medications that treat similar symptoms. Although they are in the same class of medications, they have some differences. These similarities and differences can be found below.

Rhinocort Flonase
Prescribed For
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis
Drug Classification
  • Corticosteroid
  • Corticosteroid
Manufacturer
Common Side Effects
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nose bleeds
  • Nose burning or itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nose bleeds
  • Nose burning or itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
Is there a generic?
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Nasal spray
  • Nasal spray
Average Cash Price
  • $$153 per 30, 2ml of 0.5mg/2ml inhalation suspension.
  • $$55 for one 16 grams bottle of 50 mcg/inh nasal spray
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
CYP3A4 Inhibitors such as:

  • Ritonavir
  • Atazanavir
  • Clarithromycin
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Ketoconazole
  • Telithromycin
  • Conivaptan
  • Lopinavir
  • Nefazodone
  • Voriconazole
CYP3A4 Inhibitors such as:

  • Ritonavir
  • Atazanavir
  • Clarithromycin
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Saquinavir
  • Ketoconazole
  • Telithromycin
  • Conivaptan
  • Lopinavir
  • Nefazodone
  • Voriconazole
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Rhinocort is in Pregnancy Category B. Rhinocort may be used in pregnancy if the benefits outweigh any negative effects. Consult a physician regarding using Rhinocort while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Flonase is in Pregnancy Category C. Teratogenic effects have been reported in animals. No studies have been performed in humans. Consult a physician regarding using Flonase while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Summary

Rhinocort (budesonide) and Flonase (fluticasone) are two corticosteroid medications that can treat allergy symptoms. Flonase is a more potent steroid than budesonide. However, they are both effective at reducing inflammation and treating allergy symptoms such as stuffy, itchy nose and watery eyes.

Rhinocort and Flonase can both be purchased over the counter without a prescription. They come in similar dosage forms. Flonase may have a floral scent that many people dislike. However, it may help decrease allergy symptoms more than Rhinocort.

As corticosteroids, both drugs may take at least a week to receive full symptom relief. Some notable side effects include nosebleeds from long-term use. Both medications are not recommended for long-term use because of the increased risk of adverse effects.

Some adverse effects related to long-term use include increased risk of infections, worsened glaucoma, and poor wound healing. Some children may experience reduced growth rate if they are using corticosteroids on a consistent basis.

These medications should be discussed with your doctor. Rhinocort and Flonase are only two available medications that can treat allergies. Allergy medications can be individualized depending on the severity of your symptoms and your overall preference.