Flunisolide

Brand names of flunisolide

  • AeroBid
  • AeroBid-M
  • Alti-Flunisolide
  • Apo-Flunisolide
  • Bronalide
  • Nasalide
  • Nasarel
  • Novo-Flunisolide
  • Nu-Flunisolide
  • Rhinalar

Flunisolide is a synthetic corticosteroid and is used to treat asthma and allergic rhinitis. This medication is administered in two ways - as an oral metered dose inhaler to treat asthma or as a nasal spray to treat allergic rhinitis. It may be noted that corticosteroids are hormones that occur naturally in our body and help to prevent or hold back inflammation as well as immune responses. When flunisolide is administered in the form of an intranasal spray, it helps to lessen watery nasal discharge known as rhinorrhea, postnasal drip, nasal congestion, sneezing and also itching at the back of the throat. In fact, all these are common symptoms of allergies. Using flunisolide may at times also provide relief from eye symptoms like itching and tearing that are usually related to allergy. While most patients experience the benefits of the medication with a few days of using it, for some others it may take a little longer - as long as four weeks. It may be noted that around 50 per cent of flunisolide is soaked up by the bloodstream.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking flunisolide

As in the instance of commencing treatment with any new drug, you ought to exercise a number of precautions before you start using flunisolide. Prior to using flunisolide, you should tell your doctor if you have allergic reactions to this medication or any other drugs. In addition, you ought to tell your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, particularly arthritis medications, anti-coagulants or 'blood thinners' like warfarin (Coumadin), digoxin (Lanoxin), aspirin, cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral), diuretics, oral contraceptives, estrogen (Premarin), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), theophylline (Theo-Dur), rifampin (Rifadin), and/ or vitamins that are being taken by you currently.

Prior to starting treatment with flunisolide, you should also tell your doctor regarding all your medical conditions, especially if you have any fungal infection, barring those on your skin, and any nose infection. Also tell your doctor about your entire medical history, especially if you have or have ever had any liver or kidney disease, tuberculosis (TB), intestinal or heart ailments, a poorly functioning thyroid gland, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoporosis, myasthenia gravis (a persistent progressive malady wherein the muscles, especially those of the head and face, become feeble and easily weary), ulcers, seizure and/ or herpes eye infections. It is advisable not to use flunisolide without consulting your doctor.

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Women who intend to use flunisolide for their health condition should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or a breast feeding. Call you doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using flunisolide.

Usage

A synthetic corticosteroid, flunisolide is generally used to treat asthma and allergic rhinitis, such as seasonal allergies like hay fever. This medication is also used to prevent relapse of nasal polyps after they have been removed by means of surgery.

How to use flunisolide

Prior to starting your treatment with flunisolide as well as each time you get a prescription refill, it is essential to carefully read the Patient Information Leaflet that is provided by your pharmacist. In case you are unable to follow any instruction in the booklet or have any queries, ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you out.

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Flunisolide is meant for use in the nose and the standard dosage of the medication is taking one or two sprays in each nostril twice or thrice every day or as instructed by your doctor. Be careful to avoid the medication going into your eyes. Prior to using flunisolide, blow your nose gently to clear the nasal passage. In addition, shake the spray container prior to each time you use it. In case you are using the medication for the first time, strictly follow the instructions to correctly prepare the spray pump. This is also necessary if you have not used the spray for over five days. While cleaning the spray pump follow the instructions closely.

In order to use the spray, you should first remove the safety clip and the plastic cap of the spray pump. Then close one nostril by pressing it with your finger, incline your head a little forward and while keeping the bottle straight, insert the nasal applicator carefully into the other nostril. Next, you need to firmly press down on the pump to provide the requisite/ prescribed number of sprays. Inhale the drug gently through the nose, while keeping your mouth closed. Take care, never to spray the medication expressly onto the nasal septum (the middle wall of the nose). Once you have sprayed the medicine inside the nostril, remove the tip of the applicator; incline your head backward for a number of seconds. This process would enable the medication to spread to the back of the nose. Now, repeat the same process in the other nostril. Once you have sprayed the medication in both the nostrils, wipe up the tip of the applicator with a clean cloth or tissue paper and put back the plastic cap. After using flunisolide, do not flush or blow your nose for a minimum of 15 minutes.

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The dosage of flunisolide is dependent on the patient's medical condition and his/ her response to the therapy. In fact, younger children usually require a smaller dose and assistance from an adult to use this medication appropriately. In order to get the utmost benefit of using flunisolide, use it on a regular basis. Taking the medication at around the same time every day will help you to remember when to use it daily. Here is a word of caution. Never use this medication in excess or too frequently than what has been recommended by your doctor.

It may be noted that the benefits of using flunisolide may not be evident soon because this medication does not work instantly. In some cases, the medication starts working in one to two days time, while in many others it may even take up to two weeks before the patient can experience the full benefits of using this medication. This is because this medication takes time to take effect. You may ask your doctor or pharmacist if you may use any other medication, for instance, nasal drops/ spray and/ or allergy drugs taken orally, together with flunisolide till this medication takes complete effect. Always monitor the number of sprays that you have used from the bottle.

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Once you have used a number of sprays mentioned on the manufacturer's package, discard the bottle in a safe and proper manner. It is advisable never to pour any remaining drug in the used bottle into another container. If required, follow the instructions on the package regarding the manner in which the spray tip should be unblocked to clean the spray bottle. In case your condition does not improve even after using the medication for as long as three weeks or if your condition deteriorates, contact your doctor and discuss the problem.

How flunisolide works

Flunisolide as well as all other respiratory corticosteroids basically work by reducing the allergic response to the allergens inhaled as well as by slowing down the secretion of mucus within the bronchial tubes (respiratory airways).

Side effects

Common
Less common

Possible interactions

Like most other medications, the synthetic corticosteroid flunisolide also interacts with certain medications, especially herbal products and/ or minerals and, hence, they should not be used concurrently. In addition, consuming alcoholic beverages and smoking tobacco while using this drug is also known to cause adverse after-effects. Therefore, use of these substances should be restricted or completely avoided while using flunisolide.

Patients suffering from asthma are advised not to use herbal products, such as fir or pine needle oil. On the other hand, ephedra itself carries a German Commission E monograph indication for treating asthma. In case you have allergic reactions to plants belonging to the Asteraceae family, for instance, chrysanthemum, aster, ragweed and/ or daisy, you are also likely to be allergic to chamomile, feverfew, Echinacea and St. John's wort. Hence, these herbs need to be avoided by people using flunisolide. It is wise to take more calcium and vitamin D while using this medication. Prior to adding any new herb to your list of medications, it is essential to talk to your doctor if you are using flunisolide.

Although consumption of alcoholic beverages does not have any direct interaction with flunisolide, people consuming too much alcohol face increased risks of osteoporosis. As prolonged use of this medication may result in osteoporosis, it is advisable that patients avoid using alcoholic drinks completely. Smoking tobacco may perhaps worsen asthma and, at the same time, diminish the benefits of using this medication.

It may be noted that severe infections, grave injuries as well as surgical processes may give rise to an emergency situation for administration of cortisone-related medications orally or by means of injections. In the event of developing any new ailment or sustaining an injury, you should call your doctor immediately.

Discontinuation

Even if flunisolide has made it possible to lower the usage or discontinue taking any cortisone-like medication orally, do not stop using this medication all of a sudden. In case you need to stop using this medication, you should call your doctor at once and talk to him/ her regarding the appropriate and safe way of discontinuing this medication.

Storage instructions

Flunisolide should always be stored at room temperature. Never allow this medication to be exposed to high temperatures above 120°F (49°C) for it may result in the decomposition of the medicine. Also remember never to store or keep or even use this inhaler close to any source of heat or an open flame.

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