With fluticasone propionate as its only active ingredient, one dose of FlutiCare promises to provide 24 hours of relief from nasal allergy symptoms like congestion, runny and itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. It can also prevent existing allergy symptoms caused by pollen, dust, animal dander, and other indoor and outdoor allergens from flaring up further.
According to the manufacturer, you only need to use FlutiCare once per day to experience these benefits, since it’s available in prescription strength over the counter. Simply shake gently before use, prime the bottle by pressing down and releasing six times, spray once per nostril while inhaling gently, and then clean the nozzle.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it’s thought that approximately 50 million Americans are affected by nasal allergies each year. In fact, it’s the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.
If you count yourself among these numbers, can you expect FlutiCare to help you take control of your life again? Is it necessarily your best choice, or are there other options to explore?
Take a few minutes to read what we learned during our research, which can help you find your own answers to important questions like these.
Taking a Closer Look at How FlutiCare’s Active Ingredient Works
What Are Allergies & Common OTC Treatments?
WebMD tells us “allergies are an overreaction of the body's natural defense system [i.e., the immune system] that helps fight infections.”
You see, the body creates antibodies any time foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses are detected, which then attack and destroy them. With allergic reactions, however, the body releases these antibodies after detecting otherwise harmless substances like pollen, dust mites, environmental contaminants, and even medication that’s supposed to help, thereby causing common side effects like “a rash, itchy eyes, a runny nose, trouble breathing,” and so forth.
They go on to explain that the most common treatments for allergic reactions are over the counter antihistamines (reduce or block histamines), decongestants and corticosteroids (reduce airway inflammation), and glucocorticoids.
What Is a Glucocorticoid?
Healthline defines these as “man-made versions of glucocorticoids, steroids that occur naturally in your body” that work to “interrupt inflammation by moving into cells and suppressing the proteins that go on to promote inflammation.” In addition, “they also help your body respond to stress and regulate how your body uses fat and sugar.”
Of these, the single active ingredient in FlutiCare (50 mcg of fluticasone propionate per dose) is a nasal glucocorticoid that helps control seasonal and perennial symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Inactive ingredients include benzalkonium chloride, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, phenylethyl alcohol, polysorbate 80, purified water, and sodium carboxymethylcellulose.
While the Food and Drug Administration points out that, “the precise mechanism through which fluticasone propionate affects allergic rhinitis symptoms is not known,” they report that in vitro and in vivo clinical studies have shown that it can work as an effective treatment nonetheless.
What’s the Link Between FlutiCare & Flonase?
While this ingredient was originally only available through a prescription and sold under the brand name Flonase (more soon), a recent press release reports that Flonase’s manufacturer provided the company behind FlutiCare “with the rights to launch its branded, fluticasone propionate nasal spray … under their FDA approved abbreviated new drug application.”
Short answer: The company behind Flonase appears to have sold the rights to Innovus Pharmaceuticals to market generic fluticasone propionate under the brand FlutiCare.
Could the Fluticasone Propionate in FlutiCare Cause Side Effects?
According to FlutiCare’s packaging, the nasal spray shouldn’t be used more than once per day or otherwise directed by your doctor, or by “children under four years of age, to treat asthma, if you have an injury or surgery to your nose that isn’t fully healed, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of the ingredients.”
Furthermore, they note that you should speak with your doctor before using if you have or had glaucoma or cataracts, while the FDA link from earlier points out that you should speak with a physician if you’re currently taking any other corticosteroids. Also, you shouldn’t share the bottle with anyone, as this can spread germs.
With all of this said, the packaging emphasizes that stinging or sneezing may occur for a few seconds after using FlutiCare. In rare instances (no specifics provided), the FDA notes that it can also cause “immediate hypersensitivity reactions or contact dermatitis may occur after the administration.”
To help alleviate the chances of any unwanted side effects or drug interactions, be sure to talk with your doctor before trying any new OTC medication for nasal allergies.
How Much Does FlutiCare Nasal Spray Cost?
If purchased directly from the manufacturer, FlutiCare is priced as follows:
- Single Pack (0.56 oz (16 g), or about 120 metered sprays): $16.99
- 2-Pack: $30
- 4-Pack: $56
- 12-Pack: $156
Customers can also choose to subscribe and receive:
- 1 Bottle every 30 days: $14.99
- 3 bottles every 90 days: $41.97 ($13.99 per bottle)
- 6 bottles every 180 days: $77.94 ($12.99 per bottle)
These prices were identical on Amazon at the time of our research.
All manufacturer-direct FlutiCare orders come with free worldwide shipping and 30-day money back guarantees, less S&H and a $10 restocking fee. In order to request one, you’ll need to reach out to customer support at 800-962-8364.
What Can We Learn From Online Customer Reviews for FlutiCare?
We encountered just under 20 combined customer reviews for FlutiCare on Amazon, who cumulatively gave the product an average rating of about five stars. There, common compliments referenced competitive price, effective relief from allergy symptoms, and ease of use. There were no complaints.
From a company perspective, FlutiCare is manufactured by Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based out of San Diego, CA, who’s been in business since 2012 and also makes the AllerVarx dietary supplement. They held an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on one positive customer review and nine closed complaints, as of 1/11/18. No details were available.
The BBB has also sent three letters requesting that the company substantiate various claims made in the online advertising, although it doesn’t appear any of these have received a response as of this writing.
FlutiCare vs. Flonase, Rhinocort, & Nasacort: Which Allergy Nasal Spray Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for a daily over-the-counter corticosteroid nasal spray formulated to prevent and relieve symptoms related to allergic rhinitis, you’re currently limited to four options:
|Company||Price (single bottle)||Active Ingredient (per dose)|
|FlutiCare||$16.99, 30 sprays||50 mcg fluticasone propionate|
|Flonase||$14-$48, depending on quantity and retailer||50 mcg fluticasone propionate|
|Rhinocort||$13||32 mcg budesonide|
|Nasacort||$13-35, depending on quantity and retailer||55 mcg triamcinolone acetonide|
How can you decide which of these will deliver the most relief for the money?
As mentioned earlier, any time you’re thinking about using a new OTC medication to address your allergic rhinitis, speak with your doctor before purchasing. They can help you make a much more informed decision based on your specific diagnosis, along with any other medications you’re currently taking.
From an efficacy perspective, though, according to Dr. Sharon Orrange, writing for GoodRx, “Studies comparing different intranasal steroid preparations have not demonstrated significant differences in effectiveness.” However, she points out, “While they all work the same, side effect profile and taste are different.”
Specifically, the Mayo Clinic reports that more common side effects related to budesonide include bruising easily, cough or hoarseness, and flu-like symptoms (including fever, chills, and sore throat). RxList indicates that triamcinolone can lead to skin redness and irritation, excessive dryness, peeling, and thinning of the skin.
Cost-wise, each of these options seems priced relatively in line with one another, although if you’re only interested in fluticasone propionate (based on your doctor’s recommendation, of course), on an ounce-for-ounce basis, FlutiCare was almost always less expensive than Flonase at the time of our research.
However, it’s important to point out that since fluticasone propionate is now classified as a generic ingredient by the FDA, we also found smaller pharmacy brand sizes for as low as $9.
Does this mean you should go ahead and place an order for FlutiCare?
Our Final Thoughts About FlutiCare
We've mentioned it more than once already, but it's important enough to repeat one last time: if you're suffering from symptoms of allergic rhinitis and are considering an OTC corticosteroid to help address them, the first person you should speak with is your doctor.
If they recommend proceeding, based on what we learned above, fluticasone propionate is FDA approved to reduce nasal allergy symptoms, and thousands of individuals online have reported solid results from using it.
So, if you’re looking for a generic version that could cost you less than the original Flonase, FlutiCare seems to represent a reliable option. To boot, the manufacturer stands behind all direct purchases with a 30-day refund policy, although you’ll have to pay to ship it back, and you’ll also lose $10 as a restocking fee if you request one.
We think it’s also important to keep in mind that some local pharmacies might carry their own generic fluticasone propionate versions as well, which sometimes cost even less, while putting the medication in your hands—and potentially helping you experience relief—faster.