Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies | Buoy (2024)

Nasal sprays are an effective solution for alleviating allergy symptoms by reducing swelling and clearing mucus directly in the nasal passages where irritation from allergens often occurs. Some of them work within 15 minutes after use. Their localized treatment minimizes side effects compared to oral medications and provides fast, effective relief at the source of the problem.

This article will discuss the 10 best nasal sprays to help relieve allergy symptoms. We’ll also discuss what makes each suitable and how they can help you feel better.

Types of Nasal Sprays for Allergies

Nasal sprays are liquid medications squirted into the nasal passages to alleviate nasal congestion commonly caused by colds or allergies. They work by relieving stuffiness and reducing nasal discharge. These sprays deliver the medication in a fine mist, released from a pressurized container with a valve for adequate symptom relief.

​​There are a variety of nasal sprays on the market with different mechanisms of action. Knowing the differences is essential in making an informed choice on allergy relief. Here are the different types of nasal sprays that combat allergy symptoms.

1. Antihistamine Sprays

These sprays target nasal allergy symptoms by blocking histamine. Common side effects of antihistamine nasal sprays include the following:

  • Bitter taste
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth and nose

You can get these with a prescription; some are also available over the counter. Prescription options include the following medications:

  • Patanase (Olopatadine)
  • Astelin (Azelastine)

An example of an OTC antihistamine is Astepro (the OTC version of Astelin)

2. Steroid Nasal Sprays

These are preferred for various allergy symptoms, especially for reducing inflammation and congestion. They work best when used regularly, typically once daily for a few weeks.

Common side effects of using steroid nasal sprays include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal irritation
  • Cough

If you've had nose surgery, an untreated sinus infection, tuberculosis, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to a doctor before using steroid nasal sprays.

Examples of steroid nasal sprays in the market are:

  • Rhinocort (Budesonide)
  • Flonase (Fluticasone)
  • Nasonex (Mometasone)
  • Nasacort (Triamcinolone)
  • Veramyst (Fluticasone furoate)

3. Mast Cell Inhibitor Sprays

Mast cell inhibitor nasal sprays work by helping prevent the release of histamine, reducing allergy symptoms when used consistently. They help control allergic reactions over time but don't provide quick relief. Still, they're essential for long-term allergy management.

Typical side effects are the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal burning or irritation
  • Unpleasant taste

Given their safety profile, mast cell inhibitor sprays suit many users, including children and adults.

An example of a mast cell inhibitor nasal spray available OTC is Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom).

4. Decongestant Sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays provide immediate relief for nasal congestion but should be used short-term to avoid rebound congestion. It is generally advisable to avoid use beyond 3-4 consecutive days before taking a break from use.

These sprays shrink blood vessels in the nose to lessen congestion, but they don't stop sneezing or a runny nose. They give quick relief and are often used for sudden nasal blockage.

Common side effects associated with decongestant sprays are the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Sinus pains
  • Vomiting
  • Dryness or burning in the nose
  • Rebound congestion with prolonged use, which can be difficult to treat

Contraindications for decongestant sprays include individuals who have the following conditions:

  • Cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Overactive thyroid or enlarged prostate
  • Pregnant women should consult a doctor before use

Some of the decongestant nasal sprays found on the market are the following:

  • Afrin (Oxymetazoline)
  • Zicam (Oxymetazoline)
  • Sinex (Oxymetazoline)
  • Dristan (Phenylephrine)
  • Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine)

5. Saline Sprays

Saline nasal sprays moisturize the nasal passages, which helps to thin mucus and moisturize the nasal lining. They can be used without side effects except for possible mild irritation.

Common side effects are minimal but can include the following:

  • Mild nasal irritation
  • A brief stinging sensation if the nasal passages are very dry

Examples of saline nasal spray products include the following:

  • Arm & Hammer Simply Saline (Sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate)
  • Ayr (Sodium chloride 0.65%)
  • Amazon Basic Care Premium Saline Nasal Moisturizing Spray
  • Ocean nasal

6. Anticholinergic Sprays

Anticholinergic nasal sprays help dry up a runny nose by blocking acetylcholine, making them effective for allergic and nonallergic rhinitis.

Side effects associated with anticholinergic sprays can include the following:

  • Dryness of the nasal mucosa
  • Irritation or burning sensation in the nose
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth

People with narrow-angle glaucoma or trouble urinating should be careful with anticholinergics, and they're recommended for children.

The market offers Atrovent (Ipratropium bromide, 0.03%) as a prescription anticholinergic nasal spray. There are no OTC anticholinergic nasal sprays available.

Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies

We understand the importance of effective allergy relief, especially in wanting to feel comfortable doing daily tasks without allergy symptoms. That's why we have meticulously researched and compiled a list of the top 10 best nasal sprays for allergies.

Our selection is based on carefully evaluating factors such as the following:

  • Efficacy
  • Active Ingredient
  • Potency
  • Each of administration
  • Potential side effects

Whether you're seeking immediate relief from acute symptoms or a long-term solution for managing your allergies, our top recommendations are detailed below.

Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies | Buoy (2024)


Which nasal allergy spray is most effective? ›

Experts say that over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory nasal sprays—such as FLONASE nasal sprays or Nasacort® 24 Hour—are the most effective form of nasal allergy symptom relief.

Which brand nasal spray is best? ›

OTC steroid and antihistamine nasal sprays work best for treating allergy symptoms. Common examples include Flonase Allergy Relief (fluticasone), Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour (triamcinolone), and Astepro Allergy (azelastine). They're safe for both adults and children to use every day.

What nasal sprays do doctors prescribe? ›

Some examples: Nasal steroids are often a first-line treatment for allergies. Examples like triamcinolone acetonide (Nasacort) and fluticasone propionate (Flonase) are available over the counter. Doctors can also prescribe nasal sprays like beclomethasone (Beconase), ciclesonide (Zetonna), and mometasone (Nasonex).

What nasal spray is safe to use daily? ›

Nasal steroids sprays (Flonase®, Nasocort®, Nasonex®, etc. ) are safe to use on a daily basis and are now largely over-the-counter. These sprays are non-addictive and typically do not cause any long term changes to the nasal passages.

What is the best nasal spray Consumer Reports? ›

Antihistamine nasal sprays: If you've been faithfully using a nasal steroid for a couple of weeks and you're still uncomfortable, the guidelines recommend adding in a daily prescription nasal antihistamine spray, such as azelastine (Astelin, Astepro, and generic) or olopatadine (Patanase and generic).

Is there anything better 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.

Which allergy nasal spray has the least side effects? ›

Of the different types of allergy nasal sprays, saline nasal spray is known to cause the fewest side effects because it does not contain any medication.

What is the best nasal spray for chronic sinus? ›

Nasal corticosteroids.

These nasal sprays help prevent and treat swelling. Some are available without a prescription. Examples include fluticasone (Flonase Allergy Relief, Xhance), budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), mometasone (Nasonex 24HR Allergy) and beclomethasone (Beconase AQ, Qnasl, others).

What nose spray clears sinuses? ›

Price and inventory may vary from online to in store.
  • Vicks Sinex Severe Nasal Spray, Moisturizing Ultra Fine Mist with Aloe, Decongestant (0.5 fl oz ) ...
  • NeilMed Nasa Mist All In One Saline Spray (6 fl oz ) ...
  • Zarbee's Soothing Saline Nasal Mist with Aloe Fragrance-Free (3 FL OZ )

What is the downside of Flonase? ›

Nasal side effects — such as nosebleeds, irritation, and burning — can happen, too. Most side effects are generally mild and can be managed at home. Serious Flonase side effects include vision changes, asthma symptoms, and thrush. Discuss these risks with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using Flonase.

Why was Flonase discontinued? ›

Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Fluticasone Propionate Nasal Spray USP 50 mcg Per Spray 120 Metered Sprays Due to Potential for Small Glass Particles.

Who should not use azelastine? ›

An adult should help children younger than 12 years old to use azelastine nasal spray. Children younger than 6 years of age should not use nonprescription (over the counter) azelastine nasal spray. Azelastine nasal spray is only for use in the nose.

Which nasal spray is best for allergies? ›

Steroid nasal sprays are like the MVPs of allergy relief—and Flonase is the best of the best. It's 24-hour relief, non-drowsy, and addresses multiple allergic symptoms, including nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes while being gentle enough on your nose for daily use.

Which is better, Afrin or FLONASE? ›

Is Afrin or Flonase better? Afrin provides a faster response to congestion with an onset of action within 10 minutes. It is not recommended for use longer than three days, however. Flonase is slower to relieve congestion symptoms but can be used safely long term.

Is it better to take FLONASE at night or in the morning? ›

Is it better to use FLONASE at night? In short, no. One daily dose of FLONASE Allergy Relief delivers 24-hour relief from your worst allergy symptoms. So, even if you take it in the morning, you're still covered for all night long, without pesky allergy symptoms.

Which is the best nasal spray for a blocked nose? ›

For nasal congestion, we recommend Otrivine Sinusitis Relief Nasal Spray. The spray delivers an exact medicated dose of xylometazoline hydrochloride inside the nostril to relieve the nasal congestion as well as helping to ease the sinusitis pain and pressure that you may be feeling.

Which is more effective Flonase or Zyrtec? ›

FLONASE, a nasal spray, tends to be more effective for nasal symptoms like congestion, while Zyrtec, an oral antihistamine, may be better for symptoms like itching and hives. Individual responses vary, so personal trial is beneficial. What Should You Know About Allergies?

Which is better, Afrin or Flonase? ›

Is Afrin or Flonase better? Afrin provides a faster response to congestion with an onset of action within 10 minutes. It is not recommended for use longer than three days, however. Flonase is slower to relieve congestion symptoms but can be used safely long term.

Which is better, Flonase or Nasonex? ›

Official answer. The difference is Flonase is available over-the-counter (OTC) and Nasonex is prescription only. There is no difference in their effect or side effects. Flonase and Nasonex are both corticosteroid nasal sprays that are effective at treating hay fever, perennial allergic rhinitis and allergies.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 5253

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.