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Is it Safe For My Child to Use Nasal Steroids to Treat Her Allergies?

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Updated May 13, 2008

Question: Is it Safe For My Child to Use Nasal Steroids to Treat Her Allergies?
Answer: Nasal steroids are safe and effective medications for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, even in children. Most nasal steroids are FDA-approved for use in children as young as 6 years of age; Veramyst (fluticasone furoate) and Nasonex (fluticasone furoate) are indicated for use in children as young as 2 years of age.

Nasal steroids have few side effects. Irritation and nose bleeds are the most common ones, while there is little evidence for whole-body side effects.

Nasal steroids may have a small affect on a child’s vertical growth, although studies seem to show mixed results on the subject. If nasal steroids do in fact affect a child’s growth, it is likely that this effect is very small and only transient, meaning that the child would still likely attain her original expected adult height.

There does seem to be some increased risk for cataracts and glaucoma in people who are using nasal steroids, particularly in children with a family history of these diseases, or who are otherwise prone to them. It is recommended that children undergo routine annual eye exams by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Find out more about nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Source:

Schleimer RP, Spahn JD, Covar R, Szefler SJ. Glucocorticoids. In: Adkinson NF, Yunginger JW, Busse WW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy Principles and Practice. 6th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Publishing; 2003:870-914.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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