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Hay Fever

Avamys Side Effects: Everything You Need To Know Before Using The Steroid Nasal Spray

by Andy Boysan (BPharm)

Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

If you suffer from hay fever or other types of allergies, then there are many different hay fever treatment options you can choose from, including nasal sprays like Avamys, which have successful results and minimal side effects. But what Avamys side effects can you expect?

Finding out more about the possible side effects of any medicine before you start a course of treatment is always a good idea, so that you know what to expect and if there are any adverse reactions that you need to look out for. 

In this guide, we’ll cover the different side effects of Avamys, including more common side effects, long-term Avamys side effects, any interactions between Avamys and other medicines.

 

Avamys uses

Avamys is a nasal spray which is used to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis (allergies) including a stuffy, blocked, runny or itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, red or watery eyes. 

These reactions in the body may be due to allergens such as pollen (hay fever), dust or mould, which irritate and inflame the inside of the nose.

Avamys nasal spray contains the medicine fluticasone furoate as the active ingredient. This is a corticosteroid (more commonly known as ‘steroids’).

Avamys works by decreasing the inflammation caused by allergic rhinitis, helping to soothe nasal passages and relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

Avamys can be used by adults and children aged six years and over on prescription from your doctor (we can only prescribe for adults aged over 18 online).

 

Summary list of Avamys nasal spray side effects

As with any medicine, Avamys can cause side effects and there is a risk of experiencing them if you use this treatment.

This doesn’t mean that everyone who uses Avamys nasal spray will suffer from negative side effects. Many people who use this medicine to treat hay fever or other allergies will not experience any side effects at all. 

However, there is always a chance that you may experience some side effects, so it’s a good idea to find out more about what you can expect and how common certain Avamys side effects are. 

Here is a summary list of known Avamys nasal spray side effects:

Very common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Nosebleeds (generally minor), particularly if you use Avamys for more than 6 weeks continuously

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Nose ulcers
  • Nasal irritation or discomfort in the nose
  • Streaks of blood when you blow your nose
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

  • Pain in the nose
  • A sting or burning in the nose
  • Soreness
  • Dryness or crustiness in the inside of the nose

Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people):

  • Small holes (perforations) in the ridge inside the nose that separates the nostrils

Frequency not known (cannot be estimated from the available data):

  • Slowing of growth in children
  • Blurred vision or temporary changes to vision with long term use
  • Chest tightness causing difficulty in breathing

If you are concerned about any of the Avamys side effects listed above, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist. 

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects — others may occur in some users and there may be some that are not yet known. If you notice any other side effects that are not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

 

More common Avamys side effects and symptoms

Some side effects of Avamys are more common than others. 

Common side effects of Avamys nasal spray include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Nose ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Nasal irritation

Nosebleeds (known medically as epistaxis) are the most common Avamys side effect, affecting over one in 10 patients. These are generally mild or moderate. Nosebleeds from Avamys tend to affect adults who use the nasal spray for more than six weeks continuously.

 

Serious Avamys side effects and symptoms

Experiencing serious side effects from Avamys is very unusual. However, as we mentioned above, it is worth knowing about these possible side effects and their signs, so that you can get medical help or advice if needed.

Speak to your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following serious side effects of Avamys occur:

  • Sores or ulcers inside the nose
  • Nasal septum perforation (small holes in the wall between the nostrils)
  • Heart palpitations (feeling that your heart is racing)
  • Chest tightness causing difficulty in breathing (dyspnoea)
  • Blurred vision or changes to vision — this may indicate cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) or glaucoma (increase in pressure in the eye) 
  • High blood pressure — signs are headaches, vision changes, nausea and vomiting
  • Increased frequency of infection — signs are cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Mood and behavioural changes such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity or aggression
  • Cushing's syndrome, Cushingoid features or adrenal suppression
  • slowed growth in children and adolescents
  • Symptoms of decreased adrenal function — signs are tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure
  • Symptoms of a fungal infection in the nose — nasal discharge, fever, headache, fatigue, generally feeling unwell
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar — frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, infections, fruity breath odour
  • Symptoms of too much corticosteroid — such as weight gain (particularly around the body and face) known as ‘moon face’, sweating, thinning of the skin, bruising easily, muscle and bone weakness

You should always consult your GP if you experience serious side effects or signs from any medicine, including Avamys.

If you feel like any of your symptoms are dangerous or life-threatening, you should call the emergency services. If you are ever in any doubt, check with a medical professional immediately.

 

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions to Avamys are rare — they affect less than one person in 1,000.

However, a small number of users may experience allergic reactions, which can be serious and even life-threatening if not treated.

Avamys should not be used in people who are allergic to fluticasone furoate or any of the other ingredients in Avamys. Likewise, if you have had an allergic reaction to steroids in the past, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance. 

These are the symptoms and signs that indicate a serious allergic reaction:

  • Wheezing 
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty talking
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Swelling, particularly of the face, mouth, lips, tongue or throat
  • Changes to the skin, such as rashes, or itchy, red, swollen or peeling skin, or blisters
  • Severe dizziness or light-headedness
  • Suddenly feeling very weak or faint
  • Collapsing or loss of consciousness

You should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above after using Avamys. 

These indicate a serious allergic reaction, and this must be treated as an emergency. You should either call 999 or go to A&E immediately.

 

What are the long-term effects of taking Avamys?

The likelihood of experiencing adverse Avamys side effects increases if you use this nasal spray regularly for long periods of time.

The below are thought to be long-term effects of taking Avamys:

  • Increase in nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Slowing or suppression of growth in children
  • Blurred vision or changes to vision such as cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) or glaucoma (increase in pressure in the eye) 
  • Chest tightness causing difficulty in breathing (dyspnoea)
  • Cushing's syndrome, Cushingoid features or adrenal suppression

Nasal corticosteroids like Avamys can affect the production of hormones in the body — especially if you use strong doses for a long period of time. Particularly in children, this side effect may cause slower growth or suppression in normal growth. 

More rarely, there may be psychological or behavioural effects such as sleep disorders, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression or aggression (particularly in children). 

 

What drugs should not be taken with Avamys?

Some other drugs and medicines may interfere with steroid nasal sprays like Avamys. 

This means that they may affect how well Avamys works, increase your risk of experiencing adverse side effects, or that Avamys may interact with these medicines and affect how they work. 

There may be an interaction between Avamys nasal spray and the following medicines:

  • Steroid tablets or injected steroids
  • Steroid creams
  • Medicines for asthma
  • Any HIV protease inhibitor (such as ritonavir, atazanavir, darunavir, lopinavir, tipranavir or cobicistat)
  • Certain treatments for fungal infections (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole)
  • Macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin)

If you are using, have recently used, or are planning on using any of the above medicines, it may not be advisable to use Avamys. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you are taking any of the above medicines so that they can assess whether you are able to take Avamys.

You must also inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medicines — including those not listed above. This includes prescription medicines, over-the-counter treatments and herbal treatments or supplements that you take. 

 

Does Avamys cause anxiety?

Anxiety is not a listed side effect of using Avamys in the patient leaflet. 

However, there are reports of some patients who use Avamys or other steroid-based nasal sprays long-term experiencing anxiety or anxiety symptoms. This may include breathlessness, restlessness, insomnia and a rapid heartbeat.

This is thought to be very unusual and to only affect a very small number of people. It is thought to be more likely in patients who regularly use steroid nasal sprays over a long period of time. 

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder or you notice symptoms of anxiety when you use Avamys, speak to your doctor for further guidance.

 

Summary

Avamys is a prescription-only nasal spray which is used to effectively treat the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (allergies). 

This popular hay fever treatment contains a corticosteroid (a steroid), which helps to reduce inflammation in the nose, which alleviates irritation and symptoms like a blocked or sniffly nose.

Avamys side effects are unusual and tend to be mild.The most common side effect of Avamys is epistaxis (nosebleeds). Nosebleeds affect over one in 10 Avamys users, but they are usually mild or moderate, and mostly affect those who have used the nasal spray for more than six weeks continuously.

Using a high Avamys dose for long periods of time increases the user’s risk of experiencing more serious or long-term side effects such as growth suppression (particularly in children), vision problems, or psychological effects such as anxiety. However, the vast majority of users have an overwhelmingly positive experience with Avamys. 

You can buy Avamys nasal spray here at The Independent Pharmacy. You simply need to answer a few questions as part of our free online consultation form. Once you do, one of our prescribers will be able to approve your treatment order for next-day delivery.

 

Sources

Authored By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan

BPharm

Published on: 05-10-2020

Last modified on: 05-10-2020


Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Ruari O'Connell

Ruari O'Connell

BPharm IP

Reviewed on: 05-10-2020

Next review date: 05-10-2020


Ruari has worked in all sectors of pharmacy and is one of the most experienced Pharmacist Independent Prescribers in the UK.


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