Rhinocort aqua nasal spray contains the active ingredient budesonide, which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones produced naturally by the adrenal glands that have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses. Budesonide nasal spray is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Budesonide is a synthetic corticosteroid and is adminstered by nasal spray to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages.
People who suffer from nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever tend to experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their allergy. These include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.
The nasal inflammation occurs when the nasal passages are exposed to foreign particles (allergens), for example, pollen, dust mites or pet fur. The allergens cause the cells in the nose to release chemicals that produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.
When administered into the nose, budesonide is absorbed into the cells of the nasal passages. It works by preventing these cells from releasing the chemicals that trigger the allergic response. This stops the allergic reaction from happening, so the nasal inflammation is reduced and the symptoms relieved.
Nasal inflammation giving hay fever-type symptoms can also sometimes occur without allergy or infection. This is called vasomotor rhinitis and can also be treated with budesonide nasal spray.
The nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal inflammation immediately, and it can take a few days to have its full effect. For allergies it is therefore most effective to start using the nasal spray a few days before you expect to get symptoms, for example before the start of the pollen season, or if you know you are going to be in contact with pets that give you the allergy. For maximum benefit, the spray should then be used regularly while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.
This nasal spray can also be used to treat nasal polyps, which are growths in the nose that occur when the linings of the sinuses become inflamed and swollen, usually as a result of allergy or infection. The inflamed linings push out into the nasal passages, forming the polyps, which can block the nose, making it difficult to breathe through the nose. When budesonide is administered into the nose it reduces the inflammation and so helps to shrink the polyps.
What is it used for?
- Preventing and treating symptoms of seasonal nasal allergies (seasonal allergic rhinitis) such as hay fever.
- Preventing and treating symptoms of nasal allergies that occur throughout the year (perennial allergic rhinitis), for example due to pet allergies or dust mite allergies.
- Inflammation of the nasal lining not due to infection or allergy (vasomotor rhinitis).
- Nasal polyps.
This nasal spray is suitable for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age.
- Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle gently before use.
- Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be primed by pumping it into the air 5 to 10 times until a fine mist is produced. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this. If the nasal spray hasn'’t been used for 24 hours you should reprime it in this way before using it again.
- Follow this link for general instructions on how to use a nasal spray.
- To treat allergies such as hay fever, adults and adolescents should use either two sprays in each nostril every morning, or one spray in each nostril twice a day, morning and evening. Follow the instructions given by your doctor. Once your symptoms are under control you should reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril once a day. The spray should preferably be used in the morning, though it can be used any time of day if necessary. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed.
- For allergies, you should preferably start using this nasal spray a few days before you expect to come into contact with the allergen and continue using it regularly all the time you are still exposed to the thing you are allergic to. However you shouldn't use it continuously for more than three months. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
- For the treatment of nasal polyps, adults and adolescents should use one spray in each nostril twice a day, morning and evening, for up to three months. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
- If you forget to use your nasal spray use it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the forgotten dose and take the next dose as normal. Don'’t use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Dryness and irritation of the nose.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling of lips, face or tongue (angioedema).
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is unlikely unless the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above or talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Very rare (affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)
- Perforation of the nasal septum.
- Ulceration in the nose.
- Raised pressure in the eye or glaucoma.
- This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
- Take care to avoid getting the spray in your eyes.
- The plastic nozzle of your nasal spray should be cleaned at least once a week, or more frequently if the spray doesn't work because it has become blocked. Follow the printed instructions supplied with the spray. Never try to unblock the nozzle or enlarge the tiny spray hole with a pin or other sharp object, because this will destroy the spray mechanism.
- Any remaining spray must be discarded two months after you first open the bottle, because it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Do not transfer any remaining suspension to another bottle. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle so you know when to throw it away. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning it to a pharmacy.
- When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to decrease the functioning of the adrenal glands (glands that produce natural steroid hormones). These side effects on other areas of the body are called systemic side effects and are extremely unlikely to occur with this nasal spray, because the amount of budesonide absorbed into the bloodstream from the nose is very low. However, as a precaution, your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. You should not exceed this prescribed dose. If your child is using this nasal spray for long periods of time your doctor may want to monitor their height to make sure their growth is not being affected. For further information discuss this with your doctor.
All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail. Tracking is available on all orders.
We always aim to dispatch all orders within 24 hours of them being received, if we are unable to meet this
high standard for whatever reason we will always contact you to advise you of the delay.
We offer free UK standard delivery on orders over £40.
The following delivery options are available:
- Standard Delivery - 2/3 day delivery - £2.95
- Express Delivery - 1/2 day delivery - £4.45
- Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 1pm) - £8.95
- Saturday Guaranteed before 1pm - £10.45
The cut-off for same day dispatch of orders is 4pm. Orders processed after this time will be dispatched the following working day. Orders are dispatched Monday - Friday. Orders will not be processed on weekends or bank holidays.
We ensure all deliveries are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods.
Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt.
Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.
Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering.
We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.