Compare Flonase vs. Sudafed

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Flonase
(fluticasone)

Sudafed
(pseudoephedrine)

Relieves allergy symptoms. Flonase (Fluticasone) is a good first-choice medicine for treating a runny or stuffy nose caused by allergies, and it's cheaper than some alternatives.Clears your sinuses. Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) relieves stuffy nose, but it could keep you up at night. Don't forget your photo ID or you won't be able to buy it in the drugstore.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.05Flonase
Reviews for Flonase (fluticasone)
72%
of people (All ages) say Flonase (fluticasone) is worth it
43%
say it works well
7%
say it's a big hassle
890 reviews
Have you used Flonase (fluticasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)
82%
+10% better vs. Flonase (fluticasone)
45%
+2% better vs. Flonase (fluticasone)
6%
+1% better vs. Flonase (fluticasone)
1740 reviews
Have you used Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FlonaseSudafed
  • Asthma symptoms 4%
  • Nosebleed 1%
  • Nausea/vomiting 3%
  • Cough 1%
  • Blood in mucus 2%
  • Bronchitis 2%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
More Flonase side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Sudafed side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Sudafed »
How it works
FlonaseSudafed
Flonase (Fluticasone) is a nasal steroid. It works directly in your nose to reduce swelling and inflammation caused by allergies.Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) is a decongestant. It narrows blood vessels and reduces swelling in your nasal passages to make breathing easier.
Type of medication
FlonaseSudafed
Prescription or OTC
Prescription or OTC
Available as
FlonaseSudafed
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for
FlonaseSudafed
Risk factors for serious side effects
FlonaseSudafed
  • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
  • Using other inhaled steroids with Flonase (Fluticasone)
    • Long-term use
    • Taking more than recommended dose
    • Long-term use
    • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
    • Exposure to tuberculosis
    • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
    • Long-term use
    Detailed Flonase (fluticasone) risks & warnings »
    • History of high blood pressure
    • History of heart problems
    • Age 65 years or older
    • History of seizures
    • Women of childbearing age
    Detailed Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

    Pain
    FlonaseSudafed
    • Long-term use of Flonase (Fluticasone) can increase your chances of getting thrush in the nose and throat. Your doctor will check your nose and throat if you have to be on this medication for a long time. Also, tell your doctor if you notice pain in the nose and throat with redness and white patches.
    No pain related info.
    Sleep
    FlonaseSudafed
    No sleep related info.
    • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
    Upsides and benefits
    FlonaseSudafed
    • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
    • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
    • Can be used as needed to help control symptoms in people age 13 years or older.
    • Available as a generic medication.
    • One of the best over-the-counter options to clear stuffy nose and help you breathe better.
    • Clears nasal congestion better than other decongestants like phenylephrine.
    • Can be helpful in relieving congestion-related headaches and pressure in your ears.
    • Available in regular and extended release forms.
    Downsides and risks
    FlonaseSudafed
    • Flonase (Fluticasone) doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
    • Needs to be primed (pressed/pumped until a fine spray appears) up to six times prior to using it for the first time, or if you haven't used it in 2 weeks.
    • Since the medicine in Flonase (Fluticasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
    • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
    • It can affect the quality of your sleep, so you can't take it too close to going to bed.
    • Can raise blood pressure so check with your doctor before using it if you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
    • Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) isn't as effective after using it for more than 4 days straight.
    • Need to show a photo ID to buy it in the drugstore and there is a limit on how much you can buy each visit.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    FlonaseSudafed
    • It can take several days for Flonase (Fluticasone) to start working fully.
    • Don't take more of it than was prescribed for you.
    • Blow your nose before using Flonase (Fluticasone).
    • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside the nose and throat.
    • Can also cause a headache, sore throat, or nosebleeds.
    • Starts working in 30 minutes.
    • You need to show an ID to buy Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains pseudoephedrine.
    • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
    • Don't take Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) too close to bedtime since it can keep you awake.
    • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
    • Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
    Learn more
    More about FlonaseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Flonase (fluticasone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SudafedSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it