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, including a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.
Avamys is used to prevent and relieve the symptoms of nasal inflammation caused by allergens. The active ingredient is fluticasone, which is a type of corticosteroid that helps to control the inflammatory process.
Avamys is a prescription only medicine (POM) and is available as a 27.5 micrograms/metered spray in a 120 dose unit.
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 help to produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.
When administered into the nose, fluticasone 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. It also reduces eye symptoms such as itchy, watery or red eyes.
Avamys nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies immediately, and it can take a few days to have its full effect. It is therefore most effective if started 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 you are allergic to.
For maximum benefit, the spray should be used regularly while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.
You should preferably start using Avamys 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 whatever causes your allergy.
Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle vigorously with the cap on for about 10 seconds before use. This is important because Avamys is a thick suspension that becomes liquid when you shake it. It won't spray unless it is liquid.
Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be prepared. After shaking, take the cap off and then press the mist release button all the way in at least six times until a fine mist is released through the nozzle. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this.
If the nasal spray hasn't been used for 30 days or more, or the cap has been left off for five days or more, you should prepare the spray in this way before using it again.
Adults should use two sprays into each nostril once a day, at the same time of day. Once your symptoms are under control you should reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril once a day. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than your doctor has prescribed.
It is important to use Avamys exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose by several hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double a dose to make up for a missed dose. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
If Avamys has not produced any benefits after two weeks you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist about an alternative treatment.
The most common side effect of Avamys is nosebleed and can affect 1 in 10 people using it. However they are generally minor and should not be a reason for stopping treatment.
Slightly less common are; ulceration, pain, dryness or irritation in the nose and headaches.
Allergic reactions to Avamys are rare but if you experience any symptoms such as narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), itchy blistering rash or anaphylactic shock you must stop the treatment immediately and seek medical help.
Avamys should be used with caution in people:
- With an infection in the nasal passages or sinuses (the infection should be treated).
- Who have had recent nasal surgery or injury (only use when the nose has healed).
- With tuberculosis affecting the lungs.
- With liver problems.
- With adrenal gland problems.
- Who have ever had raised pressure in the eye, glaucoma or cataracts.
Avamys must not be used in children under the age of 6, as it has not been tested in this age group. We are unable to prescribe it to anyone under the age of 18.
Avamys is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
Take care to avoid getting the spray in the eyes.
Any remaining spray must be discarded two months after you first open the bottle, because it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. 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 local 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 fluticasone 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.
Avamys is not recommended for people who are taking ritonavir.
The antifungals ketoconazole and itraconazole should be used with caution in people using Avamys nasal spray. Long courses of treatment together with these antifungals should be avoided.
You should NOT use Avamys if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
The patient information leaflet (PIL) is a leaflet containing specific information about medical conditions, doses and side effects. You can download a copy of the PIL here:
Patient Info Leaflet