Nasonex OTC will soon be available without a prescription. Perrigo Company announced today that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Merck (the manufacturer of Nasonex) for the exclusive rights in the United States to pursue regulatory approval for a non-prescription, Nasonex OTC (mometasone furoate monohydrate) Nasal Spray. Nasonex is currently available by prescription only, although it is available in generic form.
Nasal steroidal sprays are used to treat the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Common complaints of allergy sufferers are sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and itchy nose, to name a few. The gold standard to treat these symptoms are steroidal nasal sprays. Initially these sprays were available by prescription only, after many years though, they became over the counter (available without a prescription from a doctor). Some that are currently available OTC are Flonase, Veramyst, Nasocort and Rhinocort.
Many patients ask which nasal steroid is the best to use? There have been no strong studies supporting one of these nasal sprays better than the other for the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Patients do although have a preference of one spray over the other. Many patients seem to favor Nasonex because it is odorless. Flonase has a “flowery” smell to it and some people don’t like it, but it has a comparable efficacy to all the other nasal sprays. Rhinocort has a pregnancy category B indication, the others do not. One of the strong advantages of Nasonex is that it has a nasal polyp indication and the others do not. A new nasal spray, Xhance, has been released recently that has gotten approval for nasal polyps. Two nasal sprays, Zetonna and Qnasl, are pressurized, odorless and “dry” nasal sprays. They are not aqueous “wet” formulations, although insurance coverage for these two medications is very poor.
Common allergens for patients who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, are tree, grass, and weed pollens. For perennial allergic rhinitis, mold, dust mites, dog and cat dander are very common.
To see if Nasonex OTC might be right for you, speak to your doctor and trying the different nasal sprays might be beneficial.
Steroidal nasal sprays should not be confused with antihistamine nasal sprays such as Astelin (azelastine), Astepro, Patanase (olopatadine). Those have a different mechanism of action by blocking histamine receptors in the nose.
Many patients will look forward to Nasonex OTC being available without a prescription as it gives more choices to the consumer. It is currently available in generic form, but most insurance providers do not cover it without a prior authorization from your doctor.