What's the Difference Between Flonase and Flonase Sensimist?
Ask a pharmacist
Tom is a 26-year-old male who suffers from seasonal allergies in the spring. It's getting to be that time of year, so he heads to the pharmacy to refill his nasal steroid prescription.
When he gets there, he notices that his prescription, Flonase, is now available over the counter (OTC); i.e., without a prescription. Not only that, but there is another product, Flonase Sensimist, that is also available.
He's happy he doesn't have to get new prescriptions, but he doesn't know which product to choose. He asks, "What's the difference between Flonase and Flonase Sensimist?"
The short answer
Both Flonase and Flonase Sensimist contain the steroid fluticasone in a nasal spray form. However, Flonase Sensimist uses a different salt form and a proprietary spray device, allowing for a thinner, finer spray.
Although you probably won't get any better relief from Flonase Sensimist, it will be a gentler, more comfortable spray that many people prefer.
The biggest difference between the two products is comfort. They both offer the same degree of symptom relief, but Flonase Sensimist has a gentler, more comfortable spray that many people prefer.
The long answer
Flonase became available OTC in 2015. It was one of the first prescription steroid nasal sprays to make the switch to OTC and it's certainly the most popular. It is a direct copy of prescription Flonase.
At that point, Veramyst (fluticasone furoate) was still only available as a prescription. In 2017, that changed and fluticasone furoate is now available over-the-counter as Flonase Sensimist.
Both products are used to treat all the symptoms of seasonal allergies, including itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Both work a full 24 hours and are safe to use long term.
The furoate salt form is sometimes purported to be stronger than the propionate salt form. While it is true that some people will respond better to fluticasone furoate, it cannot be said that, across the board, it is a stronger version. Many, if not most, people will enjoy the same benefits from fluticasone furoate as they do fluticasone propionate. Studies just don't support one over the other when it comes to how well they work.
Where the differences are notable is in how the sprays feel in your nose. Flonase Sensimist not only uses the furoate salt form, but is also has a proprietary actuation device, resulting in a noticeably thinner, finer mist. Not only does this feel better when sprayed in the nose, but it also is less likely to irritate nasal passages.
Technical differences between Flonase and Flonase Sensimist
Appropriate age of user
4 years and older
2 years and older
About $20 per month
About $25 per month
Regular nasal spary
Proprietary delivery system
The generic difference
Right now, only Flonase is available generically. Most pharmacies will have an in-store brand that is equivalent to the brand name Flonase. Since Flonase Sensimist is so new, there is no generic available.
The labeled price will always be less for the store generic, and I would always recommend giving the generic a shot. In almost all cases, it will work just as well as the brand alternative.
Since Flonase Sensimist is so new, you can find coupons in store ads and from the manufacturer directly. This will help with the price for now, but remember that those coupons won't always be around.
Buy more, spend less
Flonase is available in a 2-count package. This means you're going to spend more up front, but the cost per dose will ultimately be lower. So far, Flonase Sensimist is only available in a single pack.
Have you asked your pharmacist about Flonase or Flonase Sensimist?
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