Astelin, a newer prescription nasal spray, has generated a mixed-bag of reviews from users, including myself. In the first few days I used it, I would have said Astelin was a miracle nasal spray that clears up nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. I’d have given it a rating of 3.5 on a scale of 1-5 because of some minor side effects. Then things turned ugly. I experienced a severe allergic reaction, including nausea, heart palpitations and a whole body rash.
Reactions like mine are uncommon but because there is a potential for them to occur I’d have to rate Astelin no higher than 2.0. Other more common side effects of the drug are bitter taste, headache, nasal inflammation, drowsiness, sneezing, sore throat and loss of sensation. Some less common side effects are dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and weight gain. My reaction fell into the serious category where individuals may have excessive drowsiness, irregular heart rhythms, heart palpitations and allergic reactions (hives, rash, itching, and swelling).
For those who can tolerate it, Astelin provides an alternative from steroid sprays. This drug differs from others in that it is an antihistamine nasal spray that provides relief from symptoms caused by seasonal allergens as well as environmental irritants (e.g. perfume, car exhaust, cleaning agents, etc.), according to www.astelin.com. Astelin also is unique because it contains an antihistamine, and has no steroids or pseudoephedrine, often found in other decongestants and nasal sprays. My doctor recommended using an oral antihistamine, along with the spray.
The benefit of using a nasal spray rather than a pill is that the medicine is delivered more quickly into your body via the nose. However, informational materials about Astelin state that relief with the spray generally occurs in three hours and lasts up to 12 hours. The spray is designed to relieve congestion, itchy/runny nose, sneezing and post-nasal drip, due to allergies or unrelated to allergies.
I was hoping Astelin would work for me because before my reaction it had nearly eliminated all those symptoms for me. I could breathe through my nose and no more post-nasal drip for the first time in months. My doctor suggested I try Astelin because I frequently get sinus infections, due to narrow sinus passageways. I was suffering with severe headaches and facial pain when I started using it. Within two days, those symptoms disappeared, along with the nasal congestion and post-nasal drip.
The main side effects I had experienced prior to the severe reaction were bitter taste in my mouth and some nausea if I inhaled the spray too forcefully. I discovered the trick was to gently sniff in the medication. The normal tendency is to try to sniff in the medication which causes you end up with it in your mouth and stomach.
Astelin received a 2.5 average rating in reviews on www.askapatient.com. Individuals either loved it or hated it depending on the side effects they experienced. Unfortunately, the only way to find out how you will react is to try it. I’m not sure I would recommend it unless you have never had any drug reactions, and/or suffer with chronic sinus problems and nasal congestion, and have exhausted other possibilities.