FLUNISOLIDE- flunisolide solution


Flunisolide Nasal Solution USP, 0.025% is intended for administration as a spray to the nasal mucosa. Flunisolide, the active component of Flunisolide Nasal Solution, is an anti-inflammatory steroid.

Flunisolide is represented by the following structural formula:

Flunisolide (Structural formula)

C 24 H 31 FO 6 • 1/2H 2 O
Mol. Wt. 443.52

Chemical Name:
6α-fluoro-11β 16α,17,21-tetrahydroxypregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione cyclic 16,17-acetal with acetone (USAN).

Flunisolide is a white to creamy white crystalline powder. It is soluble in acetone, sparingly soluble in chloroform, slightly soluble in methanol, and practically insoluble in water. It has a melting point of about 245°C.

After initial priming (5 to 6 sprays), each spray of the unit delivers a metered droplet spray of 100 mg formulation containing 25 mcg of flunisolide. The size of the droplets produced by the unit is in excess of 8 microns to facilitate deposition on the nasal mucosa. The contents of one nasal spray bottle delivers 200 sprays.

Each mL contains: ACTIVE: Flunisolide 0.25 mg (0.025%); INACTIVES: Propylene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol 3350, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Edetate Disodium, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, and Purified Water. Sodium Hydroxide and/or Hydrochloric Acid may be added to adjust pH (5.1–5.4). PRESERVATIVE: Benzalkonium Chloride 0.01%.


Flunisolide has demonstrated potent glucocorticoid and weak mineralocorticoid activity in classical animal test systems. As a glucocorticoid, it is several hundred times more potent than the cortisol standard. Clinical studies with flunisolide have shown therapeutic activity on nasal mucous membranes with minimal evidence of systemic activity at the recommended doses.

A study in approximately 100 patients that compared the recommended dose of Flunisolide Nasal Solution with an oral dose providing equivalent systemic amounts of flunisolide has shown that the clinical effectiveness of Flunisolide Nasal Solution, when used topically as recommended, is due to its direct local effect and not to an indirect effect through systemic absorption.

Following administration of flunisolide to man, approximately half of the administered dose is recovered in the urine and half in the stool: 65 to 70% of the dose recovered in urine is the primary metabolite, which has undergone loss of the 6α fluorine and addition of a 6β hydroxy group. Flunisolide is well absorbed but is rapidly converted by the liver to the much less active primary metabolite and to glucuronate and/or sulfate conjugates. Because of first-pass liver metabolism, only 20% of the flunisolide reaches the systemic circulation when it is given orally whereas 50% of the flunisolide administered intranasally reaches the systemic circulation unmetabolized. The plasma half-life of flunisolide is 1 to 2 hours.

The effects of flunisolide on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function have been studied in adult volunteers. Flunisolide was administered intranasally as a spray in total doses over 7 times the recommended dose (2200 mcg, equivalent to 88 sprays/day) in 2 subjects for 4 days, about 3 times the recommended dose (800 mcg, equivalent to 32 sprays/day) in 4 subjects for 4 days, and over twice the recommended dose (700 mcg, equivalent to 28 sprays/day) in 6 subjects for 10 days. Early morning plasma cortisol concentrations and 24-hour urinary 17-ketogenic steroids were measured daily. There was evidence of decreased endogenous cortisol production at all three doses.

In controlled studies, Flunisolide Nasal Solution was found to be effective in reducing symptoms of stuffy nose, runny nose and sneezing in most patients. These controlled clinical studies have been conducted in 488 adult patients at doses ranging from 8 to 16 sprays (200-400 mcg) per day and 127 pediatric patients at doses ranging from 6 to 8 sprays (150 to 200 mcg) per day for periods as long as 3 months. In 170 patients who had cortisol levels evaluated at baseline and after 3 months or more of flunisolide treatment, there was no unequivocal flunisolide-related depression of plasma cortisol levels.

Clinical studies have shown that improvement is usually apparent within a few days after starting Flunisolide Nasal Solution.

The mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids and for the activity of the aerosolized drug on the nasal mucosa are unknown.


Flunisolide Nasal Solution is indicated for the treatment of the nasal symptoms of seasonal or perennial rhinitis. Flunisolide Nasal Solution should not be used in the presence of untreated localized infection involving nasal mucosa.


Hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients.


The replacement of a systemic corticosteroid with a topical corticoid can be accompanied by signs of adrenal insufficiency, and in addition some patients may experience symptoms of withdrawal, e.g., joint and/or muscular pain, lassitude and/or depression. Patients previously treated for prolonged periods with systemic corticosteroids and transferred to flunisolide should be carefully monitored to avoid acute adrenal insufficiency in response to stress.

When transferred to flunisolide, careful attention must be given to patients previously treated for prolonged periods with systemic corticosteroids. This is particularly important in those patients who have associated asthma or other clinical conditions, where too rapid a decrease in systemic corticosteroids may cause a severe exacerbation of their symptoms.

The use of flunisolide with alternate-day prednisone systemic treatment could increase the likelihood of HPA suppression compared to a therapeutic dose of either one alone. Therefore, flunisolide treatment should be used with caution in patients already on alternate-day prednisone regimens for any disease.

Persons who are on drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune pediatric patients or adults on corticosteroids. In such pediatric patients or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If a nonimmune patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package insert for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.



Intranasal corticosteroids may also cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients (see PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use).

Symptomatic relief may not occur in some patients for as long as 2 weeks. Although systemic effects are minimal at recommended doses, flunisolide should not be continued beyond 3 weeks in the absence of significant symptomatic improvement. In clinical studies with flunisolide administered intranasally, the development of localized infections of the nose and pharynx with Candida albicans has occurred only rarely. When such an infection develops, it may require treatment with appropriate local therapy or discontinuance of treatment with flunisolide.

Flunisolide is absorbed into the circulation. Use of excessive doses of flunisolide may suppress HPA function. Flunisolide should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with active or quiescent tuberculosis infection of the respiratory tract or in untreated fungal, bacterial or systemic viral infections or ocular herpes simplex.

Because of the inhibitory effect of corticosteroids on wound healing, in patients who have experienced recent nasal septal ulcers, recurrent epistaxis, nasal surgery or trauma, a nasal corticosteroid should be used with caution until healing has occurred.

Although systemic effects have been minimal with recommended doses, this potential increases with excessive dosages. Therefore, larger than recommended doses should be avoided.

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