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Mometasone nasal spray - Brand names: Clarinaze, Nasonex

On this page

  1. About mometasone nasal spray
  2. Key facts
  3. Who can and cannot take mometasone nasal spray
  4. How and when to take mometasone nasal spray
  5. Side effects of mometasone nasal spray
  6. How to cope with side effects of mometasone nasal spray
  7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  8. Cautions with other medicines
  9. Common questions about mometasone nasal spray

1. About mometasone nasal spray

Mometasone nasal (nose) spray is used to treat cold-like symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis. This is inflammation of the inside of the nose that can be brought on by hay fever.

Mometasone is also used to treat other conditions, such as nasal polyps in adults.

Mometasone is a type of medicine known as a steroid (or corticosteroid). Corticosteroids are a copy of a hormone that your body makes naturally. They are not the same as anabolic steroids.

Mometasone nasal spray is available on prescription for adults and children.

Adults can buy it from pharmacies for treating symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis, where it is often sold as Clarinaze.

It also comes as:

2. Key facts

  • You need to use mometasone nasal spray regularly for it to work.
  • It works by reducing swelling and irritation in your nose.
  • The most common side effects are an unpleasant smell and a dry or sore nose or throat.
  • Under-18s can only use mometasone nasal spray if their doctor prescribes it.
  • If your doctor has prescribed high doses of mometasone to control your symptoms you may need to carry a steroid emergency card. Ask your pharmacist or doctor.

3. Who can and cannot take mometasone nasal spray

Most adults can use mometasone nasal spray for nasal polyps, allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

Children aged 3 years and over can use mometasone nasal spray for allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

Mometasone is not suitable for some people. To make sure this nasal spray is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to mometasone or any other medicines
  • are taking or have recently taken other steroid medicines
  • have had nose surgery
  • have an infection in your nose
  • are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • have ever had TB (tuberculosis)
  • have ever had glaucoma or cataracts

4. How and when to take mometasone nasal spray

Mometasone nasal spray needs to be used regularly for it to work.

For allergic rhinitis the usual dose is 1 or 2 sprays into each nostril once a day. Do not use more than 2 sprays per nostril in 24 hours.

For nasal polyps the usual dose is 1 or 2 sprays into each nostril once or twice a day. Do not use more than 4 sprays per nostril in 24 hours.

How to use it

Follow the instructions that come with your nasal spray.

If you're using a new bottle, it may not work first time. Pump the spray a few times until a fine mist comes out. You'll also need to do this if the bottle has not been used for a few days.

Gently shake the bottle and remove the cap.

  1. Blow your nose gently, then close one nostril with your finger.
  2. Bend your head forward slightly and carefully put the nozzle into your other nostril.
  3. Slowly breathe in through your nose and press down on the widest part of the nozzle to squirt the spray once.
  4. Breathe out through your mouth.
  5. Follow steps 3 and 4 again to squirt a second spray into the same nostril, if necessary.
  6. Remove the nozzle from your nose.
  7. Repeat the process with the other nostril if you need to.

After using your spray, wipe the nozzle with a clean tissue and replace the cap.

Will my dose go up or down?

You'll be able to use your nasal spray less often once your symptoms are under control.

For example, you might go from using 2 sprays in each nostril once a day, to 1 spray in each nostril once a day.

You may need to increase your dose again if your symptoms get worse after reducing it.

If you have mometasone nasal spray on prescription, your doctor will tell you how often to use the nasal spray and when to change your dose.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take a dose, use it as soon as you remember. Unless it's almost time for your next dose, in which case skip the missed dose and take your next one as usual.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I use too much?

Using too much mometasone nasal spray by accident is unlikely to harm you.

5. Side effects of mometasone nasal spray

Like all medicines, mometasone can cause side effects although not everyone gets them.

With mometasone nasal spray, very little medicine is absorbed into the rest of your body, so it's not likely to give you serious side effects.#

If your doctor has prescribed high doses of mometasone, or you’re also taking other steroid medicines or tablets for fungal infections or HIV, you may get underactive adrenal glands as a side effect. Ask your doctor if you need to carry a steroid emergency card.

Common side effects

These common side effects may happen in more than 1 in 100 people.

Keep taking the medicine but talk to your doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • headaches
  • unpleasant taste or smell
  • sneezing
  • nosebleeds, dry or sore nose or throat

Serious side effects

Very few people have serious side effects when using mometasone nasal spray.

You are more likely to have a serious side effect if you use high doses of mometasone for more than a few months.

Tell a doctor straight away if you have a serious side effect, including:

  • problems with your breathing
  • damage to your nose or sores inside your nose
  • changes in your eyesight, such as blurred vision or a cloudy lens in the eye – these can be signs of increased pressure in your eyes (glaucoma) or a cataract

Serious allergic reaction

It's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to mometasone.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in the chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

These are not all the side effects of mometasone. See the leaflet inside your medicine's packet for a full list.


You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.

6. How to cope with side effects of mometasone nasal spray

What to do about:

  • headaches – make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller and talk to your doctor if the headaches last longer than a week or are severe.
  • unpleasant taste or smell – rinsing your mouth out with water or brushing your teeth after you use your nasal spray may help.
  • sneezing – this will usually settle down as you get used to the medicine.
  • nosebleeds or dry or sore nose or throat – stop using mometasone for a few days then start again. Speak to your doctor or a pharmacist if these side effects do not go away.

7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Mometasone and pregnancy

There's no clear evidence that mometasone will harm your unborn baby. For safety, your doctor will only prescribe mometasone in pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. They will prescribe the lowest dose that works for you.

If you're pregnant, speak to your doctor before buying mometasone nasal spray at a pharmacy or supermarket.

Mometasone and breastfeeding

It's generally OK to use mometasone while you're breastfeeding.

However, always check with your doctor first. Your baby may need extra monitoring if you use mometasone nasal spray twice a day for more than a few months.

Non-urgent advice: Tell your doctor if you're:

  • trying to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

For more information about how using a steroid nasal spray might affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on treating allergic rhinitis on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website.

8. Cautions with other medicines

Some medicines and mometasone can affect each other. This can increase your chances of side effects, or it may mean changing your mometasone dose.

Check with a pharmacist or your doctor if you're taking:

  • medicines used to treat HIV, such as ritonavir or cobicistat
  • antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole or itraconazole
  • other medicines that contain steroids such as eczema creams, asthma inhalers, tablets, injections and eyedrops

Mixing mometasone with herbal remedies and supplements

There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements while taking mometasone. Ask a pharmacist for advice.


Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

9. Common questions about mometasone nasal spray

How does mometasone work?

Mometasone is a steroid (corticosteroid) medicine.

Steroids closely copy the effects of natural hormones produced in your adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are above your kidneys.

Mometasone works on your immune system to reduce the symptoms of inflammatory conditions and allergic reactions, such as redness, swelling and itching.

The nasal spray reduces swelling and mucus in your nose. It can take a little longer to work than antihistamine sprays but the effects last for longer.

If you're using it to treat nasal polyps, mometasone will reduce swelling and reduce the size of the polyps.

How long does it take to work?

You will not notice any immediate improvement in your symptoms when you first start using mometasone nasal spray.

It takes a few days for a steroid nasal spray to start working. It can take several weeks to reach its full effect.

If you use the spray for hay fever it is best to start using it at least a couple of weeks before the hay fever season starts.

Many people notice they get symptoms at about the same time each year.

How long will I use it for?

If you buy mometasone nasal spray from a pharmacy or supermarket, check the leaflet that comes with the medicine. This will tell you how long you can use it for.

You can usually use it for up to 3 months, but tell your doctor if you feel no better after using it for 14 days.

If you are prescribed mometasone, your doctor may advise you to use it for longer.

Is it safe to use mometasone for a long time?

Mometasone is unlikely to have any lasting harmful effects if you follow the instructions that come with your medicine, or use it as recommended by your doctor.

However, children and teenagers need to have their height and weight monitored carefully if they're using high doses of a steroid nasal spray like mometasone for a long time. Taking mometasone for a long time can slow down their normal growth.

The nasal spray delivers a small amount of steroid medicine exactly where you need it. This limits the amount of steroid reaching the rest of your body. It also keeps the risk of side effects as low as possible.

Do I need a steroid card?

If you're using steroid medicines such as mometasone, your adrenal glands may not make as much of some of the hormones your body needs such as cortisol (known as the stress hormone). This is known as adrenal insufficiency.

It’s more likely to happen if you take high doses for a long time (especially tablets and injections) or if you regularly use different kinds of steroids at the same time (such as a steroid nasal spray and a steroid inhaler).

Your doctor or pharmacist will assess your risk of adrenal insufficiency based on the type and dose of steroids you’re taking, and may recommend that you carry a steroid emergency card (red card). This card is the size of a credit card and fits in your wallet or purse.

The Addison's Disease Self-Help Group (ADSHG) website has more information about the NHS steroid emergency card.


If you need any medical or dental treatment, or are having surgery or an invasive procedure, show your steroid emergency card to your doctor or dentist. This is important so they know you're having steroid treatment and can give you extra steroids as needed.

Can I drink alcohol with it?

Yes, you can drink alcohol with mometasone.

Is there any food or drink I need to avoid?

You can eat and drink normally while you're using mometasone.

Will it affect my contraception?

Mometasone does not affect any type of contraception, including the contraceptive pill and emergency contraception.

Will it affect my fertility?

There's no clear evidence to suggest that using mometasone will reduce fertility in either men or women.

However, speak to a pharmacist or your doctor if you are trying to get pregnant.

Can I drive or ride a bike with it?

For most people, taking mometasone nasal spray will not affect their ability to drive a car or cycle.

Related conditions

Page last reviewed: 28 July 2020
Next review due: 28 July 2023