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Corticosteroids are likely to reduce symptoms of sinusitis.2 Corticosteroids are generally effective in reducing swelling, and they probably help sinusitis by reducing swelling of the mucous membranes. They may also reduce the size of nasal polyps.
Corticosteroid treatment cannot cure viral or bacterial sinusitis, but it can relieve the symptoms.
Side effects of corticosteroid nasal sprays are rare and minimal, even after long periods of continuous use. The most common complaint is a burning sensation in the nose right after the spray is used. You may experience an unpleasant aftertaste or some dryness in the nasal mucous membranes. Nosebleeds occur in some people using the nasal spray.
Rare side effects of nasal corticosteroids include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Nasal sprays containing corticosteroids cause few side effects and do not lead to swelling of the membrane that lines the nose and sinuses when you stop taking them (rebound congestion). Rebound congestion is a serious side effect of nonprescription decongestant nasal sprays.
Corticosteroids are not the kind of steroids used for muscle building. People do not "bulk up" when using corticosteroids.
- Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (2005). The diagnosis and management of sinusitis: A practice parameter update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(6 Suppl): S13–S47.
- Ah-See, K (2008). Sinusitis (acute), search date August 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Last Revised: August 3, 2010
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