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Nasacort Allergy nasal spray switched from P to GSL as of May

MHRA: The increased availability of another nasal steroid spray would be useful to individuals
MHRA: The increased availability of another nasal steroid spray would be useful to individuals

The MHRA has approved the application to reclassify Nasacort Allergy 55 micrograms/dose nasal spray from a pharmacy (P) medicine to general sales list (GSL) item.

The 30 spray pack of Nasacort Allergy Relief for adults 55 micrograms/dose is “sufficiently safe to be sold on general sale”, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) concluded in its public assessment report, published last week (May 26).

Following its approval, the nasal spray – used to treat symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) – is now available as a GSL item, the MHRA told C+D yesterday (June 2).

Reasons behind the switch

As the 30 spray pack size provides just over seven days of treatment with the maximum daily use – two sprays into each nostril once daily – the MHRA determined that increasing the availability of Nasacort Allergy “is unlikely to increase the risk of adverse events”.

“The product information has been updated to advise users to stop treatment or to seek the advice of a doctor if any improvement is not seen within seven days,” it added.

Hayfever is also a “well-established condition for self-care”, the MHRA said, and “the public are already accustomed to managing the symptoms of hayfever by similar medicines that can be bought without the presence of a pharmacist”.

With no evidence that Nasacort Allergy is used incorrectly, and the determination that increasing the availability of nasal steroid sprays would be “useful” to treat the symptoms of SAR, the MHRA approved the switch without the need to consult the Commission on Human Medicines.

Do you regularly dispense Nasacort Allergy nasal spray in your pharmacy?

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Ridiculous decision. I despair for the future of this profession.  No doubt checkout staff in supermarkets, garages etc. wil be trained in the advice necessary when selling this product!!!!!!

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

So another nail in the coffin for the P category. In 20 years we will be like America and it won't exist.

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