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J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2018;2(1):111-115. doi: 10.3233/ADR-170033. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Alzheimer's Disease and Intranasal Fluticasone Propionate in the FDA MedWatch Adverse Events Database.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
Severn Health Solutions, Severna Park, MD, USA.



Studies of Alzheimer's disease suggest that neuroinflammation or deranged brain wound healing may be a cause of some cases. But a placebo controlled study showed no effect at all on Alzheimer's disease of low dose oral prednisone after one year. Introducing the steroid directly into the hippocampus and rhinencephalon via the nose, as happens in hay fever subjects, could be more effective.


In the present study, we analyzed FDA MedWatch data for intranasal fluticasone propionate (Flonase) to determine the frequency of Alzheimer's disease as an adverse event reported after use of the medication.


Machine-readable data from MedWatch, including adverse drug reaction reports from manufacturers, are part of a public database. We used the online tool eHealthMe to query the database.


By September 20, 2017, 35,221 people reported side effects to MedWatch after taking Flonase. Among them, 9 people (0.03%) had Dementia Alzheimer's type. By October 3, 2017, 185,636 people reported side effects after taking Lipitor. Among them, 243 people (0.13%) had Dementia Alzheimer's type. The lower incidence of Alzheimer's dementia in the Flonase group compared to the Lipitor group was significant (p < 0.001, Fisher exact test, two tailed).


Long term use of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is linked with reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Data from MedWatch suggest that fluticasone propionate administered intranasally might have a similar preventive effect to ibuprofen. Perhaps combining ibuprofen and Flonase could be therapeutic. Further studies would be desirable.


Alzheimer’s disease; brain; dementia; intranasal; steroids

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST The authors have no conflict of interest to report.

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