Nasonex, a mometasone furoate nasal spray, is to be made available over the counter in pharmacies without prescription, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.
The nasal spray, which contains 0.05% mometasone, is used to treat the symptoms of hayfever and perennial allergic rhinitis in people aged 3 years and over. It works by reducing irritation and swelling in the nose to improve symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.
The decision on its reclassification follows a public consultation. Other steroid-containing nasal sprays have already been made available in pharmacies without prescription but this is the first one to contain mometasone. It is one of a number of medications that are being reviewed for reclassification by the MHRA.
“MHRA is committed to involving people in their healthcare, and to widen access to medicines for the benefit of public health when it is safe to do,” the agency said in a statement.
Holly Shaw, nurse adviser for the charity Allergy UK, says: “For those individuals with hay fever, access and availability to a greater product choice targeting nasal symptoms associated with seasonal allergy that are available over the counter under the expert advice and guidance of a pharmacist is a positive move for managing allergy in the community.”