Why is this medication prescribed?
Beclomethasone, a corticosteroid, is used to prevent allergy symptoms including sneezing, itching, and runny or stuffed nose. It is also used to shrink nasal polyps (lumps) and prevent them from returning after surgical removal.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Beclomethasone comes as an aerosol and a solution to inhale through the nose. It usually is inhaled two to four times a day at evenly spaced intervals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use beclomethasone exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Beclomethasone controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Do not stop using beclomethasone without talking to your doctor.
Before you use beclomethasone the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper technique. Practice using the inhaler while in his or her presence.
Before using beclomethasone, gently blow your nose to clear your nasal passages.
Avoid blowing your nose for 15 minutes after inhaling the prescribed dose.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking beclomethasone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to beclomethasone or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), arthritis medication, aspirin, cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), estrogen (Premarin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), oral contraceptives, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin (Rifadin), theophylline (Theo-Dur), and vitamins.
- if you have a nose infection or a fungal infection (other than on your skin), do not use beclomethasone without talking to your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had tuberculosis (TB); liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease; diabetes; an underactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; mental illness; myasthenia gravis; osteoporosis; herpes eye infection; seizures; or ulcers.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using beclomethasone, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Beclomethasone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- nasal irritation or dryness
- sore throat
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- increased difficulty breathing
- swollen face, lower legs, or ankles
- vision problems
- cold or infection that lasts a long time
- muscle weakness
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication. Avoid puncturing the aerosol container, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Your symptoms may improve after just a few days. If they do not improve within 3 weeks, call your doctor.
Avoid exposure to chicken pox and measles. This drug makes you more susceptible to these illnesses. If you are exposed to them while using beclomethasone, call your doctor. Do not have a vaccination or other immunization unless your doctor tells you that you may.
Report any injuries or signs of infection (fever, sore throat, pain during urination, and muscle aches) that occur during treatment.
If your sputum (the matter you cough up during an asthma attack) thickens or changes color from clear white to yellow, green, or gray, call your doctor; these changes may be signs of an infection.
Inhalation devices require regular cleaning, and some require periodic replacement. Follow the directions that come with your inhaler.
When corticosteroids are used by children or teenagers for a long time, they may slow down growth. If you notice that your child who is taking beclomethasone seems to be growing slowly, talk to your child's doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
- Beconase® AQ Nasal Spray
- Vancenase® AQ¶
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.