If you are switching (or have recently switched) to beclomethasone inhalation from an oral corticosteroid such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), or prednisone (Deltasone) and have an injury, infection, severe asthma attack, or surgery, use a full dose of oral corticosteroid (even if you have been gradually decreasing your dose) and call your doctor for additional instructions.
Carry an identification card saying that you may need to use extra doses of the corticosteroid during times of stress (injuries, infections, and severe asthma attacks). Write down the name of the medication and the full dose you took before decreasing it. Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to get this card. List your name, medical problems, medications and dosages, and doctor's name and telephone number on the card.
Beclomethasone is used to prevent wheezing, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties caused by severe asthma and other lung diseases. Beclomethasone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by reducing swelling in the airways.
Beclomethasone comes as an aerosol to inhale by mouth. It usually is inhaled three or 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.
If your doctor has prescribed a bronchodilator (a drug to be inhaled for rapid relief of difficult breathing), use it several minutes before your beclomethasone inhaler so that beclomethasone reaches deep into your lungs.
Beclomethasone controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Continue to use beclomethasone even if you feel well. 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 show you how to use it. Practice using the inhaler while he or she watches.
To use the inhaler, follow these steps:
- Shake the inhaler well. (Note: If you are using QVAR, you do not need to shake the inhaler.)
- Remove the protective cap.
- Exhale (breathe out) as completely as possible through your nose while keeping your mouth shut.
- Open Mouth Technique:Open your mouth wide, and place the open end of the mouthpiece about 1-2 inches from your mouth.Closed Mouth Technique:Place the open end of the mouthpiece well into your mouth, past your front teeth. Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
- Take a slow, deep breath through the mouthpiece and, at the same time, press down on the container to spray the medication into your mouth. Be sure that the mist goes into your throat and is not blocked by your teeth or tongue. Adults giving the treatment to young children may hold the child's nose closed to be sure that the medication goes into the child's throat.
- Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds, remove the inhaler, and exhale slowly through your nose or mouth. If you take two puffs, wait 2 minutes and shake the inhaler well before taking the second puff.
- Replace the protective cap on the inhaler.
- After each treatment, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
If you have difficulty getting the medication into your lungs, a spacer (a special device that attaches to the inhaler) may help; ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using 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 arthritis medications, aspirin, 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 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 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.
- if you have a history of ulcers or use large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages while using this drug. Beclomethasone makes your stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin, and certain arthritis medications; this effect increases your risk of getting ulcers.
- do not use beclomethasone during a sudden asthma attack. You should have a fast-acting inhaler such as albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin) to use during asthma attacks.
- avoid exposure to chicken pox and measles. This drug makes you more likely to catch these illnesses. If you are exposed to them while using beclomethasone, call your doctor. Do not have a vaccination or other immunization without your doctor's approval.
Your doctor may tell you to follow a low-sodium, low-salt, potassium-rich, or high-protein diet. Follow these directions.
Take 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.
Beclomethasone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry or irritated throat and mouth
- difficult or painful speech
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- increased difficulty breathing
- white spots or sores in your mouth
- 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 [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
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.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Report any injuries or signs of infection (fever, sore throat, pain during urination, and muscle aches) that occur during treatment.
If the sputum (spit) 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. Once a week, remove the drug container from the plastic mouthpiece, wash the mouthpiece with warm tap water, and dry it thoroughly.
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.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.