Why is this medicine prescribed?
Beclomethasone is used to prevent difficulty breathing, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing caused by asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older. It belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by decreasing swelling and irritation in the airways to allow for easier breathing.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
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 to inhale by mouth using an inhaler. It usually is inhaled twice a day. 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.
Talk to your doctor about how you should use your other oral and inhaled medications for asthma during your treatment with beclomethasone inhalation. If you were taking an oral steroid such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), or prednisone (Rayos), your doctor may want to gradually decrease your steroid dose starting after you begin to use beclomethasone.
Beclomethasone controls symptoms of asthma but does not cure it. Improvement in your asthma may occur as soon as 24 hours after using the medication, but full effects may not be seen for 1 to 4 weeks after using it regularly. Continue to use beclomethasone even if you feel well. Do not stop using beclomethasone without talking to your doctor. Call your doctor if your symptoms or your child's symptoms do not improve during the first 4 weeks or if they get worse.
Beclomethasone helps to prevent asthma attacks (sudden episodes of shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing) but will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during asthma attacks. Tell your doctor if your asthma worsens during your treatment.
Do not use your beclomethasone inhaler when you are near a flame or source of heat. The inhaler may explode if it is exposed to very high temperatures.
Each beclomethasone inhaler is designed to provide 50, 100, or 120 inhalations, depending on its size. After the labeled number of inhalations has been used, later inhalations may not contain the correct amount of medication. You should keep track of the number of inhalations you have used. You can divide the number of inhalations in your inhaler by the number of inhalations you use each day to find out how many days your inhaler will last. Throw away the inhaler after you have used the labeled number of inhalations even if it still contains some liquid and continues to release a spray when it is pressed.
Before you use beclomethasone inhaler the first time, read the written instructions that come with the inhaler. Look at the diagrams carefully and be sure that you recognize all the parts of the inhaler. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you the right way to use the inhaler. Practice using the inhaler in front of him or her, so you are sure you are doing it the right way.
To use the aerosol inhaler, follow these steps:
- Remove the protective cap.
- If you are using the inhaler for the first time or if you have not used the inhaler in more than 10 days, prime it by releasing 2 test sprays into the air, away from your face. Be careful not to spray the medication into your eyes or face.
- Breathe out as completely as possible through your mouth.
- Hold the inhaler in the upright (mouthpiece up) or horizontal position. Place the mouthpiece between your lips well into your mouth. Tilt your head slightly back. Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece keeping your tongue below it. Inhale slowly and deeply.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through the mouthpiece. At the same time, press down once on the container to spray the medication into your mouth.
- When you have breathed in fully, remove the inhaler from your mouth and close your mouth.
- Try to hold your breath for about 5 to 10 seconds, then breathe out gently.
- If your doctor has told you to take more than 1 puff per treatment, repeat steps 3 through 7.
- Replace the protective cap on the inhaler.
- After each treatment, rinse your mouth with water and spit. Do not swallow the water.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using beclomethasone inhalation,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to beclomethasone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in beclomethasone inhalation. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or have recently taken. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with beclomethasone inhalation, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- do not use beclomethasone during an asthma attack. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during asthma attacks. Call your doctor if you have an asthma attack that does not stop when using the fast-acting asthma medication, or if you need to use more of the fast-acting medication than usual.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection), cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), glaucoma (an eye disease) or high pressure in the eye. Also tell your doctor if you have any type of untreated infection anywhere in your body or a herpes eye infection (a type of infection that causes a sore on the eyelid or eye surface).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using beclomethasone, call your doctor.
- if you have any other medical conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, or eczema (a skin disease), they may worsen when your oral steroid dose is decreased. Tell your doctor if this happens or if you experience any of the following symptoms during this time: extreme tiredness, muscle weakness or pain; sudden pain in stomach, lower body, or legs; loss of appetite; weight loss; upset stomach; vomiting; diarrhea; dizziness; fainting; depression; irritability; and darkening of skin. Your body may be less able to cope with stress such as surgery, illness, severe asthma attack, or injury during this time. Call your doctor right away if you get sick and be sure that all healthcare providers who treat you know that you recently replaced your oral steroid with beclomethasone inhalation. Carry a card or wear a medical identification bracelet to let emergency personnel know that you may need to be treated with steroids in an emergency.
- tell your doctor if you have never had chickenpox or measles and you have not been vaccinated against these infections. Stay away from people who are sick, especially people who have chickenpox or measles. If you are exposed to one of these infections or if you develop symptoms of one of these infections, call your doctor right away. You may need treatment to protect you from these infections.
- you should know that beclomethasone inhalation sometimes causes wheezing and difficulty breathing immediately after it is inhaled. If this happens, use your fast-acting (rescue) asthma medication right away and call your doctor. Do not use beclomethasone inhalation again unless your doctor tells you that you should.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget to take a 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 medicine cause?
Beclomethasone inhalation may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- back pain
- difficult or painful speech
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- changes in vision
Beclomethasone inhalation may cause children to grow more slowly. There is not enough information to tell whether using beclomethasone decreases the final height that children will reach when they stop growing. Your child's doctor will watch your child's growth carefully while your child is using beclomethasone. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.
In rare cases, people who used beclomethasone for a long time developed glaucoma or cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using beclomethasone and how often you should have your eyes examined during your treatment.
Beclomethasone inhalation may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
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 the inhaler upright with the plastic mouthpiece on top at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Avoid puncturing the aerosol container, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
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.