Beclomethasone | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More

Generic Name:

beclomethasone, Inhalation Solution

All Brands

  • QVAR
  • Vanceril (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for beclomethasone

Inhalation Solution
1

Beclomethasone inhalation aerosol is used to prevent asthma symptoms. It doesn’t treat symptoms of sudden asthma attacks, such as wheezing, coughing, trouble breathing, and chest pain or tightness. You’ll need a rescue inhaler, such as albuterol, for these attacks.

2

This drug comes in the form of an inhalation aerosol you inhale into your lungs through your mouth. Beclomethasone is also available as an intranasal suspension and an intranasal aerosol you breathe in through your nose.

3

Beclomethasone inhalation aerosol is available as a brand-name drug called QVAR. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

4

More common side effects of taking this drug include headache, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection, runny nose, increased asthma symptoms, stuffy nose, back pain, nausea, and throat hoarseness.

5

In some cases, beclomethasone can cause serious side effects. These include fungal infections, eye problems, increased wheezing right after you take the drug, and more.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Sudden shortness of breath

When using this drug for asthma, always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms. Beclomethasone doesn’t relieve sudden symptoms of asthma. If you don’t have a rescue inhaler, ask your doctor to prescribe one for you.

When to get emergency help

Seek emergency medical help right away if your breathing problems worsen quickly or if you have a sudden increase in wheezing right after inhaling this drug. You should also get emergency help if you use your rescue inhaler but it doesn’t relieve your breathing problems.

Oral fungal infectinon (thrush)

This drug can cause fungal infections in your nose, mouth and throat. Call your doctor if you have redness or white-colored patches in your mouth or throat. To lower your risk of these infections, rinse your mouth with water and spit the water out after taking each dose. Don’t swallow the water.

Drug features

This drug is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: inhalation aerosol, intranasal suspension, and intranasal aerosol.

This drug is available as a brand-name drug called QVAR. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

This drug is used to prevent asthma symptoms.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids.

More Details

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Inhaled corticosteroids help decrease swelling and inflammation in your lungs. This helps to keep your airways open to reduce asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

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beclomethasone Side Effects

Inhalation Solution

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects of beclomethasone inhalation aerosol include:

  • headache

  • sore throat

  • upper respiratory tract infection that may cause sneezing and coughing

  • runny nose

  • increased asthma symptoms

  • stuffy nose (inflammation of your sinuses)

  • back pain

  • nausea

  • throat hoarseness

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • thrush (candida), a fungal infection in your nose, mouth, or throat. Symptoms include:

    • redness or white-colored patches in your mouth or throat
  • eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts. If you’ve had glaucoma or cataracts or have a family history of eye problems, you should have regular eye exams while you take this drug. Symptoms include:

    • vision problems
  • increased wheezing right after taking the drug. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden wheezing and shortness of breath.

  • allergic reactions. Symptoms include:

    • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, throat, or tongue
    • skin rash, redness, or swelling
    • severe itching
  • adrenal insufficiency. In this condition, your adrenal glands don’t make enough steroid hormones. Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • weakness
    • dizziness
    • nausea
    • vomiting
  • weakened immune system. This drug may raise your risk of infections and weaken your body’s ability to fight infections. Avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases, such as chicken pox or measles, while you use beclomethasone. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • pain
    • body aches
    • chills
    • tiredness
    • nausea
    • vomiting
  • slowed growth in children. Your doctor should regularly check your child’s growth while they’re taking this drug.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug can cause fungal infections. To lower your risk of these infections, rinse your mouth with water and spit the water out after taking each dose. Don’t swallow the water.

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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beclomethasone May Interact with Other Medications

Inhalation Solution

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with eye problems, such as glaucoma or cataracts

This drug can cause eye problems, such as increased pressure inside your eyes, glaucoma, and cataracts. If you already have these problems, this drug can make your condition worse.

People with immune system problems or infections

This drug may raise your risk of infections and weaken your body’s ability to fight infections. Avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases, such as chicken pox or measles, while you use this drug. If you have an active, untreated infection, call your doctor.

Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

Corticosteroids such as this drug may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For children

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe or effective in children younger than 5 years.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if:

  • your short-acting rescue medication, such as albuterol, doesn’t work as well for relieving your symptoms
  • you need to use your rescue inhaler more often than usual
  • your breathing problems worsen with this drug

Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, or face
  • skin rash, redness, or swelling
  • severe itching

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms.
Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take beclomethasone (Dosage)

Inhalation Solution

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Asthma

Brand: QVAR

Form: Inhalation aerosol
Strengths: 40 mcg/actuation, 80 mcg/actuation
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

If you were previously on bronchodilators alone, the recommended starting dose is 40–80 mcg taken twice per day.

If you were previously on inhaled corticosteroids, the usual dose is 40–160 mcg taken twice per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–4 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that beclomethasone inhalation aerosol is safe and effective for use in people younger than 5 years.

Child dosage (ages 5–11 years)

The recommended starting dose is 40 mcg taken twice per day.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)

If you were previously on bronchodilators alone, the recommended starting dose is 40–80 mcg taken twice per day.

If you were previously on inhaled corticosteroids, the usual dose is 40–160 mcg taken twice per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your asthma symptoms will worsen and you’ll have more trouble breathing.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, you need to take it on a regular, scheduled basis. Don’t use it only when you have trouble breathing or when you are having an asthma attack.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. This may cause symptoms of adrenal suppression. These include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath, should be better controlled. You shouldn’t need to use your rescue inhaler as often.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug

Store this drug at room temperature

Keep it from 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).

The contents of the canister are under pressure. Keep it away from high temperatures, or else the canister may burst. Don’t use it or store it near heat or an open flame.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

  • Rinse your mouth water and spit the water out after using each dose. Don’t swallow the water. This will reduce your risk of getting a fungal infection (thrush) in your mouth and throat.
  • Your doctor may have you test your breathing with a home peak flow meter. You may need to purchase a peak flow meter to do this. A peak flow meter is a portable, hand-held device that measures your ability to push air out of your lungs. By checking your peak flow readings at home, you’ll be able to tell if it is within the correct range for you. Your doctor should give you an asthma action plan and tell you what to do when your peak flow readings fall within certain ranges (green, yellow, and red zones). Based on your results, your doctor may decide to adjust your medication.
  • Carefully follow the instructions that come with your medication. Your doctor or pharmacist will show you how to use your inhaler the right way.

Clinical monitoring

You’ll need to have your lung function monitored to make sure this medication is working.

This monitoring may be done using two tests:

  • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Your doctor will do PFTs to measure how well your lungs are working. During this test, you'll blow into a large tube connected to a machine called a spirometer. The spirometer measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast you can blow the air out of your lungs.
  • Peak flow results. Your doctor may have you monitor your lung function at home. You may be asked to record your symptoms or to monitor how well your lungs are working with a peak flow meter.

You and your doctor should also monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Growth in children. This drug may lead to slowed or delayed growth problems in children.
  • Eye problems. This drug may lead to serious eye problems, such as cataracts or glaucoma. You may have regular eye exams while you’re taking this drug. Let your doctor know if you have any vision changes.

Hidden costs

You may need to purchase a peak flow meter so you can check how well your lungs are working at home.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other options that may work for you

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 12, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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