Beclometasone inhaler

Sounds like 'beck-low-MET-a-zone'

Key points about beclometasone inhalers

  • A beclometasone inhaler is used to prevent asthma.
  • A beclometasone inhaler is also called Beclazone® or Qvar®.
  • Find out how to use it safely and possible side effects.
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Beclometasone is used to prevent asthma. It's also called a preventer because when it's used every day it prevents asthma attacks. Beclometasone works by preventing the swelling and irritation in the walls of the small air passages in your lungs. It belongs to a group of medicines known as corticosteroids.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, beclometasone inhalers are available in different brands (Beclazone and Qvar) and strengths.


Using an inhaler device enables the medicine to go straight into your airways when you breathe in. This means that your airways and lungs are treated, but very little of the medicine gets into the rest of your body. 

Beclometasone does not give immediate relief from an asthma attack

If you need quick relief from asthma symptoms or breathing problems, use your ‘reliever’ medicine such as salbutamol or terbutaline.

The usual dose is 1 or 2 puffs inhaled twice a day. However, the dose of beclometasone will be different for different people depending on the severity of your symptoms and the strength of your inhaler.

  • Always take your beclometasone exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.
  • Beclometasone inhalers are available in different strengths. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which strength you are taking. If your inhaler looks different to what you were expecting, ask your pharmacist.
  • Keep using your beclometasone every day. Don't stop using beclometasone, even if you feel better. Since asthma is a long-term condition, prevention with beclometasone is ongoing and it will need to be used every day for months or years.
  • Try to use beclometasone at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. But if it's nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.
  • Beclometasone can cause a sore throat and hoarse voice – rinse your mouth after each use to prevent this.

You'll get the most benefit from your inhaler if you use the correct technique. Ask your healthcare provider to explain how to use an inhaler. Even if you have been shown before, ask your healthcare provider to explain how to use an inhaler if you still have any questions.

The diagram below provides some guidance on how to use an MDI (puffer). The MDI is the name of the device used to deliver the medicine to your lungs and airways. There are different names for each MDI depending on the medicines inside the inhaler.

Your MDI may be a different colour to the one in the diagram below. It's important to know the name and colour of your MDI, eg, Beclazone® or Qvar®. Read more about understanding your medicines.

 How to use your MDI (puffer)
Take off the cap and hold the inhaler upright.
Shake the inhaler to mix the medication.
  Sit upright, tilt your head back slightly (as if you are sniffing) and breathe out gently.

Hold the device upright, insert the inhaler into your mouth, ensuring that your lips firmly seal the mouthpiece.

At the beginning of a slow, deep breath, breathe in through the mouthpiece as you press the inhaler to release 1 dose or 'puff'.

Breathe in fully, remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds or as long as is comfortable.

Breathe out gently through your nose.


Learn more about metered dose inhalers


Using a spacer with an MDI (puffer) 

A spacer is an attachment to use with your MDI. Using a spacer with your MDI makes it easier to use the inhaler and helps to get the medicine into your lungs, where it’s needed (with less medicine ending up in your mouth and throat). Spacers improve how well your medicine worksRead more about spacers.

Here are some things to know when you're using beclometasone. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.

  • Rinse your mouth after use.
  • If you need quick relief from asthma symptoms or breathing problems, use your ‘reliever’ medicine (e.g. salbutamol, terbutaline, ipratropium).
  • Other medicines: inhaled beclometasone can interact with some medicines, especially those used in type 2 diabetes and NSAIDs. NSAIDs can cause symptoms of asthma to worsen such as cough, wheezing, shortness of breath. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking NSAIDs if you have asthma. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting beclometasone and before starting any new products.
  • Don't stop using your inhaler without talking to your doctor first.

Like all medicines, beclometasone can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Change in voice (hoarse voice)
  • Different taste in your mouth
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Cough
  • These are quite common when you are taking beclometasone. Rinse your mouth after each use.
  • Tell your doctor if these bother you. 
  • Signs of oral thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth) such as a very sore tongue, throat or mouth, with white sores on the tongue, or in the mouth.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Restless, feeling nervous, having mood changes and problems sleeping.
  • Tell your doctor or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116.
  • Blurred vision or changes to your eyesight.
  • Tell your doctor or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116. 


Read more about medicines and side effects and reporting a reaction you think might be a side effect

Beclazone(external link), Qvar(external link) Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets
Beclometasone (for inhalation)(external link) te reo Māori(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information

References

  1. Beclometasone dipropionate(external link) New Zealand Formulary

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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