Beclometasone (inhaler)

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

Easy-to-read medicine information about beclometasone – what it is, how to use beclometasone safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicineAlso called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as corticosteroids
  • Inhaled corticosteroid
  • Preventer
  • Beclomethasone
  • Beclazone®
  • Qvar®

What is beclometasone?

  • Beclometasone is used to prevent asthma.
  • It works by preventing the swelling and irritation in the walls of the small air passages in the lungs.
  • It belongs to a group of medicines known as inhaled corticosteroids. It is also called a preventer (because when used every day it prevents asthma attacks).

Dose

  • The dose of beclometasone varies depending on the strength of your inhaler — the usual dose is 1 or 2 puffs  inhaled two times a day.
  • Beclometasone does not give immediate relief from an asthma attack and may take up to a week to start to work.
  • 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.

How to use beclometasone inhaler (puffer)

  • To get the most benefit from the medication, it is important to use the correct technique when using an inhaler.
  • Even if you have been shown before, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to explain how to use your inhaler if you still have any questions.
  • The following steps are a guide:
    • Remove the cap off the inhaler mouthpiece.
    • Hold the inhaler upright, with your thumb on the base and your first finger on the top of the can. Shake the inhaler vigorously up and down.
    • Breathe out normally as far as you comfortably can. Then hold the mouthpiece firmly between your lips. Breathe in slowly and deeply.
    • As you first start to breathe in press the aerosol can with your first finger to spray the aerosol and release the medicine. Continue to breathe in slowly and deeply.
    • Take the inhaler out of your mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds, or for as long as you comfortably can. Breathe out slowly.
    • Rinse your mouth with water and spit out after using beclometasone inhaler.
  • If you find difficulty in using an inhaler, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about a spacer device, which can be attached to your inhaler. It may make using your inhaler easier.

What else do I need to know?

  • Use your beclometasone inhaler every day. Do not stop using beclometasone, even if you feel better.
  • Try to use it at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • Beclometasone does not give immediate relief from an asthma attack. If you need immediate relief, you will need to use a "reliever" puffer.
  • It is not harmful if you miss a dose of beclometasone. If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember, or if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.

Possible side effects

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

Side effectsWhat 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.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome  
  • Sore throat or tongue
  • Rinse your mouth with water after using your inhaler 
  • Restless, feeling nervous, and have problems sleeping.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Signs of oral thrush (a fungal infection in the mouth) such as a very sore tongue or mouth, with white sores on the tongue, or in the mouth.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist

Learn More

Asthma Foundation:
Inhalers in more detail 

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:
Beclazone 
Qvar

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information:
Beclometasone (for inhalation)

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft