Beclomethasone is a steroid medication sold under several brand names including Qvar and Beconase. It may be prescribed as an inhaler, nasal spray, ointment, or tablets. First approved for use by the FDA in 1976, beclomethasone has since been added to the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
- What is beclomethasone used for?
- How does beclomethasone work?
- How do you use a beclomethasone (Qvar) inhaler?
- What are the side effects of beclomethasone?
- How do you use beclomethasone (Beconase) nose spray?
- How do you use beclomethasone cream?
- Qvar vs Flovent: What’s the difference?
- How do you stop taking beclomethasone (Qvar)?
1. What is beclomethasone used for?
As mentioned briefly above, beclomethasone in its many forms can treat a variety of different conditions. The most common form is the inhaled version, which is used to treat asthma on a long-term basis. The nasal spray variant of the drug is used to treat allergic rhinitis and nasal polyps. Typically, the cream is used for dermatitis and psoriasis but may also be used to treat eczema. Finally, the beclomethasone pills can be used to treat ulcerative colitis.
2. How does beclomethasone work?
Despite the different dosage forms of beclomethasone and array of indications, the way it works is the same. that beclomethasone comes in, and the array of conditions it is used to treat, the way it works is always essentially the same. Beclomethasone works by suppressing the immune responses that lead to inflammatory symptoms. This means that when treating asthma it can reduce wheezing and soreness, and when treating eczema it can reduce redness and itchiness.
3. How do you use a beclomethasone (Qvar) inhaler?
A Qvar Redihaler functions very similarly to a typical inhaler, so if you’ve used on before you’ll likely have no trouble following the instructions included with your inhaler. However, if you’ve never used an inhaler before you may want to speak with your doctor first on instructions for proper administration. You may also find this article for first-time inhaler users helpful. For more specific tips about how to use a Qvar Redihaler, you can check out the following video by the Boston Children’s Hospital.
4. What are the side effects of beclomethasone?
Beclomethasone can potentially cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. The list below includes some of the most common side effects but is not a complete list. Mild side effects may go away after a few days or weeks of consistent medication-taking, but if they persist or worsen you should speak with your doctor.
Common side effects:
- Oral yeast infection
- Sinus discomfort or irritation
- Cold-like symptoms
- Immune suppresion
Severe side effects:
- Difficulty breathing
- Blurry vision
- Unexplained weight gain or hunger
- Skin discoloration
- Mouth sores
- Worsening symptoms
In some rare cases, patients can experience allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking beclomethasone.
- Skin rash
- Tightness in the throat or chest
- Difficulty talking or breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
5. How do you use beclomethasone (Beconase) nose spray?
Using beclomethasone nasal spray is very similar to other nasal sprays, but you should always follow the included instructions carefully. The following instructions are from the National Library of Medicine.
- Shake the bottle gently before each use.
- Remove the dust cover.
- If you are using the pump for the first time or have not used it for a week or more, you must prime it by following steps 4 to 5 below. If you have used the pump in the past week, skip stepping 6.
- Hold the spray with the applicator between your forefinger and middle finger and the bottom of the bottle resting on your thumb. Point the applicator away from your face.
- If you are using the spray for the first time, press down and release the pump six times. If you have used the pump before, but not within the past week or have just cleaned the nozzle, press down and release the spray until you see a fine spray.
- Gently blow your nose to clear the nostrils.
- Hold one nostril closed with your finger.
- Tilt your head slightly forward and carefully put the nasal applicator tip into your other nostril. Be sure to keep the bottle upright.
- Hold the pump with the applicator between your forefinger and middle finger and the bottom resting on your thumb.
- Begin to breathe in through your nose.
- While you are breathing in, use your forefinger and middle finger to press firmly down on the applicator and release a spray.
- Breathe gently in through the nostril and breathe out through your mouth.
- If your doctor told you to use two sprays in that nostril, repeat steps 6 to 12.
- Repeat steps 6 to 13 in the other nostril.
- Wipe the applicator with a clean tissue and cover it with the dust cover.
If you feel anxious about using a nasal spray or if it’s your first time you may find it helpful to speak with your doctor first, you can even ask to administer your first dose with their supervision. You can also check out this video for general tips on proper nasal spray usage.
6. How do you use beclomethasone cream?
Using beclomethasone cream is usually straightforward, especially when compared to the inhaler and nasal spray forms. Apply a thin layer to the affected area of the skin and rub in gently. You should notice some improvement in your skin condition within 2 weeks. If there isn’t any noticeable improvement during this time you should speak with your doctor who may prescribe other treatment options.
7. Qvar vs Flovent: What’s the difference?
Flovent (fluticasone) is another very common inhaled medication for treating chronic asthma along with Qvar (beclomethasone). For that reason, it’s common that patients wonder what the difference is? A comparison of Flovent
(fluticasone) and Qvar (beclomethasone) reveals fluticasone has a higher receptor binding activity which makes it more potent than beclomethasone. Some studies suggest that the inhalation device used to deliver medication makes beclomethasone relatively more potent than fluticasone. It has been shown to have a greater increase in asthma control than Qvar with little to no increase in side effects. Therefore, patients taking Qvar may be switched to Flonase.
8. How do you stop taking beclomethasone (Qvar)?
It is not advisable to suddenly stop taking Qvar. Abrupt discontinuation of beclomethasone may cause withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, weight loss, and fatigue. To avoid these symptoms speak with your doctor before stopping so you can come up with a plan to stop taking beclomethasone safely.
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