Precautions and Warnings With Beclomethasone Inhalers
Being aware of the precautions and warnings with beclomethasone inhalers before starting the medicine can help ensure a safe and effective treatment process. It is important to know that beclomethasone inhalers are not fast-acting asthma medications and should not replace rescue inhalers. Certain people should not use the beclomethasone inhaler, including those who are allergic to beclomethasone or any inactive components used to make the inhaler.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using the beclomethasone inhaler (Qvar®) if you have:
- Not had chickenpox or the measles (or have not been vaccinated against them)
- Eczema (or atopic dermatitis)
- Tuberculosis, herpes, or any other infections
- Glaucoma or cataracts
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some precautions and warnings to be aware of with the beclomethasone inhaler include the following:
- If you are switching from an oral steroid to a beclomethasone inhaler (which is an inhaled steroid), your healthcare provider should decrease your dose of oral steroid very slowly. Stopping an oral steroid too quickly can be very dangerous.
- Beclomethasone inhalers are not fast-acting asthma medications and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use the beclomethasone inhaler to treat an asthma attack. Everyone using a beclomethasone inhaler should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- Beclomethasone inhalers can cause an immediate worsening of asthma symptoms. If this happens, use your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) as needed and contact your healthcare provider for further instruction.
- Beclomethasone is a steroid and may suppress the immune system. Although this is more likely to occur with oral steroids, it is still possible with inhaled steroids (such as beclomethasone inhalers). You may be at a higher risk for infections. Certain infections (such as chickenpox or the measles) may be more dangerous if you are using a beclomethasone inhaler. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or the measles (if you have not had these infections and have not been vaccinated against them).
- Like all steroids, the beclomethasone inhaler may slow the growth of children and teenagers. Usually, this slowing of growth is small, with children growing about half a centimeter less per year. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about slow growth in your child.
- Inhaled steroids (including beclomethasone inhalers) can cause glaucoma or cataracts (conditions of the eyes).
- Before using a beclomethasone inhaler, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you currently have any type of infection. Also let your healthcare provider know if you have ever had tuberculosis or a herpes infection of the eye, as beclomethasone may weaken the immune system, allowing these infections to worsen.
- Beclomethasone inhalers can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Beclomethasone Inhalers).
- The beclomethasone inhaler is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using a beclomethasone inhaler during pregnancy (see Qvar and Pregnancy for more information).
- Beclomethasone may pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using a beclomethasone inhaler (see Qvar and Breastfeeding for more information).