What Are Beclomethasone Inhalers Used For?
Beclomethasone inhalers are used for preventing asthma attacks in adults and children five years old and older. While the medicine cannot cure asthma or treat an asthma attack, it can improve breathing and prevent asthma attacks from occurring. Beclomethasone inhalers can also be used "off-label" for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The beclomethasone inhaler (Qvar®) is a prescription medication used to prevent asthma attacks. It is part of a class of asthma medications known as inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm, and it can cause asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. Beclomethasone inhalers are a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who uses a beclomethasone inhaler should also have a rescue medication (such as an albuterol inhaler) available for emergencies.
The beclomethasone inhaler is part of a class of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inflammation is an important component of asthma, and steroids help to decrease inflammation. Because beclomethasone inhalers are inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids taken by mouth. This helps to reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment to learn more about treating asthma.)