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Beclomethasone dipropionate inhalation
BECLOMETHASONE (HFA) - ORAL AEROSOL INHALER

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

BECLOMETHASONE (HFA) - ORAL AEROSOL INHALER

(beck-low-METH-uh-sown)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Qvar

WARNING: If you have switched from an oral corticosteroid (e.g., prednisone tablets) to this inhaler within the past 12 months, your body may not produce enough natural steroids. You may need to start taking additional corticosteroids, especially if your body is stressed due to major infections such as stomach infections (gastroenteritis), surgery, or injury. Deaths have occurred during such stresses, due to low steroid levels. Consult your doctor or pharmacist now for specific advice regarding stress situations; you may need to carry a supply of corticosteroid tablets as a precaution. Routine blood tests may be performed (e.g., morning cortisol levels). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following signs of low steroid levels: unusual weakness, sudden weight loss, vomiting, fainting or severe dizziness. Carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your need for oral corticosteroids during times of stress as noted.

Uses

Beclomethasone belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids. Inhaled corticosteroids work directly in the lungs to open airways and make breathing easier by relieving inflammation. This medication must be used regularly to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma, bronchitis or emphysema. This medication does not work immediately. Therefore it does not relieve an acute attack.

How To Use

Make sure you understand how to use the inhaler properly. Consult your pharmacist. When using the inhaler for the first time or after stopping the drug for more than a week, prime the unit as directed. A fine mist indicates that the inhaler is working properly. If more than one inhalation is prescribed, wait one full minute between inhalations so you get the full effects of the first dose. If using other inhalers, wait several minutes between the use of each inhaler, and use this one (the corticosteroid) last. Gargle and rinse your mouth after using this to help prevent dryness, relieve throat irritation and to prevent oral yeast infections. Do not swallow the rinse solution. Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not use it more frequently without your doctor's approval. This medicine is not interchangeable with other corticosteroid inhaler products you may have used. This is due to the CFC-free propellant (ozone safe), which delivers medicine to your lungs more efficiently. Consult your pharmacist. Your dose is adjusted based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Maximum benefit may occur after 3-4 weeks.

Side Effects

May cause a cough, a dry irritated throat, unpleasant taste, hoarseness or nasal congestion, pain or headache. If these effects continue or become bothersome, contact your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: white-colored tongue, prolonged mouth or throat irritation, vision changes. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following signs of low steroid levels: unusual weakness, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, fainting, dizziness. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before you use this drug, tell your doctor your medical history including: all illnesses and infections, recent exposure to contagious diseases (e.g., chickenpox), glaucoma, cataracts, allergies (especially drug allergies). If within the past 12 months you have switched from an oral corticosteroid (e.g., prednisone) to this inhaler, or if you had been using this product in higher-than-usual doses and suddenly stopped using it, your body may not produce enough natural steroids. You may need to start taking additional corticosteroids, especially if your body is stressed due to major infection, surgery or injury. Consult your doctor. If you cough up mucus that has thickened or changed color from clear white to yellow, green, or gray, contact your doctor; these changes may be signs of an infection. Children and teenagers should be monitored for proper growth patterns while using any corticosteroid medicine. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug may be excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Before you use this drug tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medications you are taking, especially of: oral corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, prednisone). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others. Inform all your doctors you use (or have used) this medication.

Missed Dose

Use the missed dose as soon as remembered. Use the remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture. Keep from getting too cold or freezing.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).