beclomethasone inhaler, Beconase AQ; QNASL; Vancenase (Discontinued brand); Beconase

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GENERIC NAME: beclomethasone dipropionate nasal inhaler/spray

BRAND NAME: Beconase AQ, QNASL, Vancenase (Discontinued brand), Beconase (discontinued brand), Vancenase AQ (Discontinued Brand)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Beclomethasone is a synthetic steroid of the glucocorticoid family. The naturally-occurring glucocorticoid that is produced by the adrenal gland is cortisol or hydrocortisone. Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions. When used as a nasal inhaler or spray, the medication goes directly to the lining of the nose, and very little is absorbed into the body. The FDA approved beclomethasone nasal spray in September 1981.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PREPARATIONS: Nasal Inhaler: 42 or 80 mcg per spray

STORAGE: Beclomethasone should be kept at room temperature, 15C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). It should be shaken well before each use.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Beclomethasone nasal inhalers are used for the relief of symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis is a condition in which the lining (mucus membranes) of the nose swells and fluid is released (a "runny nose").

DOSING: The usual dose for the inhalers is one to two sprays in each nostril twice daily (Beconase AQ) or two sprays in each nostril once daily (QNASL). Some patients may do well with lower doses, and some require higher doses.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No drug interactions have been described with nasal beclomethasone.

PREGNANCY: There does not appear to be any increased risk of malformations in children born to mothers exposed to beclomethasone during pregnancy. Additionally, no dependency on the drug develops, and there are no withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if beclomethasone is secreted in breast milk. Other medications in this class are secreted into breast milk. It is not known whether the small amounts that may appear in the milk are of any consequence to the infant.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with nasal beclomethasone are nasal irritation, sneezing, nausea, and lightheadedness. A bloody nasal discharge and septum perforation may occur. Fungal infection of the nose and throat, slow wound healing, glaucoma, and cataracts also are associated with intranasal beclomethasone. Higher doses of intranasal beclomethasone may result in more absorption into the body. This may decrease bone formation and increase bone breakdown (resorption), resulting in weak bones and a risk of fractures. High doses may suppress the adrenal glands and impair their ability to make natural glucocorticoid. People with such suppression (which can be identified by testing) need increased amounts of glucocorticoid orally or by the intravenous route during periods of high physical stress since higher amounts of glucocorticoids are needed by the body to fight physical stress. Patients receiving beclomethasone may develop easy bruising if enough beclomethasone is absorbed into the body.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 8/9/2012




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