Medicines

Beclometasone for asthma prevention

This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Beclometasone should not be used during an acute asthma attack (sudden onset of wheezing and breathlessness). Use your child’s reliever medicine (usually a blue salbutamol inhaler).

Name of medicine

Beclometasone dipropionate (often known as beclometasone for short)

It comes in a variety of different aerosol and dry powder inhalers, which have different brand names.

Why is it important for my child to take Beclometasone?

Beclometasone is a steroid medicine. It reduces infl ammation in the lungs that can act as a trigger for an asthma attack, and so should reduce the number of attacks. Beclometasone is commonly called a ‘preventer’ medicine and comes in an inhaler. It is important that your child takes it regularly to help prevent asthma attacks. 

What is Beclometasone available as?

Beclometasone has to be inhaled into the lungs (breathed in).

A special device called an inhaler is used. There are two types of inhaler used for beclometasone.

  • Aerosol inhaler with a ‘spacer’ device
  • Dry powder inhaler – this is sometimes used for older children

Different sizes are available, which give puffs containing 50, 100 or 200 micrograms of beclometasone.

When should I give Beclometasone

The Beclometasone is usually given twice each day. Give one dose in the morning and one in the evening. Ideally these times are 10–12 hours apart. For example, this could be between 7am and 8am and between 7pm and 8pm.

Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of Beclometasone (the dose) that is right for your child. This is usually worked out from their weight. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

How should I give Beclometasone?

Your doctor or asthma nurse will show you how to use the twisthaler. If you are not sure whether you are using the twisthaler properly, or need help, contact your asthma nurse or pharmacist, who will be able to show you or check what you are doing.

An instruction leaflet will also be provided with the twisthaler. Follow the instructions that come with your twisthaler for how to get it ready. If you are not sure how to do this, ask your pharmacist or nurse to show you.

When should the medicine start working?

Beclometasone needs to be given regularly to prevent asthma and wheeze. Your child should start to wheeze less, and to need less reliever medicine, 3–7 days after starting treatment.

Continue to give the medicine, as told to by your doctor or nurse, even if your child does not have any wheeze or symptoms of asthma.

If your child’s asthma does not seem to be getting any better, and they still need to use their reliever medicine often, contact your doctor or asthma nurse.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

If your child is sick at any time, you do not need to give them another dose, as the inhaled medicine will still work

What if I forget to give it?

If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose.
For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7 am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11 am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Wait until the next normal dose. You do not need to wake up a sleeping child to give a missed dose.

Never give a double dose of Beclometasone.

What if I give too much?

Beclometasone is unlikely to cause harm if your child accidentally has more puffs than your doctor has recommended.

If you are worried that you may have given your child too much budesonide, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in parts of England; 0845 4647 in parts of England and Wales; 08454 24 24 in Scotland) for advice.

Have the inhaler or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).

  • If your child is taking a high dose of beclometasone, they may develop a yeast infection in the mouth, called oral thrush. If you notice a thick white or cream-coloured covering on your child’s tongue, or the mouth is red and irritated, contact your doctor for advice, as this may need treatment. You can help prevent this by making sure that your child rinses their mouth after using beclometasone, and by using a spacer device.
  • If your child’s voice is hoarse or their throat is sore after using the inhaler, encourage them to rinse out their mouth after every use.
  • Your child may develop a dry mouth with this medicine. Eating citrus fruits (e.g. oranges) or taking sips of water may help.   Inhaled beclometasone may slow the speed at which your child grows at the start of treatment, but will probably catch up when their asthma is properly controlled. Their final adult height should not be affected, however. Your doctor should monitor the growth of your child while they are receiving treatment with beclometasone.
  • All steroid medicines, including beclometasone, but only in high doses, may affect the adrenal glands so that they produce less of a hormone called cortisol when the body is stressed (e.g. during illness or injury). This means that your child may have more difficulty fighting off an infection, or may recover less quickly from injury or after surgery.

There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at http://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

Can other medicines be given at the same time as Beclometasone?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Beclometasone should not be taken with some medicines. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving Beclometasone.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

If your child becomes very unwell or requires an operation while on beclometasone, tell the doctors that your child uses a beclometasone inhaler.

In a very few cases, children become unwell when they stop or reduce the amount of any steroid medicine they are taking, including beclometasone (in high doses). This may include your child becoming very tired or dizzy, having stomach pains or vomiting. If you are at all worried about this, contact your doctor.

  • Your child should rinse their mouth out thoroughly with water or clean their teeth after using the inhaler.
  • Clean the spacer at least once a month in warm soapy water and leave it to drip dry. This will prevent medicine residue from building up on the inside of the device. Do not use a cloth to dry the spacer, as this will cause the build up of static, and it may not work properly

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

General advice about antibiotics

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm. •
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out. •
  • Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

Where should I keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information?

Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about Beclometasone and about other medicines used to treat asthma and wheeze.

England: NHS 111

Tel 111

www.nhs.uk

Scotland: NHS 24

Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Wales: NHS Direct

Tel 111 (free) or 0845 46 47 (2p per minute)

111.wales.nhs.uk/

Asthma UK

0300 222 5800

www.asthma.org.uk/

Copyright disclaimer

Version [1]. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by January 2015.

The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.

We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.